No aspect of Japanese pop culture titillates the world more than the country’s game shows. From references on “The Simpson’s” to inspiring Western riffs on subjects such as “Banzai” and “I Survived A Japanese Game Show,” the idea of wacky creations bordering on torture have played a central place in foreign perceptions of Japan. One of my first exposures to Japanese TV came from a clip of a program where contestants were socked in the testicles.

A reminder of this fascination popped up in November. The YouTube channel Just Wow Me uploaded a clip titled “Funny Japanese Game Show Slippery Stairs — Just Hilarious,” featuring footage from the 2016 edition of TBS’ “All-Star Kanshasai” variety show, wherein six celebrities try to climb up a staircase covered in lubricant. Two days later, tech writer Juan Buis tweeted a clip of the show that went viral, spreading across the platform and then being aggregated by web sites across the internet.

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