OSAKA – Veteran rakugo storyteller Bunshi Katsura was honored by Guinness World Records on Thursday, recognizing his popular 45-year-old TV program as the longest-running talk show in the world to be hosted by the same person.
“I can’t express my feeling in words,” Katsura, 71, said at a news conference in Osaka. “This makes me feel really happy to have continued to do this program for 45 years.”
Katsura began hosting “Shinkon-san Irasshai” (“Welcome, Newlyweds”) on broadcaster TV Asahi in January 1971.
The show remains popular because its unchanging format is a recipe for laughs. Two newlywed couples are invited to the studio each week to talk about their love life. They often lapse into gripes about each other, giving Katsura a chance to react with comic exaggeration, express jaw-dropping disbelief and slide down his chair.
The producers say more than 4,000 couples have appeared on the show.
Guinness World Records in May recognized another TV Asahi talk show, “Tetsuko no Heya” (“Tetsuko’s Room”), for having the most episodes hosted by the same individual, at 10,000.
The program, hosted by screen veteran Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, started in 1976.