The other night I found myself randomly surfing Japanese late-night TV to see what was on. First was a TV show called in which an extremely girthful writer/columnist named Matsuko Deluxe gives scathing advice to the guests who come on the show asking how they can become famous. Then there was a show in which several commedians were walking around Tokyo visiting random ramen shops, using an Evangelion-themed GPS in which the voice of Shinji told them when to turn next. I stopped for a few minutes to watch Asa Made Nama Terebi, in interesting program in which leading politicians sit at a table and debate the issues of the day on live TV until the early hours of the morning, a nice idea in a world where so much is boiled down into 3-second sound bites. Next I found myself watching a fascinating program that just showed images of New Yorkers going about their day while classical music played in the background -- what a genius idea. While late-night TV commercials don't quite approach the cheesiness of the "1-900" chat and fortune-telling, there are quite a lot of awful American infomercials being broadcast with dubbed Japanese voice-over.
Lock politicians in a room and make them discuss things intelligently until morning. Great idea!