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Kip Madsen joined the MXC team as a writer (and occasionally a voice over for the contestants) for the forth season after writing with Craig Kilborn on The Late Late Show. This interview is not to be used outside Takeshi Kingdom or Keshi Heads without written permission.
Joshua M: How did you get Hired on to the MXC staff?
Kip: My agent at the time was friends with a guy who worked on the show. I interviewed with Paul and a couple of people from the staff and they were great. I also loved the show "Night Stand" which a few of them had worked on prior to MXC. I was only there for one season, but loved it. So many talented people in that little office. The genius of the show was already in place. I'm just happy to have been a part of it.
Joshua: Had you seen the show before you were hired on?
Kip: Definitely. I loved the show and used to watch it when I was in college. I always wondered how it was made. I knew then as Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, but they had recently re-branded it as MXC. It was pretty exciting to be working over there.
Joshua: What was your initial reaction to the footage from Takeshi's Castle?
Kip: I thought it was the coolest. Like a real life Nintendo Game. I really wanted to play. (This was before Wipe Out). At the time, I didn't know how successful Takeshi's Castle was in Japan, or how popular Beat Takeshi was, but I later got to see some more of his work.
Joshua: What was the day to day process like for you on the show?
Kip: We would watch episodes of Takeshi's Castle, usually with the sound off, and try to figure out what we thought everybody was saying, and then give every single person a name and an occupation. In the original show, it was every man/woman for themselves, but in the MXC version, we'd split them up into two teams, who would battle each other for the ultimate prize.
Joshua: What is the difference between writing for MXC and writing for The Late Late Show?
Kip: The Late Late show was a lot more solo writing. We'd meet a couple of times throughout the day, but most of it was writing jokes in your office. On MXC it was more of a group-thing. Everybody sitting around a table, trying to come up with the funniest stuff. The Late Late show was much more immediate as well, as it was on every day.
Joshua: Did you get to do any voices for the show?
Kip: Occasionally, I would get to do the voice of one of the competitors as they yelled out their little catch-phrase and then ran face first into the muck. You'd kind of watch along and do the grunting, heavy breathing, laughing, and drowning sounds. Mary and Chris were great at that. So funny.
Joshua: Do you have a favourite joke or moment from the show that stands out?
Kip: I'm not sure why, but I always loved this one where the guy steps up, about ready to take on the course, throws his hand up in the air and yells "DRINK BLEACH!" It just fit his mouth so perfect. Even though he was obviously saying something in Japanese, I just couldn't picture him saying anything else besides Drink Bleach!
Joshua: Any memories of the staff who worked on the show?
Kip: They were all great. A super talented and funny group. I actually miss those guys. I haven't talked to them in way too long. Paul, Chris, Mary, Herb, John, Roy, Vic, Mickey. They're all still doing some pretty great stuff. I see Darga and Roy on TV every once in awhile and they're always super funny.
Joshua: How did your work on MXC effect your future productions?
Kip: It was really my first job where I worked in one room with a bunch of people all day long. So it was a definitely learning experience, and it took me a little while to get used to it. I was kind of a rookie on that show, but I learned a lot from all the rest of them, who were real Hollywood professionals.
Joshua: Any memories stand out about the experience?
Kip: It was a while ago, so my memories are a little fuzzy, but overall, I just feel like I was very lucky to be a part of it, even in a small way. I see these other copycat versions of the show now, and I feel like they're missing some of that Paul Abeyta magic.