Gaki no Tsukai, No Laughing Batsu Game 2021 Canceled, What Happened

Popular Japanese TV show Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende and its No Laughing Batsu Game won't be coming back in 2021.

By Iyane Agossah

September 20, 2021

Nihon TV announced on September 20 that it’s canceling the 2021 edition of Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende, the annual comedy TV show featuring Downtown, Hōsei Tsukitei, Cocorico, and others.

2021 was supposed to mark the 15th anniversary of Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!, a show you’ve definitely already heard about under the name Gaki no Tsukai or No Laughing Batsu Game. The comedy series is popular outside Japan thanks to fansubbed versions of the show.

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Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende and its No Laughing Batsu Game 2021 explained

Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! is a special series aired every new years eve in Japan, where several veteran comedians participate. One of the most popular moments is the No Laughing Batsu Game, where the comedians are put into various situations and they absolutely must not laugh despite how ridiculous said situation can get.

The comedians who laugh are “Out” and get hit with corporal punishment like spanking. It’s pretty much the embodiment of Japanese TV comedy, which can be pretty cringe or extremely funny depending on your tastes and whether you’re used to it or not.

Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! is one of the most popular shows in Japan. You might have also heard of the show under more unfortunate conditions: a few years ago one of the comedians featured did a black face. But overall, it’s one of the most-watched programs during new years eve timeframe in late December, alongside the NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen, where dozens of popular music artists appear.

Gaki no Tsukai producer Ichiro Goda hinted in his comments that the show will come back in some form at some point. He hopes that for now, the comedians will “rest their butts” since they usually get hit so much. Personally speaking, I think that after 15 years, the show did run out of ideas, and perhaps we’ll see a new formula with new comedians starting 2022. Making a new show revolving around younger comedians like Sunshine Ikezaki or black comedian Ike Nwala would be a great thing in my book.

Note that this year, a special rerun will be aired instead of the usual show. You can always hit me up on Twitter @A_iyane to discuss Japanese TV shows and dramas. As long as they aired between 2000 and 2016.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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