ByAngelo Delos Trinos, writer at
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Angelo Delos Trinos

Popular shows like American Gladiators, Ninja Warrior, Wipeout or any other gameshow where contestants run through crazy obstacle courses owe their existence to the Japanese cult-favorite, Takeshi's Castle. So, nostalgic fans who miss seeing what silly challenges were to be found behind the show's numbered doors will surely be excited to learn that the show is headed for a reboot, courtesy of Comedy Central.

To be clear, the show's original network, Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), will not be making a sequel to the gameshow that ended in 1990. Instead, the show will be a Comedy Central venture, allowing a new generation of viewers to see how wacky a castle siege can become.

Get Ready To Return To Takeshi's Castle!

When shown outside of its native Japan, footage from Takeshi's Castle was repurposed for Westerners as MXC. The original premise saw contestants storming Count Takeshi's ("Beat" Takeshi Kitano) fortress, while MXC combined the show's footage with something akin to NFL commentary. As reported by The Guardian, Comedy Central will syndicate a new version of Takeshi's Castle with famed British television and radio presenter Jonathan Ross providing commentary.

Originally airing from 1986 to 1990 in Japan, Takeshi's Castle was not the first gameshow to televise slapstick comedy using an obstacle course, but it helped popularize and solidify the genre around the world. MXC's popularity in America stemmed from the absurdity of the show, which included hundreds of people running through muddy pits, jungle gyms, faux sumo wrestling matches and many other challenges to ultimately face Count Takeshi and his loyalists in a bumper car battle for adults.

'Takeshi's Castle' [Credit: Tokyo Broadcasting System]
'Takeshi's Castle' [Credit: Tokyo Broadcasting System]

The sheer insanity of watching what Kitano envisioned as a live-action version of Super Mario Bros. provided amusement for many people around the world. In fact, Takeshi's Castle aired in more than 30 countries, inspiring many international networks to try and replicate the show's success.

Shows like BBC One's Total Wipeout and Netflix's Ultimate Beastmaster - which was produced by action movie legend Sylvester Stallone - have since gained their own followings, but were never able to surpass the cult status of the original. Now with Count Takeshi and his army set to return to television, audiences could see the master of crazy obstacle courses work his magic once again.

Are you a fan of Takeshi's Castle? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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