The band originally formed in 1955 at the end of the first jazz boom in Japan under the name the Cuban Cats. Signed to Watanabe Productions, their performances mixed music and comic bits, in the spirit of Frankie Sakai and the City Slickers, so they soon changed their name to the Crazy Cats. At the end of 1950s, the main members were Hana, Tani, Ueki, Inuzuka, Yasuda, and Ishibashi; Sakurai joined in 1960 and Ishibashi left in 1971. They became nationally famous by appearing in the television show Otona no manga starting in 1959. Starting in 1961, they co-starred in the variety show Soap Bubble Holiday (Shabondama Horidē), performing in skits written by Yukio Aoshima, who later became governor of Tokyo. Their 1961 song, Sudara-bushi, sung by Ueki, was a major hit, and led to seven consecutive appearances on NHK's Kohaku Utagassen starting in 1962. Their popularity also led to a series of films produced at the Toho Studios, the most famous of which was the "Musekinin Otoko" or "Irresponsible Man" series featuring Ueki as a salaryman using the easy route up the corporate ladder.