With the full title being Downtown now Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende! (roughly translating to Downtown's This is No Task for Kids!), the show is one of the longest lasting and most popular comedy programs on Japanese TV since premiering in 1989. It primarily stars the comedy double act known as Downtown, made up of Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada (the latter does the Japanese dubbing for Shrek). In 1990, they added Hosei Tsukitei (then known as Hosei Yamasaki) and then in 1997 included the double act Cocorico, comprised of Shozo Endo and Naoki Tanaka.
Gaki no Tsukai is best known for the Batsu Games, or punishment games. The cast members engage in some sort of bet and the loser(s) are forced to undergo some sort of embarrassing punishment (think Impractical Jokers, but often times a little more sadistic). In 2003, the No Laughing Batsu games were introduced. The set up was that the losers of a bet were forced to partake in an activity with the primary rule being that they could not laugh throughout. Any time they were caught laughing, the offender would be punished (usually with a swift whack in the rear-end with a blunt object). The game proved successful that they expanded it to occur over a 24-hour period, make it a New Year's Eve special for the show, and the producers would devise unexpected surprises and traps in an attempt to make the players laugh (from hidden booby traps to the inclusion of family members and celebrities appearing).
Beginning in 2007, the bet portion setting up the game was discarded, thus all five cast-members would participate. Production value also increased heavily to add to the atmosphere of whatever predicament the players would be in.
This first game where all five participate takes place in a hospital with the cast having to be nurses (female nurses, that is). The situation was rather unique in that Yamasaki had just been hospitalized prior to the taping for enteritis. At the time the game was taped, Endo was married to Chiaki (a tarento who has done a wide-range of entertainment from singing to modeling to voice acting), but the two had just divorced weeks before the special aired.