Japan's Longest-Running Variety Show Ends After 31 Years
TOKYO -- Record-breaking Japanese variety show Waratte Iitomo (It's Okay to Laugh!), Fuji TV's lunchtime institution, broadcast for the last time on Monday after more than 31 years on air.
Tamori (Kazuyoshi Morita) has hosted the show since October 1982 with the same formula of simple games and guests plugging their latest products. The show was a regular stop for Hollywood stars, including Tom Cruise, visiting Japan with movies to promote. Quentin Tarantino made his third appearance on the show last year.
Famous for both his sunglasses and ad-libs, Tamori was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records back in 2002, on his 5,000th consecutive episode, for the "the highest number of live variety TV shows hosted by the same presenter."
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared on the show on March 21; his arrival at the famous Studio Alta in central Tokyo was greeted by protesters waving "It's OK to quit!" placards punning on the show's title.