This Slippery Stairs Game Show Is Exactly as Hilarious as It Sounds

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You've heard all about the myth of Sisyphus: Some poor guy is doomed to push a boulder up a hill, but the boulder rolls down the hill, so he does it again. And again. Forever. Moody French people wrote long essays about it; moody ex's of yours made gratuitous references to it. But Sisyphus is old news, and the new internet generation needs its own allegory. Now we finally have it.

When crushed by absurdity, don't say you feel like Sisyphus: Say you feel like a Japanese game show contestant in a bodysuit trying to climb lube-covered stairs. Sure it's a mouthful, but at least it'll add some variety to the inescapable ennui.

Naturally we have Japanese television to thank for this, in particular a show called All-StarThanksgiving. Apparently this competition/quiz/variety show is broadcast twice a year and has been since 1991, so it's something of an institution. That really puts how tame our own celebrations are in perspective. The weirdest Thanksgiving ever gets for us is the occasional dancing shark at the Super Bowl halftime show. 

If you don't have all day to watch strangers fail to accomplish arbitrary tasks, jump to 4:40. A contestant in red and a contestant in yellow actually make it near the top of the staircase, which has seemed all but impossible. They're neck-and-neck and moving weirdly gently. Then yellow gets nervous about his chances and hooks his arm around red, causing red to slide between his legs, and they manage to take every other contestant with them on their way down. This is sport at its most thrilling.

If you have the nine minutes to spare, check out the whole clip (shown above) for similarly hilarious fails before one contestant finally reaches the top. Oh, and then maybe call your television provider and demand we get this in the States.

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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist who has not finished that essay yet. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.