The cornerstone of the Japanese television world is the "variety show," and although the Western stereotype of these programs isn't entirely accurate -- they rarely throw contestants who answer questions incorrectly into pirania-filled water -- they can be interesting to watch. The "king" of variety shows in Japan is Waratte Iitomo ("It's Okay to Laugh"), which has run six days a week since it began back in 1982, earning host Tamori a place in the Guinness Book. The show is made up of segments that are goofy yet oddly entertaining, like "Rare Beast Hunter Imoto," an ugly female comedian with thick eyebrows drawn on her face who travels the world looking for rare animals to compete against, like the time she challenged a cheetah to a 100-meter dash. On one program I caught recently, several famous "talents" were given sheets of paper and asked to design men's underwear, and it was interesting to see what ideas they came up with. Super cute Becky (no, not that one) came up with underwear that said "I love..." with a space where the man's girlfriend would write her own name, to make sure that he couldn't cheat on her with another girl. Scary, but creative, too.
Popular "talents" like comedy duo London Boots and Becky make us laugh.