American Batsu

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While getting some of the Batsu Airport files together to watch on a different PC, the thought struck me:

"If there were to be a US-version of the GNT Annual New Year's Batsu Game, who would I choose to be in it and what would the theme be?"

So, if such a thing were to happen in the US (Trust me, no doubt they'd wait for it to be done in the UK 1st and then just steal the idea and act as if it weren't a 3rd generation idea.) I'd want it to be a 24-hour format (cut down to 90 min. or at most 2 hrs., to be aired on New Year's Eve before the ball drop), scenario-based (rather than 24-hour tag), 5 members, real swats and just as many surprising cameos as the GNT version.

I wasn't going to just go with the simple cast of Jersey Shore, Kardashians, Jackass, etc. route. I was thinking that it had to fit the peculiar parameters of US broadcast TV. #1 We are unlikely to see folks like a pregnant Snooki or some other reality diva enduring more than a couple swats without giving up/fighting/crying/generally making the broadcast miserable to watch. #2 Women potentially getting beaten repeatedly, unless it is pro wrestling or cell cam footage, doesn't make it on broadcast TV. #3 The cast should be polarizing enough where you'd watch either in the hopes they don't get too many swats or in the hopes that they get many swats.

As for a cast, you can go a couple ways. Either well-known established entertainers/comedians, B-list celebrities (reality show folks would fit in here), relative/complete unknowns from a cattle call. They'd all have to be young enough that there's no risk of breaking their hip or something, which in my mind also eliminates professional athletes because they won't endanger their contracts, etc.

Anyway, I could only come up with 3 potential cast members at the time. I went with the established entertainer/comedian route. Currently, the US doesn't really have established comedy teams anymore that I could instantly think of. I wanted to stick close to the GNT model if possible. But, I thought that Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake are the closest I could come up with. They can both be serious but when they're joking around they do make a good team even though there is no formal team-up there. I guess they'd be my Downtown replacement. Another person who seems to come off as a good sport and is surprisingly funny would be Vin Diesel. Maybe fill out the other 2 spots with a stand-up comedian and another actor.

Theme. Now, that's where I'm in a bit of a quandary. As the US is insanely litigious, choosing a theme to make fun of puts them in a lot of trouble of insulting a multitude of groups. Choose a military theme, veterans groups get outraged. Put them in as flight attendants like in Batsu Airport, women's groups raise a ruckus. You get the point...

So, I figured my theme would be "Boy Band". Groupies, politicians/religious folks complaining about the evils of rock music, off-key singing, awkward synchronized dancing, famous musicians promoting their next release, ferry them about from venue to venue in one of those party buses... terrible, terrible clothing choices.
I imagine it could be like this:

I have also pondered this quite a bit but with a UK version or US (However I'd favor UK since I'm from there and I could watch it as it went out on the day and it'd be funnier to me because of the jokes that are central on culture and whatnot)... but it's just been pondering. I just doubt it will work in the US or UK, without copying it scene by scene or having Matsumoto write it, I don't think it'd be anything near as good. It would definitely lack the bizarre aspect and dare I say come off cheesy. Also I can't think of a group of people like Matsumoto, Hamada, Tanaka, Endo and Yamazaki that are American or British who have that chemistry and the charisma that could pull off a 2-3 hour special, especially with most peoples attention spans nowadays...

It is a nice thought though to one day have something along the same lines and if it ever happens, I hope it does the original some form of justice... but if it ever ends up like MTV's rip-off of the silent library game then I'm learning Japanese and moving to Japan for the rest of my existence...
UK wouldn't work, we tried Endurance and it failed, so would a batsu game.

There isn't anyone charismatic either to take the role of Matsumoto, and nobody big headed as Hamada.
I think perhaps Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Jason Segel and Craig Robinson could make it work. They've know eachother for years and years, just like the GNT team, and would probably think it's a funny concept.
I can think of no other comedians that would fit together as well as these guys.
American Batsu? Just no :shake: . Go watch the silent library they did. Awful :puke: . They cannot produce the same material as the japanese. Not the same sense of humour. Americans who haven't watched Jap version, might like it :?: :geek: , but maybe,some people like us who already know about Jap, American version would surely look like crap :!: . That's my personal opinion on this matter. Now a nerd for you guys : :geek:
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American Batsu? Just no :shake: . Go watch the silent library they did. Awful :puke: . They cannot produce the same material as the japanese. Not the same sense of humour. Americans who haven't watched Jap version, might like it :?: :geek: , but maybe,some people like us who already know about Jap, American version would surely look like crap :!: . That's my personal opinion on this matter. Now a nerd for you guys : :geek:


I'm with you 100% man. America always seems to screw up anything they try to reproduce. Every once in a long while they do it well, but they have no idea what to do when it comes to game shows. It's like they overdo the "trendiness," and completely avoid what made the show awesome to begin with. I'd be happier if they just did professional translations for the shows.
The American Whose Line is it Anyways cast, If they would be willing to come back.. I THINK could pull it off.. Drew, Colin, Ryan, Wayne, and either Brad, or Chip...
Is this supposed to be under this category?

Anyway, I doubt it would really work out well for random groups of people.
It'd really need to be pretty already friendly or extreme comedy types anyway, such as your Jackass group or whatever.
These guys have been doing it for years and all know each other pretty well. (outside of the usual oddities of relationships in Japan)

I guess to get around it, you could increase the potential players of the game if you decrease the punishment extremes a little.
But that relationship between them wouldn't be there. There'd be no trolling each other in to laughter, there'd be no familiarity with them. Could still very hilariously funny, but it would lose the charm the current games do.
Silent Library is a good example. The remake was hilarious, but it still felt odd, even though Silent Library is a show type that doesn't particularly need familiarity anyway.

Plus, shows these days, 24 hour recording? You'd be lucky to get that past the concept stages with any TV station over here. Even in the UK who sometimes do odd stuff.
The merchandise market over here is also much smaller compared to Japan, which is what would fund a considerable amount of this show next to advertisements. Buying DVDs to see extra scenes, preparation, interviews and so on just isn't like it used to be.
It'd be a difficult pitch indeed.
Considering how bad we've managed to f**k SASUKE (otherwise butchered as "Ninja warrior" overseas) up with ANW, no. We messed Iron Chef up, what makes you think we'll do it any better?

I do love Whose Line but that was a rare example considering most of the cast was in the UK version already and they just brought their humor and improv skills here.
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