Japanese game shows and variety shows are delightful in their absurdity, and far superior to their American counterparts. It’s quite easy to find yourself in the YouTube rabbit hole of Japanese game shows for hours, and on Monday plenty of people found themselves doing just that because of the revelation of the show “Slippery Stairs,” which blew up when video of the show hit Twitter early Monday morning.
That 2:20 clip of the show is great, but it doesn’t even do justice to the full version, which, thankfully, can be found on YouTube. The general concept of six people trying to climb up a set of lubed up stairs (we’ll get to this process shortly) is so fantastically simple that it’s hard to understand why it took so long for this to become a televised event. While hilarious to watch, the mental and physical stress placed on the participants is downright cruel, as you can see them slipping into madness every time they tumble down the stairs.
The first thing you’ll notice is the guy in the red suit is really good at this game. He’s regularly near the very top, but because “Slippery Stairs” is a viciously cruel game, he does not win. By my count, red suit guy tumbles from the upper section of the stairs four times (including his first fall from just above the middle flat spot. Each time it’s more brutal than the last.
There’s his first foray to the top, which ends with him perilously close to the prize only to see him crash back to the bottom, taking out the rest of his competitors on the way down.
Before we move on to his next crushing defeat, I want you to notice the two people dumping more lube into the giant faucets on either side of the prize. These agents of chaos show up every time someone nears the finish line. They are pure evil.
The next failure for our guy in red comes at the hands of the yellow competitor, who drags him down at the very end, causing both to crash to the bottom.
He was there. He had it. But “Slippery Stairs” is a dirty game and yellow suit guy isn’t about to just let you take home that title. Back to the bottom they all go.
However, our hero in red would not be denied just yet. Despite three falls from the upper level, including a pair at the absolute top, he returned to the climb. This time, facing off against green suit. The result would be the same.
Red suit was on the top level yet again, grasping at the treasure chest, when his right leg got yanked out from under him by green suit to send them both crashing back to the bottom. That proved to be the final blow to red suit both physically and mentally.
Green suit then finds himself getting, briefly, some karmic justice at the hands of yellow suit when they meet at the top on the next run.
I’m still not sure why yellow suit, who has position, doesn’t just go for the prize himself, but who am I to question a “Slippery Stairs” participant when I’ve never dealt with the mental and physical rigors of such a competition. If you’ll notice on the right, blue suit manages to avoid the crash and is left with an open lane to the top. Glory is near inches away, but he gets taken out by the devil’s assistants in the back, pouring more and more lube onto the course.
After blue guy crashes, the camera pans to the crowd reactions, which are amazing. Most notably, this gentleman who appears to be shirtless and wearing a cowboy hat. I won’t even bother asking questions.
In the end, green suit emerges victorious, conquering the diabolical course. The look on his face in the aftermath is not one of excitement, but of relief. “Slippery Stairs” is mercifully over.
There is no competition like “Slippery Stairs.” It’s impossible not to laugh while you watch, but when you dig deeper than the hilarious surface, you find the evil, sadistic nature of the game. Green suit will never be the same after his victory, but neither will red suit after a soul-crushing defeat.