I haven't laughed so hard since the first Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Everything about Banzai is absurd-- the format, the Japanese graphics, the event names, the frenzied narration urging viewers to "Bet now!". But it's inspired absurdity. Watching Simon Cowell deal with an interviewer who would only ask 1 question and then remain silent was hysterical. The capper was having a priest, a rabbi, and Lou Ferrigno race on exercycles, with the stakes being the soul of a baby.

Inspired absurdity.

What makes it all work, however, is the Japanese-accented narration. So over the top, so politically incorrect (although I hear it actually IS a Japanese man doing the voiceovers), and so funny because of it. I can't believe Fox is getting away with this, but I hope it lasts. This is now must-see TV for the start of our weekly game sessions. Until the inevitable outcry from the Asian-American population forces Fox to throw in the towel.

Watch now!


Strange. I expected a different response to this show from you. I caught a bit of this on the tube and was greatly disappointed with it. I didn't laugh once. I chuckled mildly a few times, at the concepts more than the execution. The Simon event was the only one I saw that I truly thought was funny. The Lou Ferigno event looked horribly stagy, as if the producers told him to make it close so that there would be some drama. I would have bet anything in the world that the one legged striker and the one armed goal tender would have split the first two of the goal shots, because everything else up to that point seemed to have been scripted for maximum dramatic impact (and thus losing whatever real dramatic impact it might have had). The two knights in the grocery carts was a funny idea, until I saw the one deliberately fall out. I'm sorry, but I think I'll be coming late to game night if this is going to be our opener.

I strongly suspect that this, like MST3K, is a show that will benefit tremendously from being watched in a group.

Bet now!

If it were anyone but you, Peter, I'd read "in a group" as "completely stoned". =)

Will Banzai fail in...

A. 0-3 episodes
B. 4-6 episodes
C. 7-9 episodes
D. 10-12 episodes


(I vote A. I agree that it was silly and absurd, but it's gonna get old real fast. Just doesn't seem to have legs.)

Kool! I love absurd bets! Count me in! I might finally have a good, honest opportunity to dent your Poker stash!

I've figured out what this show reminds me of: those stupid between-inning cgi boat races at the ballpark (I'm sure most baseball stadia have something similar to "distract" the fans). Banzai has all the excitement of a Japanese man yelling at you to bet on those boats. David Letterman's "Will It Float?" skit is more entertaining.

Nathan makes an excellent point. In 2001(... 2002?) before the Gathering, I stayed at a game show fan friend's house in Indianapolis for a day or two. I brought a NTSC copy of an episode of Banzai with me. We went to see a AAA baseball game which had lots of scoreboard goofiness and were forever shouting "BET NOW! COME ON, BET BET BET! BETTING ENDS! YOU RUBBISH! OUTSTANDING WAGERING!" and the like at each other to add fun to the gambling opportunities.

Years ahead of our time, we were.

I've been watching Banzai since it debuted on Channel 4 in the UK a couple years ago. They recently brought it to Australia and I was amused to see a preview for it when I was home in the States last month. My boyfriend and I think it's hilarious. Do you guys just get the existing episodes or are they reshooting bits? The Australian version is just the UK one, which relies heavily on B-list English celebrities. I can't imagine Americans finding Tara Palmer-Tomkinson as funny as we do...

It's a great show, i first saw it with friends late one night, and we use it as a drinking game, it was cancelled after 5 episodes and i want to get the rest, where can you buy them from

can anyone tell me who that fit guy is who appeared in an episode of banzai where there are four or five guys, and they have to guess whos got the biggest,errmm...meat?! lol! hes appeared in some british porno mags, and is very attractive, would luv 2 know! x
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