Ladders go back a long way, in more senses than one. The earliest reference to the concept in a western language appears to be in an early Jesuit Japanese-Portuguese dictionary which has the phrase xichŏni cacuru (shichou ni kakeru, in the bungo form kakuru).
Despite this long history, ladders never cease to entertain. We found this amusing one recently to add the long list of ladder specials we already have. It's maybe not the most amusing ladder (see later) but it was a coincidence that we talked about it just before looking at The 39 Steps in the DVD shop. It's a slightly unusual case of a ladder with a bit of Hitchockian suspsense that can go two ways (both failing).
The ladder here was played by Yoda Norimoto in 1988. The "laddee" was Ohira Shuzo. The played out ladder is shown on the next page for reference.