• Probably like a lot of people, I discovered this show while idly channel-flipping. At first the games themselves fascinated me. I'd heard about Japanese game shows for years, but only seen brief snippets of them. I started laughing hysterically as a succession of hapless schmucks got slammed by huge fake boulders rolling down a narrow channel. But it took a while for the bizarre and clever dubbed-in voiceovers to register. Once they did, I realized that I'd found a new favorite. This show combines elements of "Fear Factor" with "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "What's Up Tiger Lilly?" The completely made-up spoof of Japanese game shows called "Banzai" that was briefly popular a few months ago was somewhat amusing, but this show just delivers HUGE and consistent belly laughs, and that's as healthy as a tub of granola and tofu, and lots easier to take.

    An earlier poster listed the fake names given to some of the games in this show, but I just heard my favorite tonight. In this game, a contestant clings to a huge spinning mushroom that is propelled over a pool of muddy water, trying to land on a small platform at the other end of the pool. The name of the game was "Eat Shitaki." I almost ruptured myself.