Saturday Night Live JPN, the third local adaptation of NBC’s venerable late-night sketch comedy show (Italy and Spain have the others), is set to premiere tomorrow on Fuji, Japan’s top network. Broadway Video Enterprises and Japanese indie producer Yoshimoto Kogyo collaborated on the series, on which Fuju producer Isao Kagari serves in the Lorne Michaels role, pulling cast members from his late-night show Pikaru No Teiri to join a weekly host and musical guest — the same as the American verison. “Saturday Night Live is known for cultivating premier comedic talent in the U.S., and we plan to carry on the tradition by bringing the newest, best comedians to Saturday Night Live JPN to accompany top name celebrities and musical acts,” says Yoshimoto Entertainment USA CEO Aki Yorihiro. It would be interesting to see how topical sketch comedy manifests itself in other cultures. The U.S. version saw a ratings surge thanks to the 2008 presidential campaign, with the cast and writers not afraid to send up Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and especially Sarah Palin (thanks to Tina Fey). I wonder whether politics plays as funny in Japan?
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