What is the REAL name of the Japanese pranks show people are calling "Panic Face King"?
October 27, 2009 7:19 AM   Subscribe

There is a video making the rounds that is supposedly from an extreme Japanese pranks show called "Panic Face King." I have been unable to find any additional information on this show, which leads me to believe this is not the real name (or not the correct translation).

There is often a picture-in-picture of people in the studio audience laughing while the prank is being shown. I do not know if this is a device used on many Japanese prank shows, or if it's unique to the show I'm asking about (for instance, this article on Japanese Prank Shows seems to all be from this same show -- but they may be different).

At any rate, I'm trying to find the name of the show that aired this clip. Any help you can give would be appreciated!
posted by phonepimpster to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Picture-in-picture audience/host reactions is not uncommon to Japanese TV, so I wouldn't consider that a defining characteristic of that show.
posted by illenion at 8:01 AM on October 27, 2009

The name ザブングル or "Zabunguru" is in the top right corner of the clip, and searching for that on Google gives you some pictures of that same guy (the mark), as well as some references that he is a comedian. Sorry this doesn't really get you closer to the name of the show or anything, but maybe with these clues someone else can fill in the rest...
posted by illenion at 8:08 AM on October 27, 2009

Hmm a comment here says that Zabunguru is a comedy duo, not just that one guy. In other videos of them, the mark from the Panic Face King video is shown making a lot of weird faces, so it looks like the sniper thing could just be a setup to let that guy showcase his wacky face to an audience who is already familiar with him?
posted by illenion at 8:15 AM on October 27, 2009

It was on last week's Have I Got News For You?. The clip said on it Panic Face King Tokyo Broadcasting Corporation so the name is presumably correct but probably a literal translation from the Japanese by the BBC.
posted by TheRaven at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2009

The real name of the show is "パニックフェイス王", which actually reads "Panic Face (king)" where (king) is the kanji for King, the rest is katakana. It ran on TBS, not sure if it shows anymore.

This page said this particular show aired on September 9th, 2008, at 7:56pm.
posted by splice at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

And some more details on the Japanese Wikipedia. The proper name for the show (or maybe just this particular airing) may be "Bakushou Mondai no Dokkiri! Panic Face King!" (爆笑問題のドッキリ パニックフェイス王).
posted by splice at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2009

The guy's name is Katou, and he's part of the comedy duo Zabunguru. They're probably mid- to high- tier in terms of fame and popularity (most TV-watchers would recognize them on the street). They appear regularly on many comedy and variety shows and also do stand-up (manzai). They were finalists on M-1, the biggest annual manzai competition with a 10,000,000yen grand prize (over $100k).

Katou is known for doing ridiculous faces. In fact, when he appeared on M-1, another comedian commented that Zabunguru was very strong, saying "That guy's face is a weapon!" Many Japanese comedians definitely relish being put in ridiculous situations, as it's a great opportunity to show off their stuff. In fact, there's a whole class of entertainers called "reaction geinin", who specialize in over-reacting to getting dunked in hot water, eating ridiculous things, being electrically shocked, etc., to comedic effect. I wouldn't put Katou in that group, but I'm sure he considered his appearance on the show a great chance to shine (an "oishii" opportunity). He probably didn't know he was going to be punked (dokkiri), but certainly his manager agreed and signed off on it (and maybe even worked hard to get him on the show).

I'm not familiar with this particular show, but it appears to be a semi-special hosted by Bakushou Mondai, another comedy duo. In this specific episode Katou and I think two other comedians were put through "24-like" situations to see how they would react.

The picture-in-picture is certainly a staple of Japanese TV and is used in everything from educational-type programs to cooking to comedy shows. While some Japanese variety TV seem to cross the line of decency, to keep things in context, keep in mind that basically everyone you see on prime-time shows is a professional that makes a living mostly by appearing on variety TV. To some extent, it's almost like pro wrestling where they're actors playing parts in some weird alternate reality that sorta blurs into the real world.
posted by mshrike at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2009 [4 favorites]

« Older I wanna shred you up!   |   Words to money Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.