The Drifters (comedian)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = The Drifters
ザ・ドリフターズ


Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = flagicon|Japan Japan
Genre = Comic Song
Years_active = 1964 - Present
Label =
Current_members = Cha Kato (drum kit)
Ken Shimura (keyboard)
Kōji Nakamoto (rhythm guitar)
Bū Takagi (lead guitar)
Past_members = Chōsuke Ikariya (bass)
Chū Arai (keyboard)
URL =

nihongo|The Drifters|ザ・ドリフターズ|Za Dorifutāzu was a famous Japanese comedy group that started in 1964.

They are most famous for the regular variety show "Hachijidayo, Zen'inshugo!" (It's 8 p.m., Everyone Together!"), which aired on the TBS from 1969 to 1985. It held the highest ratings of any program in its time, and still holds one of the highest program ratings in Japanese television history. Its low-brow humour and slapstick comedy made it popular, especially with juveniles, much to the dismay of parents at the time.

Members

* Chōsuke Ikariya — Leader, died of lymph node cancer in 2004
* Kōji Nakamoto
* Bū Takagi
* Cha Kato
* Ken Shimura — Joined 1974
* Chū Arai — Former member, retired in 1974

The group's leader was Chōsuke Ikariya, who died of lymph node cancer in 2004 at the age of 72. Other members in the group changed back and forth occasionally, with Ikariya as the only consistent member from its beginning to end.

The show itself was a comedy variety show that featured sketches and musical guests. Often the show opened with a long sketch that lasted for about 20–25 minutes and then musical guests were featured. The show would round out the hour with a few more sketches, often with the musical guests participating in these.

Besides the regular weekly show, The Drifters, or Dorifu as they came to be called, would also have special presentations every few months. These specials would be an hour and a half and would consist of many short sketches. Often they would have special guests, usually famous singing performers, that would participate in the sketches but would not always sing during the show.

In the late 1970s, between 1977–1978 The Drifters were often linked to the singing duo Pink Lady through a series of popular fumetti style manga and also had a children's show with Pink Lady based on Journey to the West. The show was called "Drifters' Saiyuki" and featured puppet caricatures of the Drifters as the principle characters. Pink Lady provided narration and sang the main theme of the show. After "Hachijidayo!" ended in 1985:
* The group disbanded but continued to get together for their occasional hour and a half specials.
* Shimura Ken teamed up with Cha Kato for the series "Katochan Kenchan Gokigen TV" (Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan).
* Nakamoto Koji became a regular on the TV program "Toyamano Kinsan"
* Takagi Bū recorded a number of albums of Hawaiian style music.
* After "Katochan Kenchan Gokigen TV", Kato Cha became a regular on the program "Musashibo Benkei" and appeared as a special guest on other TV programs.
* After "Katochan Kenchan Gokigen TV", Shimura Ken also starred in other TV shows such as "Shimura Ken no Bakatonosama" and "Shimuraken no Daijobuda" and guest starred on other TV shows.
* In 1999, Chosuke Ikariya won the Japanese Academy Awards of Best Supporting Actor for his performance of Heihachiro Waku in the movie Bayside Shakedown.
* Chōsuke Ikariya died on March 20, 2004 at the age of 72 of cancer of the lymph nodes. He announced his illness in June of the previous year, and left the hospital once in July afterwards for the opening of the movie Bayside Shakedown 2.
* In April 2002, Shimura Ken recorded a one-off single with Hello! Project's unit "Mini Moni", with the collaboration credited to nihongo|"Bakatono to Mini Moni Hime"|バカ殿様とミニモニ。姫. They recorded two songs named after a catch phrase of his, "Ai-in".

External links

* [http://www.jame.or.jp/izawa/simura.html ja icon Ken Shimura's official page]
*
* [http://www.jame.or.jp/izawa/ikariya.html ja icon Official Agency Page]
* [http://www.kyoto-su.ac.jp/information/famous/drifters.html Short online biography of the Drifters]


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