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MXC
MXC logo.png
Format Comedy
Starring Victor Wilson
Christopher Darga
John Cervenka
Mary Scheer
Opening theme Firebrand by Bumblefoot
Country of origin USA
No. of episodes 81 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time approx. 20 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Spike
Picture format 480i
Original run April 13, 2003 – February 9, 2007
External links
Official website


MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge) is an American comedy television program that aired on Spike TV from 2003 to 2007. MXC is a re-edit of footage from the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle which aired in Japan from 1986 to 1989. The re-edit created a new storyline, as a dub was added that centered on the game show hosts narrating the action as people tried to win points for their teams by surviving through different challenges. In the original program Takeshi's Castle, the characters Kenny and Vic are actually a count named Takeshi and his assistant creating challenges in order to fight off an opposing military leader and his troops.

MXC was produced by RC Entertainment, Inc. in Los Angeles, California, and is the property of both Tokyo Broadcasting System and RC Entertainment. The special episode Almost Live, is the property of Viacom International, which was filmed in the United States by the producers of MXC. In addition to this, MXC's distributor is Magnolia Home Entertainment.

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 episode premiered in February 2007, completing the series that spanned five seasons, or 81 episodes. It is unlikely that any more episodes will be produced.

Contents

Production

In 1999, two aspiring producers named Victor Wilson and John Cervenka came up with the idea of producing a comedy based show that centered around dubbing an out-dated foreign television program. After searching for a television show to make it into their own, they kept coming back to the consistent content of the Japanese game show called Takeshi's Castle. After struggling to try and come up with a way to accommodate the clips to a written script, they finally came up with the idea to edit together clips before writing the script. This gave them the ability to base the script on the actions of the characters on the screen.

In January of 2001, Cervenka and Wilson created a ten minute sample of what they wanted their show to be, they pitched the idea to Spike TV in January of 2001 (Then called "The Nashville Network", or TNN for short). Spike picked up the show, and told them to make a full season of 12 episodes. On April 13, 2003, the premier episode of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge aired on Spike TV. The immense response that the show received was stunning to both Spike and the producers of The Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Due to the long name of the show, the show was cut down to the initials "MXE" for the purposes of being able to fit in the small spaces given for the TV guide. During the second season, the initials given to TV guide were MXC, even though the title of the show still remained Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. The show garnered an expansive audience that included fans of all-ages, and all walks of life. This fan-base included noted names such as former President and first lady Bill and Hillary Clinton[1], as well as world-famous skate-boarding champion Tony Hawk, who actually appears in the Almost Live special episode filmed in the United States.

In the show, the contestants' names were usually names of celebrities, network bosses, or family members and friends of the producers or voice actors. Several recurring names appear in the show, the most common family name is Babaganoosh, being that the producers of MXC were given short deadlines for producing episodes giving them limited time to write the scripts. Babaganoosh comes from Cervenka, his family being from the middle-east where Baba ghanoush is the name of an eggplant dish from that region.

During the production of the show, the network bosses stated that they did not want Cervenka and Wilson to repeat games from episode to episode, but Cervenka and Wilson ignored this, knowing that fan-favorite games would keep fans interested in the series. Some fan-favorite and recurring games include the games Log Drop, Wall Bangers, Dope on a Rope, Rotating Surfboard of Death, and Sinkers and Floaters, amongst many others. Due to the immense reception of MXC in the United States, several of the original Japanese actors whose acting careers were failing at the time MXC aired in the United States got massive career re-boots because of the MXC fan-base in the United States.

While the basic premise of MXC is that of a legitimate game show, it's true premise is that of a comedy, that is not intended to be taken literally. All background audio in MXC is added by an audio technician, leaving none of the original audio from Takeshi's Castle in MXC. MXC's script is completely unrelated to the original Japanese dialogue, in which Wilson and Cervenka stated that they specifically intended for the dialogue in the show to have nothing to do with Japanese or Asian culture. The only Japanese related term used for the show was the name "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge", which has a Japanese-like feel. Both producers openly admitted that they had no knowledge of what the contestants or actors were originally saying during the filming of Takeshi's Castle. In MXC's script, the dialogue is usually based on sexual puns, pop culture, or mocking various celebrities, athletes, sports announcers, and politicians. Contestants are given names and occupations based on their team and physical appearance. 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 multiple episodes of Takeshi's Castle, and occasionally the same footage, including challenges, will be used in multiple episodes with different character names and 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.

Show format

MXC is personified as a game show that is hosted by the eccentric characters Vic Romano and Kenny Blankenship, along with the field marshal Captain Tenneal and the field reporter Guy LeDouche. Usually, two or three teams of contestants compete in several turn-based and head-to-head challenges. The only episode done without a competitive team base was the first episode ever made, which was simply centered around the stereotypical antics of college girls. Even though this was the first episode made[2], it was the seventh episode of season one to air. Most other competitive teams do not truly have a real-life rivalry (eg. Season 1, Episode 2 "Donors vs Addicts"), while others such as Democrats vs. Republicans vs. Third Party do.

The contestants compete in a variety of challenges, usually four per episode, but occasionally as many as six. The challenges are extremely hard, and a majority of the contestants fail to complete the challenges. Through-out the show, painful failures to complete challenges are reviewed by Vic and Kenny in the "MXC Impact Replay", which is essentially a sports themed playback feature. Occasionally, the Impact Replay is used for Kenny's pleasure, in looking at the female contestants, items, or random events in the series which he finds funny or disappointing. Contestants who do complete a challenge earn one or two points for their team. The team with the most points at the end of the episode wins the competition. At the end of each episode, Kenny counts down the ten most "Painful Eliminations of the Day," which usually focuses on the events shown in the Impact Replay, but sometimes includes random events that involved the main or recurring characters.

Special US episode

On April 22, 2004, 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.

Three other special episodes have aired including the special nighttime episode, the monsters vs mascots episode, and the special winter episode. All of these special episodes were from season 2.

Characters

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.

Main characters

  • Vic Romano (named after a character from a single episode of Miami Vice) is the co-host and play-by-play commentator. In Takeshi's Castle, Vic's character is Count Takeshi himself, the main character of the show. In MXC, Vic is level-headed, has a dark past of alcohol abuse, failed marriages, and 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," and "Indeed!," usually in response to Kenny's commentary of the action. When the show was filmed in Japan, Vic's character was played by the currently well-known Japanese actor and movie director Takeshi Kitano, which Victor Wilson provides his dub voice.
  • Kenny Blankenship is Vic's co-host and color commentator. Blankenship is a high-school dropout whose uncle owns the network. Kenny's character is very unprofessional about hosting, far less serious about the job then Vic's character is. Despite his non-professional stand-point, he claims to make ten times the amount that Vic does because of his uncle being one of the network bosses. Kenny has also been stated to own a condo complex from all the money that he earns from hosting, and drives a Volkswagen Jetta. During hosting, Kenny usually spends his time commenting on the sexual appeal of the female competitors. Kenny's character was originally played by comedian Sonomanma Higashi, and his dub voice was provided 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 usually declares "Well, you're wrong!", but on one occasion actually agreed with the contestants. 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 as "gee" in "geezer") 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", "Gawp", and "Gawk", 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).

Recurring characters

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 Glands (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. The original actor is actually the early 1980's J-Pop star Michiru Jo, he is notably skinny, and his lack of appealing physique is often played for laughs, and emphasized by his voice actor who adopts a nasal, nerdy tone.
  • Skanky is a sixteen-foot samurai who punishes contestants that fail to complete the "Wall Bangers" 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, as well as a play on the pornographic film term "m on m", or man on man) is an apparently-gay set of twin rappers 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 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 a fire-extinguisher in "Buck Off!"
  • The Zygote Brothers are the identical characters which appear in the game Dash to Death. They attempt to distract the contestant an knock them into the water as they run through the obstacle course.

Though uncredited, Jamie Alcroft was the announcer for the first four episodes of MXC before Cervenka took over that role.

DVD release

Season One

A two-disc DVD set, containing the first season episodes, was released on October 3, 2006. 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)

Season Two

The second season was released on April 17, 2007.

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

Season Three

Part of the third season was released on DVD on November 6, 2007. The set contained the first half - 13 episodes - of the third season of the show.. Volume Four was released on November 11, 2008, completing the third season.[3]

Special Features (Volume Three Disc One):

  • Original Episode of Takeshi's Castle. (Episode #1)
  • Kenny Blankenship's Top 25 Most Painful Eliminations of the Season.

Special Features (Volume Three Disc Two):

Special Features (Volume Four Disc One):

Season Four

Volume Five of the show was released on the same day as Volume 4.[3] The fifth volume contains every episode of the fourth season, except the "Most Best Of MXC" compilation episodes.

Special Features:

Similar shows

The American gameshow Wipeout on ABC has been accused of being "a blatant copycat" of shows such as Takeshi's Castle and MXC, and a copyright infringement lawsuit has been filed by TBS against ABC.[4] Among the charges is that ABC purchased search terms such as "MXC" on Google to drive traffic to Wipeout.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Audio Commentary for Season 1, episode 11
  2. ^ DVD Audio Commentary for Season 1, Episode 7
  3. ^ a b http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Extreme-Elimination-Challenge-Volumes-4-and-5/9880
  4. ^ Tokyo Broadcasting System Survives First Elimination Round in Lawsuit Against ABC's "Wipeout", The Hollywood Reporter, 13 August 2009.
  5. ^ "???!???????!TBS??ABC???" (in Japanese). 2008-10-07. http://www.sanspo.com/geino/news/081007/gnj0810071200020-n1.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 

External links








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