SMAP×SMAP official logo
|Country of origin||Japan|
Tokyo Media City
|Running time||54 minutes|
|Original channel||KTV, Fuji TV|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original run||April 15, 1996 – present|
SMAP×SMAP is an ongoing weekly Japanese variety show on Kansai TV and Fuji TV starring the members of SMAP. The show began on April 15, 1996 and it airs from 22:00 to 22:54 (JST) every Monday. The show's usual rating is higher than 20%, which is considered high since most variety shows range from 10-20%.
The show usually consists of Bistro SMAP, skit/game/Competition Corner and an ending song performance. Every year they have a Live Special where the Bistro is shot in front of a live audience.
Usually aired at the first half of SMAPXSMAP, Bistro SMAP features four SMAP members cooking for celebrity guests who are invited to the show (the number of guests ranges from one person to a group). Guests range from Japanese celebrities (actors, comedians, talents, TV hosts) to sportsmen (including Olympic medalists) and politicians. Between 1996-2010 there were a few famous celebrities from outside Japan such as Korea, Taiwan, USA, Italy, Spain and France. Actor Whoopi Goldberg was the first foreign Bistro guest (aired in 1998).
Normally, the SMAP leader Masahiro Nakai is the Owner, and the other four members of SMAP are split into two teams. Guests are able to order anything they want, then each team will face each other trying to cook the best meal for the guests. Once the guests have tried out both team's meals, the guest chooses the winner. The winning team receives gifts, or a kiss on the cheek if the guest is female. According to the 'kisses received' tally, Takuya Kimura is the best chef, followed by Shingo Katori, Goro Inagaki and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. Each chef usually has a different speciality and designated color. Takuya Kimura, the red chef, specialises in pasta. Italian and Japanese cuisine are Goro Inagaki's chef's specialties. Shingo Katori is the green chef who specializes in Chinese cuisine and dessert (and is very creative with original desserts that sometimes shock everyone). Yellow chef is Tsuyoshi Kusanagi who specializes in Korean and Japanese cuisine.
Between 2001-2002, during which time when one of the SMAP members, Goro Inagaki, was involved with some trouble and was suspended from showbiz, the Bistro format changed. The members of SMAP took turns to be the host (owner), and Nakai became one of the chefs whenever it wasn't his turn to be the host. In 2010, the 2-team format was temporarily changed to each chef competing against each other.
Comedic skits and games
The second half of the show features SMAP members acting in comedy skits, usually a parody of other FujiTV shows or celebrities, anime or manga, trends, or original comedy skits. There are usually other celebrities participating in the skit. The most popular original skits are Calculating Mako-chan and Mabo(Featuring three SMAP members: Nakai Masahiro, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori). The longest running popular skit is Pet no P-Chan (Featuring SMAP members Takuya Kimura, Shingo Katori, Inagaki Goro).
In Games Corner, SMAP also invite Japanese and foreign guests to compete with them in games such as egg poker, King of Ball (pool game), Rowling bowling (bowling), the Age Card, Moving Throw (basketball), Petanque. Occasionally they compete with a professional sports person who has been a Bistro guest.
The last section of the show features various musical groups and artists collaborating with SMAP. SMAP briefly interviews the groups or artists (recorded after they've performed), then sings their song, usually a medley, and sometimes with a SMAP song. Usually when SMAP's new single is close to being released or has been released, they sing their own song as a promotion.
In a rehearsal, Michael Jackson showed up as a surprise to the group and was interviewed (a translator was by his side). The footage was later used as a television special.