OK, picture this. There I was, wasting another weekday evening channel surfing. Every channel had the usual tripe — dumb sitcoms, right-wing political talk shows, perma-news shows, and several gritty cop dramas. Nothing worth sitting through.

I was almost about to reach for a book (remember those paper things with words printed in ink?), when this guy shouts “BANZAI!!”


Banzai!Have you seen this show? If you’re not expecting it, Banzai can overwhelm your audiovisual senses like a hoarde of samurai from a Kurosawa film.

I hardly know how to describe it. I suppose it’s a show for gamblers done in a campy, pseudo-Japanese style that’s big on retro 70s graphics and commentators with thick Japanese accents. Each segment in this half-hour show lets you bet on the most bizarre things, like which vicar can drink the piping hot tea first. Other segments let you bet on how long Shaking Hands Man can shake a celebrity’s hand, which man lights a cigarette first, and more daring (and obviously sexist) bets like which Sharon Stone look-alike isn’t wearing panties.

Immature? Yep.

I’m not sure I liked it. I’m not even a betting man, but I actually put down the remote and watched it to the end. Pretty sad, really.