The incident happened during the TBS quiz show “All Star Kanshasai” while the famed Cirque du Soleil was performing their acrobatics. The camera was showing some of the cast sitting in the darkened tiered platform, which also happened to capture TV crews restraining comedian and show host Shinsuke Shimada who appeared to be in a rage. The program website was flooded with inquiries from TV viewers.
The 5-hour quiz show is aired live twice a year, with 200 comedians, actors, etc, from the entertainment industry to participate and promote new programs beginning in the fall and spring seasons. It was about 3 hours into the show, while Cirque du Soleil was presenting their “human tower” act when Shimada stood up and was heard to shout, “What’s up with you guys?” at a young comedic trio named Tokyo 03, winner of a recent TBS comedy tournament.
According to one source, staff hesitated to take any action in case it would worsen the situation and were relieved to see Shimada return to the space for the program host. In a split moment, though, Shimada turned around again and scrambled up the tiers toward the trio. The moment he grabbed one of them by the collar, some crew members rushed to hold him back – a scene that ended up being aired live on TV.
By the end of the acrobatics, Shimada had returned to his position and continued on with the show as though nothing had happened, while the paled trio Tokyo 03 kept their heads low.
What caused Shimada to snap during a live show? One crew member mentioned that the trio had failed to pay their respects to Shimada prior to the show, but another seasoned comedian who was also present explained that “too many of the younger comedians, including Tokyo 03, are downright rude and it’s unacceptable. It’s routine for the camera to show the expressions of the participants positioned on the tiers from time to time, but these youngsters sit there looking bored with chin in their hands, talk among themselves and start goofing off during commercial breaks. I think Shimada was angry at them for their unprofessional behavior.”
This lack of professional courtesy seems to be common. Some don’t bother introducing themselves to their senior comedians, make rude statements during filming, or show up late at the workplace.
Shimada has a reputation as a role model for young comedians, taking care and giving guidance both at the professional and personal level. Those he has taken under his wings, such as Suzanne, Shuchishin and Aki Hoshino, have become popular figures on TV. As such, it is a golden rule for starlets and newbies in the entertainment business to show appropriate courtesy to the “big boss.”
The shamed agency managing Tokyo 03 expressed their understanding of the incident as a problem about professional behavior and etiquette. After the show, the trio went to Shimada and apologized profusely. Apparently the big boss chastised the youngsters, and lectured them on the dos and don’ts of the business.