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Like 'Deal or No Deal,' Only with Mud and Cruelty

Combine Nickelodeon's Double Dare with Woody Allen's dubbed 1966 classic comedy What's Up Tiger Lily? and you wind up with MXC -- SpikeTV's profane, reality-sports dubbed spoof that's easily one of the funniest shows on TV.

MXC (shorthand for "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge") shows actual footage from the Japanese 1980s TV game show Takeshi's Castle. Contestants took part in a series of muddy and brutal physical challenges: running quickly over a series of slippery rocks, balancing on a swinging rope, avoiding large boulders while running up a cliff. To add insult to the injuries (which frequently involved the groin), comedians dub the commentary. In the U.S. version, hosts Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano provide play-by-play remarks. They give the teams made-up names (Inventors vs. Ex Child Actors, for example). And frequently mock their physical prowess.

Season Five promises to be "edgier and even more extreme" than in the past. Fair warning: If you're easily offended by vulgarities or sexually explicit double entendres or body/ethnic/sexual/religious humor, this challenge is not for you. To everyone else: Mmm, let's go!

Melody Joy Kramer, is spending a year at NPR as part of the Joan B. Kroc Fellowship program. Kramer is not easily offended by vulgarities or sexually explicit double entendres.

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Melody Joy Kramer