Banzai became a cult TV classic when it originally aired on Channel 4 in Britain, is the ultimate comedic interactive betting show. BANZAI challenges the audience with a series of practical jokes, unpredictable stunts and hilarious gags and encourages viewers to bet each other on the final outcome.
The show is hosted by MR. BANZAI, a mysterious figure who is like an enigma wrapped within a conundrum. He oversees most of the bets on the show and is considered to be somewhat of a judge in all matters BANZAI. The show also features a wild cast of BANZAI characters who host the bizarre scenarios. These include: CHEEKY CHAPPY, the lovable rogue who dreams of one day creating the perfect Naked Lady Gamble; LADY ONE QUESTION, the intrepid interviewer who simply asks celebrities a question, then does absolutely nothing; and MR. SHAKE HANDS MAN, who has perfected the science of handshaking as he tries to see how long he can shake hands with celebrities before they pull away.
BANZAI contains footage previously aired in the UK version of the show. However, because it was feared Americans would not be able to recognize British celebrities, new segments were filmed in the USA featuring more-common American celebrities. Also, some of BANZAI's more outrageous skits, usually involving nudity and body parts, won't air on FOX.
BANZAI is a wild and irreverent romp that cuts through the wide sea of traditional television. Viewers at home can wager with friends and family to discover who can best predict the very unpredictable outcomes.
When the show aired on FOX, viewers are also able to bet on the outcomes of the segments on the official BANZAI website at FOX.com or use their wireless text messaging systems. All players receive digital prizes such as screensavers, wallpapers, system sounds, icons, etc.
In late February 2004, Comedy Central bought the rights to the short-lived FOX series and planned on airing the show Thursdays at 10:30 pm beginning March 2004. The deal included the broadcast rights to all 10 produced installments (four of which never aired on FOX) as well as the option to produce new episodes. Though the show never did well in the ratings on FOX, Comedy Central executives were reportedly impressed by its performance in several key male demographics. The show ran for only five episodes on Comedy Central, until is was pulled for reruns of Insomniac with Dave Attell. The unaired episodes were never broadcast on Comedy Central.
Show Type: Interactive/Game Show
First Telecast: July 13, 2003 Last Telecast: August 17, 2003
Episodes: 10 Episodes (4 Unaired)
FOX Broadcast History July 2003 --- Sundays 8:30 pm August 2003 --- Sundays 7:30 pmmoreless