Thursday, January 27, 2011


Thank you Wipeout.

Thank you for making me laugh so hard I cried and peed a little.

Now, normally I do not find people getting hurt entertaining, even if it is a result of their own stupidity and quite deserved. Unless I am extremely drunk (see: attending Jackass, The Movie, Pt I), then I am going to laugh so hard people will mistake the sound for an irate burro with a bad headcold due to all the braying and snorting.

I do not watch America's Funniest Videos or World's Dumbest Criminals. My first reaction is not laughter in those situations, but flinching and squinting my eyes with an exclamation of "Damn!"

However, I have developed a strange fascination for game shows that require contestants to navigate some sort of obstacle course - which, as we all know from elementary gym class, contains not only the potential for severe injury, but unplumbed depths of humiliation as well.

And usually rope burns.

The Japanese game shows MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge - the voiceovers for the commentators and contestants are comedic genius), Unbeatable Banzuke, and Ninja Warrior have elevated the game show obstacle course to new heights of glory. American television has tried to emulate their success. Though the attempt hasn't failed, you can only go so far when you can't actually kill or hideously maim the competitors. I'm not familiar with the technicalities of Japanese law, but the waivers the contestant sign must be iron-clad against ANY injury lawsuit. Otherwise how would it be possible to have a show like "Hit in the Nuts"?

Trust me, nothing is lost in the translation of that one.


  1. I love MXC and Ninja Warrior! For a couple of seasons they showed I Survived a Japanese Game Show after Wipe Out, but sadly it was canceled. :( Majide!

  2. See I CAN NOT watch shows like these. I can see how people think they are funny so I'm not on a mission to ban them from the public or anything. But I just can not watch them. My first thought is that the people might be hurt and I just don't get how people can sit by and laugh at them. I mean okay, Wipe Out I get, they are wearing protection and have really funny commentators, but America's Funniest Videos is just too much for me!

  3. It is a regular occurrence in my family to gather around our television and watch these game shows together. We laugh together, at other people. These things have a good purpose if they are making others happy.