Spend too much time watching Japanese TV and you might start to notice that celebrities sometimes vanish. Whether due to some personal indiscretion, an actual crime or incurring the wrath of an industry bigwig, once-ubiquitous entertainers are whisked from view with the efficiency of a Soviet purge.

Daisuke Muramoto, the subject of Fumiari Hyuga’s luminous “I Am a Comedian,” is one such case. In the space of just a few years, the stand-up comic went from celebrated to shunned. Woman Rush Hour — his manzai comedy duo with Paradise Nakagawa — saw their annual TV appearances plummet from 250 to just one.