Series / Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

"What are these people running from? They're not. They're running to the world's toughest competition in town!"

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (also called MXC) is an American Gag Dub version of the wacky Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle. It aired on Spike TV from 2003-07. The show recuts each original episode, inserting a new, American-oriented narrative and jokes. Like the original show, the main draw is watching contestants attempt outlandish physical challenges while the hosts provide humorous commentary at their expense.

The premise of the show is changed from an assault on Takeshi's castle to a competition between two teams trying to earn points for their side. The opposing teams, after which the episodes are named, are taken from industries or societal subdivisions, such as "Unemployed vs. Environmentalists" or "Fast Food Workers vs. Aerospace Industry." There are typically four to six challenges, with one team being declared the winner at the end of each half-hour show.

The framing story has Vic Romano and Kenny Blankenship (Takeshi and his assistant) as the hosts of the show, with Captain Tenneal, Guy LeDouche, and a few other characters interacting with the contestants. The hosts often replay particularly bad spills and highlight the most embarrassing or painful-looking eliminations at the end of each episode.

"This show contains examples of the following tropes!" "Right you are, Ken."

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Miss Cleo Warwick suggests Guy does this for his love life while being interviewed after she was caught and thrown out in Door Jam in "Cable TV Workers vs White House Employees."
  • Bait-and-Switch: Arguably invoked by the announcer at the top of "Real Life Mafia vs Video Game Industry". "It's a battle between Goombas... and Gameboys."
  • Bond, James Bond: A promo for Season Four starts off with "LeDouche, Guy LeDouche". Appropriately, one of the episodes that season was "Country Music vs. The World of James Bond".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A brief moment before the commercial after the first half of the Animation Special of season 1.
  • Buffy Speak: Kenny slips into this at times.
    Kenny: Look at that! They're totally bunched up like a peanut nougat-y caramel cluster of candy corn... crunch... ssssstuff.
  • Butt-Monkey: Vic clearly lives a miserable life; see Dark and Troubled Past below.
    • Overlapping with The Chew Toy, the Babaghanoush family always suffers.
  • Brick Joke: Any contestant previously seen in one game that is seen again in another game. Quite a few of these turn up in "Real Monsters vs. Commerical Mascots": the Pusketeer, Uncivil Liberty, the Turdy Brothers, etc.
  • Call-Back: One pops up when contestant Miss Cleo Warwick plays Door Jam in "Cable TV Workers vs. White House Employees."
    Miss Cleo Warwick: I see three men in my future! (Enters the maze in Door Jam)
    Kenny: (Later sees Miss Cleo Warwick caught by the Door Men) Ah! Well, she said she had three guys in her future.
    Vic: Right you are Ken! And she's definitely got three guys!
  • Calvinball: The game rules and amount of points scored are sometimes changed to make things more competitive. Some examples include the Educators being behind 3 to 1 with the final round being worth 3 points (Even though the score is all tied up 2 to 2), the scoring for the first round in the "Romance Industry vs. Firearm Industry" episode has every person who succeeds in Great Holes of Glory receive a point for their team, and the scoring for Buck Off in "The White House Vs. The World" has shooting down the bat as worth 1 point and managing to go the distance, but not bringing down said bat down without getting Bucked off is worth 0.5 points (and getting sprayed by Herbie).
  • Captain Obvious: Kenny has a tendency to point out the obvious when asked how a contestant failed.
    Kenny: Well, here's the problem right here, Vic: He slips. And then he hits his head. If he didn't do that he would've won.
    Vic: Great insight as always, Ken.
  • The Captain: Captain Tenneal. It's unclear what he's a captain of, but he always leads off the games.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Kenny Blankenship is always looking to "score with chicks." He has no success.
  • Casting Couch: When Kenny notes that a female contestant's kneepads didn't help her out, Vic says that they actually got her onto the show in the first place.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "DON'T! GET! ELIMINATED!" which also serves as a Signing-Off Catch-Phrase.
    • Captain Tenneal asks a question of the contestants, they agree with it, then he says "Well, you're WRONG!" He'll always shout "LET'S GO!" before the contestants run off. And at the start of every game, the captain will blow his whistle and shout "Get it on!"
    • Guy LeDouche calling the captain "Skipper" or, and saying "Gee like!" whenever he's aroused, which is all the time.
    • Vic responding to anything Kenny says with "Right you are, Ken." You could almost make a drinking game out of the number of times he says it, especially in later seasons. He might also add "Indeed." Vic might also shout "KENNY!" before slapping Kenny with his paper fan. About every time someone falls over, Vic shouts "OH!" and then usually makes a comment.
    • Kenny has a tendency to say "Yeah!" and "HA!" a lot. Also, during instant replays, he's prone to saying "Right there, Vic!"
  • Clip Show: Two ("Most Best of MXC") in Season Four; these were left off of the DVD release.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: While the hosts are eccentric, the contestants are prone to spouting nonsensical things.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Due to some of the costumes used, the "Real Monsters vs. Commercial Mascots" episode was subject to this for the Season Two DVD release — more than half of the episode was dropped (including the final game Impassible Stones of Mount McKidney, making it appear that no one won) and graphics covered other segments. This is also part of the reason why the episode is not available for download on iTunes. This didn't apply to reruns on Spike TV, though.
  • Crossdressing Voices: The Green Teabagger (at least in Season 5).
  • The Cynic: Captain Tenneal during his questions to the contestants. He's a very chipper one at that. Case in point:
    Captain Tenneal: How many of you think high quality health care should be made available to everybody, regardless of income and ability to pay? Show of hands.
    Everyone: (Raises hands) Yeah!
    Captain Tenneal: Hmmm...you're all wrong; Rich people stay healthy, poor people get sick and die, that's natural selection.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Naturally, played for humor: Vic Romano is a recovering alcoholic. He used to be a network news anchor until his drinking problem derailed his career. He also has three ex-wives (one of which was introduced in "Malcontents vs. Baked Goods"), and in "The Amusement Park Industry vs. the World's Oldest Profession", it's revealed he was once a gigolo.
  • Death Course: Many of the games from Takeshi's Castle; the dub exaggerates the danger for comedic value.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Guy LeDouche seems to go after Anything That Moves, with increasingly bizarre kinks.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Lampshaded during "Sprayed and Neutered":
    Vic: And remember kids: Don't try this at home.
    Kenny: Yeah, do it at your friend's house!
    • Plus this:
    On-screen Disclaimer: [During Kenny's Description of the game "Roadkill"] Don't be even stupider and this at home either.
  • Double Entendre: Half of the show's rapidly-delivered jokes are thin allusions to sex. The other half are Incredibly Lame Puns.
  • Eagleland: In the Former Olympians episode (Season 2), the United States is pitted against the rest of the world. The voiceover and commentary constantly plays up the USA's superiority over the competition; it was billed as "the classic battle between the best versus the rest!"
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season hadn't fully set up the dynamic between Kenny and Vic or their characters. The courses have fake audiences cheering for them, also.
  • Embedded Precursor: The DVDs include a few original episodes of Takeshi's Castle with forced proper English subtitles; they're mostly uncut, though some of the music for the games and a "Street Corner TV" segment are edited out.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The "Squeeze Out the Vote" episode in Season 3 ends with no one scoring. Vic noted this with "Just like in politics, nobody wins."
    • Not one, but two contestants on the show attempted a celebratory backflip and landed directly on their heads.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening credits got more and more elaborate as the seasons went on.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: Used many an episode, for editing purposes only.
  • Fictional Political Party: The "Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Third Party" episode has the majority of the "third party" names made-up, including the Brown Party, the S&M Party, the Wiccan Party, and GILF — all of which failed to score points on the board.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • A Season 5 episode (Greenpeace vs Body Obsessed) has a Brass Balls Contestant who is the President of STEPA which (According to Vic) stands for Sexy Teens for the Ethenical Punishment of Animals.
    • Season 2's "Entertainment Media vs. Unions" has a Irritable Bowl Syndrome contestant who's a union member for NARDS; The National Association for Retired Dangling Swabbers.
  • Funny Foreigner: Guy LeDouche is supposedly French.
  • Gag Dub: Even though the dub retains the on-screen Japanese text and ignores the fact that almost all of the competitors are Asian. One of the three episode commentaries on the Season 1 box set explains that the dubbers, from the beginning, chose not to make jokes that poked fun at Japanese people and culture — sort of a "laughing with them, not at them" situation.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Vic states that a female contestant's kneepads got her a spot on the show.
    • Then there is the guy who makes beef curtains, with the whole interview being chock full of innuendo.
  • Grimy Water: A rare non-video game example. The bodies of brown water that the contestants often fall into are always given disgusting sources, such as runoff from the Tijuana Zoo. Additionally, the water is always referred to as "safety sludge", "septic sludge", "safety fluid", or even "the pool of stools". Once, Ken even admitted that it was just what the water in the area looked like.
  • Halloween Episode/Halloween Special: "Real Monsters vs. Commercial Mascots" (Season 2).
  • Hong Kong Dub: What the actors are saying in no way syncs up with their mouth movements, and only syncs up with how they're moving most of the time. Sometimes the voiceovers can be heard even if the people in the archive footage aren't talking!
  • Hurricane of Puns: The quick descriptions of each contestant often include these.
  • I Have Many Names: Danny Glands AKA Jimmy Junk AKA Golden Shower Boy AKA Barry Sosa.
    • Brad "The Animal" Lesley's Green Teabagger, Brown Spider, Sammy Bonds, and many others.
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Arctic Edition — Fast Food vs. Aerospace Industry" saw Kenny seeing astronaut to be one.
  • Market-Based Title: There is likely no one in the United States who had heard of Takeshi's Castle before they heard of MXC.
  • Metaphorgotten: Kenny is sometimes guilty of this.
    Kenny: [on a female contestant wearing elbow pads] Not only that Vic, she's weaing elbow pads; you know what I'd say about a girl in elbow pads...
    Vic: I think you're thinking of knee pads, Kenny.
    Kenny: Oh, that'd be sick.
  • Naughty by Night: Parodied by Kenny, who would use the word "Super".
    Kenny: Captain Armenia: By day, he's a cab driver; by night, he's a super cab driver.
  • Once an Episode: There's always one contestant with a Middle Eastern background named "(something) Babaganoush".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In one episode, a contestant attempted a celebratory backflip, and landed directly on his head. Vic and Kenny yelled in alarm, and in contrast to their usual nonstop wisecracking spent several seconds in shocked silence, underscoring just how painful it looked.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The show's tagline: "The World's Toughest Competition in Town!"
  • Panty Shot: Expect an extreme close-up whenever one occurs.
    • And always initiated by Kenny. Sometimes subverted though, in that when Vic thinks Kenny is going for a panty shot, he actually focusing on something else.
    Vic: Ken, you can't use the Impact Replay to look at underwear!
  • Parody Names: All over the place, and often combined with the Punny Name, most notably with contestants from teams drawn from popular culture.
  • Phony Degree: Kenny says that he got his degree off the internet in "Outdoorsmen vs Educators".
  • Product Placement: Occasionally, the MXC Impact Replay segments would have brand names attached to them. This was not applied to the DVD releases. The worst offender has to be Season One, where all of it was sponsored by Taco Bell; made even worse in that Vic says "I think that deserves an MXC Impact Replay!" for most of the season).
    • In the "Almost Live" special, which wasn't released on DVD, all of the participants' helmets were marked with the McDonald's logo.
  • Punny Name: Again, everywhere you look.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: The commentators almost never let up. Between the on-screen action and the running commentary, you're bound to miss half the jokes the first time you see an episode, which makes for good repeat viewing.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Kenny accidentally does this early on in "Squeeze Out The Vote".
  • Running Gag: The phrase "Baba ghanoush" frequently appears as part of Chris Darga's Creator Thumbprint.
  • Self-Deprecation: The "Babaghanoush" Running Gag was comedian Chris Darga's idea; he's of Middle Eastern descent.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Played for laughs, normally to sell what the announcers tell the audience about the obstacles. For instance, someone being run down by an obviously-styrofoam rock will be accompanied with bone-crunching sound effects and screams.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Women contestants get just as slapped around and punished as the men do in this show. They're also just as prone to being made fun of by the hosts.
  • Special Edition Title: Seasons 2 and 3 have several of these between them, such as the "Monster Special", "Arctic Edition", and "Squeeze Out the Vote".
  • Spiritual Successor: Wipeout, which trades out the Gag Dub for In-Universe sports commentary (but not as wacky as in this show's dub) and features Takeshi's Castle-style courses.
  • Stunned Silence: In one memorable instance, a contestant attempts to perform an Unnecessary Combat Roll on his way to the challenge and ends up landing squarely on the back of his neck. The show cuts to the hosts, who are too stunned to crack a joke, apparently waiting to see if the man is still alive. He pops up none the worse for where, however.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Vic's the straight man, Kenny's the wise guy.
  • Strawman Political: Captain Tenneal's opening conversations with the players often delve into conservative parody. Unusually for this trope, he's still portrayed as very likable.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: In the "Dash to Death" in Season One's "Adult Entertainment vs. Home Improvement", Vic mentioned a Home Improvement team contestant who was a "sheet rocker", and Kenny misunderstood it as "sheep stalker", thinking the contestant was on the other team. The entire run is spent with Vic trying to straighten Kenny out on what he meant.
  • Third-Person Person: Guy LeDouche, even though it's pronounced "Gee", which, considering his family's accent, is French.
  • Too Many Halves: During "A-Mazing Grace" Vic Says that "One half is playing for redemption, the other half for Gay Pride" and Kenny says "And the third half for their lives!"
  • Top Ten List: The end of each episode features "Kenny Blankenship's Painful Eliminations of the Day" which contains ten particularly bad eliminations or moments that are just too painful to watch.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool / Xtreme Kool Letterz: The abbreviation does not account for either "E" in the full title.

Wow, what a great selection of tropes! Take us out, Ken.
What do we always say? Don't. Get. Eliminated!

Alternative Title(s): MXC

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/MostExtremeEliminationChallenge?from=Main.MostExtremeEliminationChallenge