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Title:Utaban
Status:Active
Episodes:Ongoing since 1996
Producer:TBS
Website:http://www.tbs.co.jp/utaban/
Hosts:Ishibashi Takaaki, Nakai Masahiro

Information:
The name of the program itself, "Utaban", is short for "uta bangumi" ("Music Program"). It sometimes also has special episodes that are called "Tokuban", which is short for "tokubetsu bangumi" or "Special Program". Whereas a normal episode of Utaban will feature both talk segments with the guests and musical performances, Tokuban episodes feature no musical performances from the guests and only the talk segments.

The hosts of the show are quite well known outside of the show itself as well. Ishibashi is a member of the comedy/music duo Tunnels, and Nakai is a member and leader of the Johnny's Jimusho group SMAP. Both have proven themselves to be excellent comic talents on this show (as well as outside), as the guests always seem to be heckled in some sort of a humorous way (possibly more so than on any other music program).

This program is also known for its sometimes incredibly strange CG effects that are used mid-interview. For example, Ishibashi might make a face like he is breathing fire on the guest. Some CG may then be inserted so that he actually does appear to be breathing fire on the guest. Members of the cast are sometimes pulled out into the mix for humorous purposes as well, though it's unknown as to whether their personalities are actually as strange as they appear to be on the program.

Though the guests on Utaban/Tokuban are primarily music personalities, it also plays hosts to comedians and actors/actresses as well. Sometimes they will appear on the show during the segment of a music personality, but occasionally they will appear on their own.

The opening and ending theme songs for this program are both "These Boots Were Made For Walkin'", and in the case of the opening theme it is accompanied by a rather strange CG of some masked wrestlers.


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