Television watchers across the country have made Spike TV’s
“Most Extreme Elimination Challenge” one of the most popular shows
on cable. Fans tune in each week to watch everyday Asian folks take
part in crazy, physical challenges set to truly laugh-out-loud,
though purposefully inaccurate, English dubbing.
“MXC” is a hilarious blend of “American Gladiators,” “Mystery
Science Theater 3000″ and “Iron Chef.” However, the real origin of
the show is a little-known – at least to American audiences –
Japanese reality program from the ’80s.
All of the footage shown in “MXC” is taken from the hit Japanese
reality show, “Takeshi’s Castle.” Though not well-known to American
audiences, “Takeshi’s Castle” was a big hit for the Tokyo
Broadcasting System from 1985 to 1990.
Beat Takeshi, a man referred to by “MXC” publicist David Schwarz
as “the Clint Eastwood of Japan,” hosted the original show. Takeshi
has been renamed Vic Romano for “MXC” and is voiced by co-writer
Takeshi’s Castle Online said that in each episode a character by
the name of General Lee rounds up 100 volunteers to participate in
various challenges and attempt to remain in the game long enough to
eventually try and take over the fortress of Takeshi’s castle.
This same Web site reported that the show was so popular that
that two Japanese video games were made back in the ’80s based on
it. Players could guide a character through obstacles such “Sinkers
One of the most probable questions someone viewing “MXC” might
ask is, “What were these people competing for on the original
The prizes, Schwarz said, “were not very lucrative” and included
such rewards as “oven mitts and trays of food.”
According to Schwarz, “Takeshi’s Castle” was first discovered as
a gateway to “MXC” when Paul Abeyta and Peter Kaikko of R.C.
Entertainment ran across some footage of the show and decided it
would be funny to create a new TV program based on it.
“They put a quartet together and got to working on this crazy
show,” he said.
This quartet includes the writing and vocal talents of
Christopher Darga, Victor Wilson, Mary Scheer and John
Mary Oldenburg of USA Today reports that Abeyta and Kaikko
possess the rights to the 130 hours of “Takeshi’s Castle,” which
could make possible the creation of around 500 episodes of “Most
Extreme Elimination Challenge.”
Despite that fact that “MXC” depicts Japanese people making
fools of themselves, Spike TV has not received insulted
“The show doesn’t make one single reference to Asians,” Schwarz
said. “It makes fun of everyone else besides Asians. We have not
received one single (angry) letter or phone call.”
Schwarz said he believes the appeal of “MXC” is twofold.
“The show works on two levels: It is funny to watch the
different stunts and it is so well-written,” he said. “I can’t say
enough about the four writers.”