MXC is an American comedy television program that airs on Spike. It is a redubbing of the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle, which aired from 1986 to 1989.
For the first two seasons, MXC was an initialism for the show's former title: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Early commercials in 2003 promoted the show as just Most Extreme Elimination with the initials MXE.
The last new episode premiered in February 2007, and no word has been made at this time whether any more new episodes will be produced.
On April 13
, Spike (then called "The National Network" or "The New TNN") began airing a comedy-oriented dub of Takeshi's Castle
called Most Extreme Elimination Challenge
. This version features voice-actors from the Groundlings
comedy troupe, dubbing over both regular characters and participants; no serious effort is made to lip-synch, though at least some effort is taken to match the dub to gestures and other subtle body movements.
is a "game show," hosted by Vic Romano and Kenny Blankenship, in which two or three teams of contestants compete in several turn-based and head-to-head challenges. While some matchups, such as Democrats
vs. Third Party
, have a real life meaning, most of them, such as Inventors
vs. Ex-Child Actors
, and Malcontents
vs. baked goods
The contestants compete in a variety of challenges, usually four, but occasionally as many as six. The challenges are extremely hard (MXC's tagline is "the World's Most Toughest Competition in Town"), and a majority of the contestants fail them. Failed attempts which look especially painful or ridiculous are highlighted via the "MXC Impact Replay." Contestants who do complete a challenge earn one or two points for their respective team. The team with the most points at the end of the program wins the competition. At the end of each show, Kenny counts down the ten most "Painful Eliminations of the Day," which usually focus on the action from the show itself (especially from the Impact Replays) but sometimes include highlights from the various goings-on around the competition (some of them involving reporter Guy LeDouche, or even the hosts themselves).
While the basic premise of MXC is that of a legitimate game show, it is actually more of a comedy program. Much of the dialogue is unrelated to the original competition itself and is instead based on pop culture, mocking various celebrities, athletes, sports announcers, and politicians. Contestants are given names and occupations based on their team and physical appearance. MXC replaces most of the original audio from Takeshi's Castle, including adding a background of cheering audiences, voicing any incidental characters (though in some scenes, especially contestant interviews, quiet Japanese dialogue may sometimes still be heard), and adding any sound effects required for the scene. In addition, the various challenges are all given humorous names, such as "Sinkers & Floaters" or "Wall Bangers." The footage for a single episode of MXC can come from more than one episode of Takeshi's Castle, and occasionally the same footage, including challenges, will be used in multiple episodes with different dialogue. Unlike international editions of Takeshi's Castle, the original text that appeared on screen is left as is mostly uncovered, and sometimes the characters will play off of it.
Special US episode
On April 22
, Spike TV aired a special edition of the show to start the third season, featuring skateboarder Tony Hawk
and snowboarder Tara Dakides
. The special was taped at the Universal Orlando Resort
in Orlando, Florida
using students from nearby colleges and appropriately dubbed MXC Almost Live
. The special edition is not based on the original Takeshi's Castle
footage but only has some added in for Vic, Ken, the Captain and Guy LeDouche. Actors were hired to play those who would replace the roles of the latter two, named "Major Babe" (Michelle Sorrell) and "Gip LeDouche" (Eric Esteban). While everyone in the episode is American, everything said by any contestants besides Hawk and Dakides is still dubbed. This episode also featured an appearance by Japanese punk band Peelander-Z
, who performed the song "S.T.E.A.K."
Most of the characters and contestants on MXC
are voiced by the producers and series' writers: Victor Wilson
, Christopher Darga
, John Cervenka
, and Mary Scheer
- Vic Romano (named after a character from the Miami Vice episode "Streetwise" who was played by Bill Paxton) is the co-host and play-by-play commentator. He is level-headed, has a dark past of alcohol abuse, failed marriages, various addictions and generally treats MXC as a serious competition. Vic was once also a professional baseball player who became addicted to "everything", including every type of drug, alcohol, and easy women. He once was an airline pilot during his stint of alcohol abuse, but states, "Luckily, nobody noticed". Notable catch phrases include "Right you are Ken", "Indeed!", and "Good to know." He is played by the well-known Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano and voiced by Victor Wilson.
- Kenny Blankenship is the other co-host and color commentator. Blankenship is a light-hearted high-school dropout whose uncle owns the network. He thinks mostly about "chicks, pizza and beer." He is played by comedian Sonomanma Higashi and voiced by Christopher Darga.
- Captain Tenneal, whose name comes from the 1970s musical act Captain & Tennille, is the field marshal who conducts the contestants through each challenge with a sharp "Get it on!" Near the beginning of each MXC episode, he is seen addressing the contestants as a group, asking whether some broad assertion relating to one of the topics in the episode is true. After the contestants raise their hands to show agreement, the Captain declares "You're wrong!", because he is the Captain. After further explanation and give-and-take with individual contestants, he bellows "Let's go!" and leads the contestants forward to begin playing the games. Captain Tenneal is played by Hayato Tani and voiced by John Cervenka.
- Guy LeDouche (pronounced "gi") is the field reporter. He is portrayed wearing a pith helmet, and his personality is that of a creepy French guy who hits on every contestant he interviews (both male and female). He has other family member interviewers who show the same behavior, such as "Lyndon" (which plays off wacky political figure Lyndon LaRouche), "Geek", "Giddy", "Gip," "Goon", and "Gawp", along with females named "Gay", "Grandma", "Gab", "Gin" , "Gidget" and "Gal". Guy is played by Shingo Yanagisawa and the family is voiced by John Cervenka (male) and Mary Scheer (female).
The following are characters who have established a semi-consistent name. However, their names may change to fit in with a show's theme or style of game.
- Danny Glans (a play on words of long-time Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans) is an MXC staffer who works in many of the games. His primary responsibilities include asking questions in "Finger It" (later renamed "Hand Job"), knocking down contestants in "Brass Balls", and launching the soccer balls in "Dirty Balls." Also known as Jimmy Junk, Golden Shower Boy, and Barry Sosa. Played onscreen by J-Pop star Michiru Jo, he is notably skinny, and his physical unimpressiveness is often played for laughs, and emphasized by his voicer who adopts a nasal, nerdy tone.
- Skanky is a sixteen-foot monster who punishes contestants that fail to complete the "Wallbangers" game.
- Chief Otto Parts (a parody of the Chief Auto Parts auto supply store chain) is a Native American who taunts the contestants in "Rotating Surfboard of Death."
- Em on Em (a spoof of rapper Eminem) are apparently-gay set of twins dressed in rainbow ponchos and bowler hats. Main games include "Tumbling Dominos of Doom" and "Irritable Bowl Syndrome." Also known as "Babe and Ruth" and "Bud and Pud." They are played by identical twins Shoji and Shoichi Kinoshita. In one of the episodes, there was a contestant named Marshall Mathers, the real name of Eminem.
- The Babaganoosh Family is a family of contestants from the Middle East who appear in nearly every episode.
- The Brown Spider taunts contestants in various games, including "Wall Buggers" and "Dash to Death." Usually played by Brad Lesley.
- Herbie the Steaming Pile is a strange, brown creature who taunts and sprays fallen contestants with steam in "Buck Off!"
Though uncredited, Jamie Alcroft was the announcer for the first four episodes of MXC before Cervenka took over that role.
The challenges in MXC
derive directly from the challenges in Takeshi's Castle
, each renamed for humorous purposes, frequently using double entendre
or other puns. While each game has its own goal, the general rule for most is to avoid falling into the surrounding mud or murky water, renamed "safety fluid" or "Septic Sludge" for the show, and identified as any number of repulsive substances,usually related to the episode's contestants (i.e: foamy bucket swash from the Cutman's Corner in the Pro-Wrestling episode) often provided by the fictional "Hot Carl". (NOTE: Some of the games have more than one title; all the titles are shown here as a reference.)
- A Mazing Grace: All contestants must get through a giant maze. The team with the most contestants through wins.
- Athlete's Feet: Contestants have to find a pair of matching shoes and get across a giant 375 degree baking sheet. The team with the most contestants through in the allotted time wins.
- Backyard Bocce Ball Bloodbath: Numerous golden balls are hidden in a garden. The team who finds the most balls wins.
- Ball Busters: The object of the game is to try to get down the first base line with out getting beaned by Donny 'Big Hands' Johnson. Contestants are placed in giant baseball suits and have to walk across a narrow lane while avoiding three giant baseballs tossed by an MXC staffer.
- Bird Droppings: Caw! Caw! Caca! Contestants wear bird outfits and are flown in the air with a zipline. They must grab a pink rabbit with their feet and drop it into a bird's nest, all while avoiding the soccer balls being shot at them.
- Boulder Dash: Based on the Swedish avalanche game "Flatternoogin", the object is to run up the long chute and pass several stones without getting painfully eliminated. Contestants must run through a long chute and reach the top while avoiding the large boulders that roll down the chute. There are numerous slits for the contestants to hide in, but guards will push them out. They are allowed to keep moving until they are knocked down by a boulder.
- Brass Balls: Now the object of the game is for contestants to grab a golden ball and get across the rickety bridge without getting you or your balls shot off by our trained assassins. Contestants must carry a golden soccer ball across a narrow bridge. At the same time, the guards will attempt to knock you off with their soccer balls.
- Buck Off!: Stay on the bucking horntoad and shoot down the bloodsucking hairless pink bat. Contestants get on a rodeo toad and must shoot down a pink bat.
- Bunk Buddies/Roulective Surgery/Cruelette - Each contestant grabs a colored chip, if your color comes up you're on the bottom. – Danny Glans S1E04
- Bust-a-Nut: Contestants put on a giant nut suit and must hop across a twisty path with their legs tied up.
- Character Assassination/Battlefeltch Earth
- Cheeze Squeezers/Cut the Cheese
- Chum in the Mouth: Contestants ride a foam board down a conveyor belt, and must duck or jump foam "sharks" to avoid being tossed into the water.
- Circle Jerkers: Contestants pick a small colored ball from a mystery box, and wrestle sumo-style against the MXC staffer whose uniform corresponds to their ball color. The Blue Veiner, The Purple Package, The Blood Blister, the Green Tea Bagger (Brad Lesley) and Golden Shower Boy (Danny Glands) are a few of the possible opponents.
- Clear Sphere of Fear - You must navigate your way through the maze while avoiding the Skulls of Doom in the hermetically sealed capsule before the oxygen runs out. – Vic Romano
- Corn Holders - The same concept as 'Eat Shitake', only the mushroom is replaced by a large corn cob.
- Crate Escape, The
- Crossing the Poo-tomac/Crossing the Pee-O Grande
- The Dash to Death - The object of this challenge is to get across the obstacle course of challenges without getting dashed to death. – Vic Romano
The obstacles include avoiding 3 "Zygotes," and a boulder from above. Next, competitors must negotiate the Grinder (a revolving wheel with foam arms containing fake blades on the ends that must be skipped over), then jump onto a trampoline (called the "Ejaculator") and launch into a pit of "contraceptive sponges." Next, avoid the "Angry Red Dragon" (a large red ball with a dragon face on it), and then jump into a second pit of contraceptive sponges. Once out of the pit, avoid a man named "Sporky" in a jail cell that harasses players and jump onto a revolving wheel (the Spinner) over the fluid. Jump from the Spinner intoa third pit of contraceptive sponges, then jump onto a platform. Next comes the Nards of Doom (3 balls, brown, blue, then red that must be avoiding), a rope swing over the fluid to a floating mat, and finally, a small climb up onto a ledge.
- Dead End Zone - Similar to football, the contestants attempt to run into the endzone without being tackled.
- Dead Letter Zone
- Dead Men Walking
- Door Jam or Door Jammed (a/k/a Legal Maze - Find a loophole in the system and get out on a technicality, but make a wrong turn and you're sent up the river. – Vic Romano – S1E04; a/k/a In & Outhouse)
- Door Slammers/Great Holes of Glory - Contestants must find the correct opening and pop through it, hopefully without much residual tearing. – Vic Romano; Wrong door and you may get a mouthful of mud! – Kenny Blankenship
- Dope on a Rope - The object is to grab the rope and swing from point A to point B without landing in mystery sludge C. – Vic Romano
- Dirty Muddy Balls/Mudballs/Dry Balls/Highballers/Catch Hell - Trash through the sludge, snatch the orb in the air, and keep your balls sparkly clean. – Vic Romano
- Eat Shitake - This game is based on one by Hobbits which combines the light-hearted frivolity of fungus flying with the horror of drowning. – Vic Romano. Contestants grab hold of a giant foam mushroom (with or without the aid of a rope) which is attached to a rope pulley over water. Contestants must maintain hold of the mushroom while being spun and pulled over the water, and finally land on a target, without falling into the water.
- Elimination Idol - Contestants try to impress two judges in this parody of American Idol by singing rather disturbing songs.
- Endangering Species - Contestants control a soccer-ball launcher and try to shoot the 'heads' off people dressed up as wild animals.
- Finger It
- Foul Balls/Spit Balls
- Frigid Slope of Icy Death - From the Arctic episode. Contestants ride an inflatible sled down a icy chute. The contestant scores for his/her team if he/she reaches the end without falling off the sled.
- Gang Plankers/Swamp Gassers -
- Get a Piece - This is the game where our contestants try to reassemble the original animated cells from the beloved family classic Jungle Book Fever. – Vic Romano
- Get Hard - The competition is gonna get a lot stiffer, why? Because our automotive and dairy teamers must crawl through 18 million cubic feet of quick drying cement and get to the other side before they get hard. – Vic Romano – S1E03
- Great Escape from Foster Care
- Hand Job/Wet Spot - The first player to smack the right answer wins the round for their team. – Vic Romano – S1E04. Contestants are dressed in giant foam hands and placed in a square with numbers on the ground. A question is asked by the announcers; contestants must be the first to fall on the right answer.
- Impassable Stones of Mount McKidney - The object is to get up the hill and squeeze by me and my asteroids while we pelt you with giant stones. – Commander Penetrant
- Intestinal Fortitude - Contestants travel down an enclosed tunnel and have to try to land on a platform suspended in the fluid.
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome (a/k/a Hot Steaming Bowl of Love) - Stay in the bowl, slide down the slope without getting flushed. – Vic Romano. Contestants are placed in a giant bowl and pushed down a steep water slide. Contestants must stay upright in the bowl the entire way, from the first push to when they land in the pool.
- Jerk and Release (a/k/a Porking The Barrel)
- Le Tour de Grand Prix (Or as Kenny Blankenship calls it "The Tower of Grand Pricks") Contestants must navigate a challenging course consisting of challenges such as tilting ramps, the narrow Camshaft Alley, and The Widowmaker turn on tricycles. First contestant to pass the finish line wins points for their team.
- Little Man in the Boat - Climb on top, go for a little ride, but don't stop in time and you'll deal with this guy. – Vic Romano. Contestants crawl onto a foam surfboard and push themselves down a series of rollers. At the end of the rollers is a small section (about 3 feet) marked "GOAL"; if they stop in this section, they win. If they stop before this section, they are pushed off the surfboard into the water surrounding the rollers by a man in the water known as "The Diddler"; if they do not stop in time, they fall off the rollers into the water.
- Log Drop - Contestants must scamper across the spinning timbers without getting dumped.; The premise of Log Drop is simple: stay dry good, get wet bad. – Vic Romano (a/k/a Congressional Log Jam). A series of giant spinning logs are placed over a body of water; contestants must jump from one side of the logs to the other without falling off. This game produces some of the most painful eliminations in the series.
- Loogie Launch - Contestants travel down a waterslide on a raft and have to try to get onto the platforms floating in the fluid below.
- Mine Games - Contestants wear a large mine costume and run down a gradual slope to the finish line. A character named Bobbin Swabbin stands at the finish line with his back to the players. When he turns around, all of the players must freeze in place.
- Mud Butlers - In this event each player must tap an inflated goat bladder with a meat mallet, and then run down the steps of doom and attempt to catch the swollen orb before it lands in the bog of mystery mud. – Vic Romano
- Muddy Runs
- Nut Baggers (or as many fans like to call it, Salty Nut Sackers)
- Palm It - See Hand Job
- Pie in the Sky
- Plank Spankers
- Pole Riders - Now the object of the game is easy. Just firmly grip the head of the shaft and go from one end to the other without getting wet. – Vic Romano. Pole vault across the mystery fluid and land on a floating raft.
- Prison Break/Get Over It/Wall of Hidden Blistering Death/Hosin' The Ho's/Slippery Slope of Slanted Death - The team that gets the most members over the wall and down the slippery slope of death and into our soothing safety sludge is the winner. – Vic Romano
- Rotating Surfboard of Death - Catch a wave, dodge the dolphin, or die. – Vic Romano (a/k/a Rotating Surfboard of Political Suicide). Contestants step onto large surfboard on a rotating arm over the pool of mystery fluid, and ride it for single complete revolution. There are three obstacles they must jump or climb over, and then land back on the surfboard, or else fall into the fluid. At the end of the complete revolution, they step back onto the starting point.
- Rump Bumpers - Bump rump without being dumped in the sump. – Vic Romano
- Runaway Stump - Players must keep their balance while riding the log without falling into the mystery sludge – Vic Romano
- Sack Lunch/Bagel Bumpers
- Saddle Sores - Contestants participate in a horse race. Everyone who falls down is "humanely destroyed".
- Shaft Grabbers (renamed Mounting the Spike in the Spike TV premiere special)
- Sinkers & Floaters - Contestants must skip across the slippery stones without swallowing a mouthful of sludge. – Vic Romano. Contestants run across a pit of sludge on stones, some of which are secured-and thus stable-and some of which are simply floating (a/k/a Rock The Moat). This game also produces some of the most painful eliminations in the series.
- Skid Markers - Players must take a giant paintbrush and paint an assigned picture on a giant slippery canvs in the alloted time.
- Slipped Disks of Doom
- Sno Man's Land - The same principle of 'sinkers and floaters', but on snowman's heads.
- Sorry, Wrong Number/One and One Make Number Two
- Spare Me/Pinheads
- Sperm Wheelers: Contestants bicycle along a narrow, winding path in a whale-shaped bike, and must avoid falling off the path or getting knocked down by objects thrown at them.
- Sprayed and Neutered
- Staff Infectors
- Survivor: Seaman Island
- Swish Bucklers - The game is taken from an old pirate drinking game popular among alternate lifestyle pirates. – Vic Romano – S1E03 A/K/A The Giant G-String of Doom/Hook Line and Swingers/Drop Dead Line.
- Take a Leek
- Teetering Temple of Crippling Doom/Tumbling Dominoes of Doom/Nerve Racketeering Slabs of Death - Don't get caught between the two-ton tiles or you'll get crushed and suffer permanent and irreversible death. – Vic Romano
- Turtle Gut Check/Turtle Hurdlers - Contestants must beat an MXC guard across a trail of floating "turtles" to the other side and "rescue" the two women on the other side.
- Wall Bangers/Frozen Wallbangers - Choose the right door and you're on the road to victory, but choose the wrong one, and you belong to Skanky! – Vic Romano. Contestants run along a course on which there are four walls. Each wall has four closed doors. One of each of the doors is closed with paper, the other three are solid, or sometimes paper with a net behind the paper. Pick the correct door to break through and continue the course. If you pick the wrong door, you either bang into a solid wall or Skanky falls on you.
- Wall Buggers/The Sticky Stuff Of Love/Window Pain/The Flailing Wall - One wall, one insect, they bugger it! – Vic Romano (Wall Buggers); Contestants swing across the moat and press themselves firmly against the glass. – Vic Romano. Like a bug on a windshield! – Kenny Blankenship (Window Pain)
- Yank My Dinghy - Get dragged through the sewage soaked waters of Elimination Bay, through a series of deadly obstacles, and onto the Platform of Pleasure. – Vic Romano S1E10 (also in the Animation Premiere and Spike TV hour-long specials)
- Yankin' It/Yank 'Em
A two-disc DVD set, containing the first season episodes, was released on October 3
. It includes several bonus materials, such as:
- An original Takeshi's Castle episode (viewable with English subtitles, or an English announcer)
- Kenny Blankenship's Most Painful Eliminations of the Season
- Original MXC sales presentation to the network
- Audio commentary by the producers and voice actors (featured on episode 1, episode 7, and episode 12)
The second season was released on April 17
The episode entitled "Monster Edition - Real Monsters vs. Product Mascots" is heavily edited on this two-disc set. The episode has a running time of 11 minutes and 19 seconds, as opposed to the rest of the episodes on the disc, which have a running time of 20 minutes and 5 seconds. No official reason for the editing has been given, although it is most likely because the cut scenes involved copyrighted characters from Ultraman and Astro Boy. (See Ultra Series#Licensing rights dispute)
Special Features (Disc One):
Special Features (Disc Two):
- Kenny Blankenship's Top 25 Most Painful Eliminations of the Season.
- Behind-the-Scenes of MXC
Part of the third season was released on DVD on November 6
. The set is incomplete, as it contains only 13 episodes (the complete third season has 26). Also, MXC Almost Live
- the season premier - is omitted. The set is listed on the DVD packaging as "Volume Three", suggesting that a Volume Four would include the rest of the season. Volume Four will be released on November 11
, completing the third season.
- Two original Takeshi's Castle episodes.
Volume Five of the show is released on the same day as Volume 4.