Takeshi's Castle (Fūun! Takeshi Jō) was a Japanese game show that aired from 1986 to 1989 on the Tokyo Broadcasting System. It featured the esteemed Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano (also known as "Beat" Takeshi) as a count who owns a castle and sets up impossible challenges for players (or a volunteer army) to get to him. The show has become a cult television hit around the world. A special live "revival" was broadcast on April 2, 2005, as part of TBS' 50th anniversary celebrations.
In the United States, it airs as MXC (subtitled Most Extreme Elimination Challenge) on Spike TV, providing both dubbing and commentary in English that effectively spoofs the original show. In addition, CBS aired a special one-hour version of the show entitled Storm the Castle in 1993. This version, which was packaged by Vin Di Bona Productions and hosted by Michael Burger, pitted 30 families against each other and against well-known monsters in a quest to win $15,000. Only one episode of Storm the Castle was produced.
In the United Kingdom, a shortened version given a comedic voiceover by Craig Charles has been shown on cable TV channel Challenge since 2002, where fans of the show (as well as those in Japan) are known as "Keshi-heads". On Saturday 3rd September, 2005, MXC aired for the first time on UK television between 9 and 10 pm on Challenge under the name of Takeshi's MXC.
In India, a shortened version of the show is aired on the Pogo TV channel, with a voiceover of dancer Jaaved Jaffrey. This style of fake dubbing a foreign show is very similar to that found in Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?, where the entire plot, the order of events, and even the events themselves are completely changed.
In other countries where the show has been seen, Germany had a dubbed version (aired on DSF) and Spain aired the program as Humor Amarillo (when translated it means "Yellow Comedy") in the early 1990s. Comedians Juan Herrera and Miguel Ángel Coll commented on the images; the show has achieved cult status and there are some fansites and web petitions for reruns. In fact, the Spanish version created some terms now familiar to either Takeshi's Castle or Humor Amarillo, like El laberinto del Chinotauro (name for any of the maze challenges), Las zamburguesas (for Skipping Stones) and Chino Cudeiro (for any male contestant in red).