Double Dare is a children's game show, originally hosted by Marc Summers, that aired on Nickelodeon. The show combines trivia questions with occasionally messy "physical challenges". It is often credited with putting the then-fledgling network on the map, and ranked #29 in TV Guide's list of the 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time.
The show originated from the WHYY-TV studios in Philadelphia in 1986. In 1987, the show temporarily moved to New York City for a special weekend edition called Super Sloppy Double Dare. The show returned to Philadelphia in 1988; by then, Viacom syndicated the show to independent stations & affiliates of the young Fox network. Beginning in January 1989, more episodes of Super Sloppy Double Dare were produced (during which time Nickelodeon began airing reruns of the previous year's syndicated episodes). Tapings began in Philadelphia, but later that year was moved to Universal Studios in Orlando. The show moved to Nickelodeon Studios in 1990, where it then became Family Double Dare, and it remained that until its cancellation in 1992. The final episodes aired in 1993.
Reebok was a major sponsor of the show throughout its run, and every contestant and stage crew member (including Summers) wore a pair of the company's shoes.
Double Dare began its broadcast history on Nickelodeon on October 6, 1986 as a Monday-Friday program. As a result of the first few weeks of airing, Nickelodeon's ratings nearly tripled. In 1987, after both sets of 65 episodes were taped, a short-lived, forty episode weekend edition, titled Super Sloppy Double Dare, which was taped in New York City, was produced.
The show was so popular that it caught the eyes of Fox network executives, who, in 1988, partnered with Viacom to pick up the distribution rights to the program. As the very first cable game show to enter first-run syndication, new episodes aired on independent stations and affiliates of the young Fox network from February 22, 1988-September 8, 1989. Fox initially ordered 130 episodes, the first 65 aired in early 1988, and the second 65 aired later that same year. Because of its instant popularity in syndication, Fox produced a 13-episode nighttime edition called Family Double Dare that aired from April 3, 1988-July 23, 1988. These nighttime episodes were taped in between both sets of the initial syndicated episodes that Fox ordered. On January 23, 1989, following a sneak preview episode that aired on Super Bowl weekend, a new version of Super Sloppy Double Dare premiered, with the first half originating from Philadelphia and the second half originating from the new Nickelodeon Studios attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. While new episodes were airing in first-run syndication, reruns of the kids-only version of the show continued to air on Nickelodeon until March 15, 1991. Typically, after a new set of syndicated episodes began airing on local stations, Nickelodeon would then air reruns of an older set.
On August 13, 1990, Nickelodeon began airing Family Double Dare. The original broadcasts were reruns of the Fox series, and the network launched its own version of Family Double Dare on weekends in September 1990. This series taped at Nickelodeon Studios and ended its run on February 6, 1993 with a one-hour Tournament of Champions episode. Reruns continued to air on Nickelodeon until 1999.
Double Dare 2000, the most-recent version of the show, premiered on January 22, 2000, and continued to air new episodes until November 10, 2000.
The show typically begins as a cold open with Marc Summers saying, "On your mark, get set, GO!" As the teams raced to complete a toss-up challenge, the announcer would quickly explain the challenge, then introduce the show. Only when one team completed it would the announcer then introduce Marc Summers.
Two teams of two kids each competed for cash and prizes. Originally, both teams wore red uniforms, but after Double Dare entered syndication in 1988 one team wore blue uniforms while the other wore red. In each version of the show, each team received a unique name, although they would often be referred to as simply "The Red Team" and "The Blue Team."
Summers typically explained the rules of the game as follows:
|“||I'm going to ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, or think the other team hasn't got a clue, you can dare them to answer it for double the dollars. But be careful, because they can always double dare you back for four times the amount, and then you'll either have to answer the question or take the physical challenge.||”|
Each round began with an untimed toss-up challenge in which both teams competed. The winner received $20 USD and control of the round. Summers would begin the round by asking trivia questions to the team that won control in the toss-up challenge. A correct answer would earn money and maintain control of the round; an incorrect response or running out of time would give the other team control, as well as the appropriate money if a Dare or Double Dare was in play at the time.
Summers' phrase "or think the other team hasn't got a clue" was intended as a strategy suggestion. If the team in control knew the answer but believed that their opponents did not, they could Dare in hopes of having the opponents Double Dare them in response. A correct answer would then earn the first team four times the original question value. In practice, this strategy was rarely used.
|Version||Toss-Up||Normal Question||Dare||Double Dare/ Physical Challenge|
|Super Sloppy Double Dare|
|Family Double Dare (1988)||$50||$25||$50||$100|
|Family Double Dare (1990–1993)||$25|
|Double Dare 2000|
All values were doubled for round two.
A physical challenge showing two teams having to put inflated balloons into jumpsuitsPhysical challenges were stunts, usually messy, that a team had to perform in a specified time, usually 20 or 30 seconds, although occasionally 10 or 15 seconds. All physical challenges on Double Dare 2000 were 30 seconds in length, unless a time reduction was in play due to the Triple Dare Challenge.
Most challenges involved filling a container past a line with one of a variety of substances: water, uncooked rice, green slime, whipped cream, and "a milk-like substance", to name a few. Others involved catching a certain number of items before time ran out. For example, during "Pie in the Pants," a contestant had to catch 3 or 4 pies in a pair of oversized clown pants within the specified time limit, while his/her teammate launched them from a foot-operated seesaw at the opposite end of the stage.
Completing the stunt won the team money and control of the game; otherwise the money and control went to the opposing team.
Double Dare 2000 introduced the "Triple Dare Challenge." Available only in round two, this allowed a team to make their physical challenge more difficult in exchange for three hundred dollars (as opposed to the $200 normally played for in a physical challenge) and a bonus prize. Sometimes this included reducing the time limit (turning a 30-second challenge into a 25-second one), adding an extra item to the stunt (catching 5 pies instead of 4), or increasing the overall difficulty of the stunt (blindfolding the players or requiring the players involved to do it one-handed); the actual modifier was not revealed unless the team decided to accept the Triple Dare Challenge. If the team did not successfully complete the challenge, the $300, the bonus prize, and control of the game went to their opponents.
The team with the highest score at the end of round two went on to the final challenge of the game, the obstacle course. Regardless of the outcome, both teams kept the money they had obtained, with $100 as the house minimum ($200 on Double Dare 2000 and $500 on the FOX version of Family Double Dare). If a tie occurred at the end of the game, both teams advanced to the obstacle course, which only occurred once on Double Dare 2000.
The course consisted of eight obstacles which had to be completed within 60 seconds. Each obstacle had an orange flag either at the end of or hidden within it. One team member started at the first obstacle and upon completion, passed its flag to his/her partner (or the next team member in line on Family Double Dare and Double Dare 2000), who then moved on to the second obstacle. The team continued to alternate like this until they completed the course or until time ran out, whichever came first. For safety reasons, team members were given helmets and elbow/knee pads to wear while running the course.
The team won a prize for each obstacle completed, escalating in value up to a grand prize for completing the entire course. In the original and Super Sloppy versions, the grand prize was usually a vacation or a scholarship to United States Space Camp, and each member of the team received identical prizes. In FOX Family Double Dare, as well as the first season of the Nickelodeon run, the grand prize was a car. In 1992, the prize was changed back to a vacation; however, the family that won the tournament held that season had the chance to run the Obstacle Course for a car.
In the FOX run of Family Double Dare, the prize for the seventh obstacle was a cash jackpot that began at $2,000 and increased by $500 for each consecutive episode it was not claimed.
The format of Super Sloppy Double Dare copied that of the original program. Launched in 1987, it aired on the weekends on Nickelodeon. This incarnation featured a home viewer contest during physical challenges, with Summers taking a postcard from a large plastic box behind his lectern. The viewer would receive a prize if the team won the physical challenge, and a T-shirt (regardless of the outcome). This version was filmed at Unitel Studios in New York. Forty episodes were taped.
To compete with other children's game shows at the time, the format returned to the air (minus the home viewer contest) in January 1989 with the physical challenges and obstacle course mostly designed to make the biggest mess possible. This newly revamped Super Sloppy Double Dare filmed from WHYY's Forum Theatre for approximately the first 50 episodes, eventually to moving to Universal Studios in Florida to film the approximately 50 remaining episodes of this version. Both the Philadelphia and Orlando eras of the show aired in syndication. Many special "theme shows" were taped during the 1989 run, including "Salute to Baseball", "Backwards Day", "Marc vs. Harvey" (with guest host Jim J. Bullock), and many more. This was Nickelodeon's first production at Universal Studios.
Family Double Dare (1988) logoFamily Double Dare premiered on Fox on April 3, 1988, and aired on Saturday nights. The team size was increased to four as kids and their parents competed. This series was conducted with a much larger budget as the Obstacle Course total haul could exceed $30,000. The game was conducted in the exact same manner as regular versions of Double Dare, with different question and physical challenge values (see table at top of page). Family Double Dare only aired for thirteen weeks on Fox and ended due to actions taken by Viacom & Nickelodeon, who co-produced the series; Fox insisted on taking away the families and instead replacing them with celebrities, and both Viacom and Nickelodeon balked.
After being out of production for two years, Family Double Dare returned to Nickelodeon beginning in August 1990. Nickelodeon produced the series at Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando. Airing on Saturday and Sunday evenings, the series continued until 1993.
As noted above, the final season employed a Tournament of Champions. Four families qualified, with the spots given to the two highest scoring families and the two that completed the Obstacle Course in the fastest time. The two highest scoring families, dubbed "Brains", played one round of the game without running the obstacle course, and the two fastest obstacle course families, dubbed "Brawn", played in a second one-round game. The winning families then played in the second half of the hour-long program, with the winning family receiving a trophy and a chance to win a car by completing the obstacle course (which the winning family, "Granite Toast", did).
Family Double Dare reruns continued up to February 1999 on Nickelodeon. From February 1999 until November 1, 2005, Family Double Dare was on Nick GaS.
A 1987 pilot, Celebrity Double Dare was produced by Ron Greenberg in association with Viacom (who then syndicated the original Double Dare a year later) and featured celebrity team captains to adult contestants; it was hosted by Bruce Jenner, with Bob Hilton announcing. The format was also slightly different: questions had two possible answers, with each team member giving one, and teams did not keep control after correctly answering a question. The obstacle course was basically the same, except the players hit a buzzer after completing each obstacle rather than grabbing a flag, and a new car was the grand prize (and they had to hit seven buzzers in 90 seconds). The team that made it to the obstacle course on this version won the grand prize. This version was never picked up.
Super Special Double Dare is a short series of special Double Dare episodes featuring celebrities, sport teams or cast members from other Nickelodeon shows. These episodes used two teams of four contestants, with all winnings going to charity. One special consisted of the cast from both Clarissa Explains it All and Welcome Freshmen paired with two civilian contestants. Another special was titled NBA All Star Double Dare.
|Double Dare 2000|
|Format||Children's game show|
|Created by||Geoffrey Darby|
|Presented by||Jason Harris|
|Narrated by||Tiffany Phillips|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||65|
|Location(s)||Nickelodeon Studios, Orlando, Florida|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
1080i (5 episodes)
|Original run||January 22, 2000 – November 10, 2000|
Double Dare 2000 was the revived version of the show, which premiered on January 24, 2000. Jason Harris hosted this version of the show; original host Marc Summers was the executive consultant. Double Dare 2000 followed the Family Double Dare format with a revamped set and bigger physical challenges. It also featured the new "Triple Dare Challenge" option in round two (which would be worth $300 and an additional prize), introduced "goooze", and referred to the obstacle course as the "Slopstacle Course". Five episodes were shot in high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 as a promotion for sponsor Sony. Double Dare 2000 was canceled in December 2000. During the "back to" and "up next" bumpers of Double Dare 2000 on Nick GAS, the show's tagline is The Mess For The New Millennium. Nick GAS went off-air at the end of 2007.
All of the original Double Dare music was composed by Edd Kalehoff (who, coincidentally, had earlier composed the theme for Goodson-Todman's unrelated 1976–1977 game show Double Dare) and was basically the same throughout the show's run with some minor changes to the music.
From 1986–1988, the music had a synth lead. From 1988—starting with FOX Family Double Dare and the 2nd half of the syndicated run of Double Dare through the end of the run—all music was remixed with a horn lead (however, the 1986 variation theme was used for the opening from 1988–1990).
For Double Dare 2000, the music was composed by former Crack the Sky guitarist Rick Witkowski, with a surfer feel for the show. However, the theme song had the same melody from the original. Witkowski had previously composed music for Nickelodeon Guts and Figure it Out.
All versions and episodes of Double Dare still exist and have been seen on Nick GAS, including one episode of the FOX version of Family Double Dare. However, for the final two years of the channel's existence, the only version to air was Double Dare 2000.
With the conversion of the Nick GAS channel to "the N" format on December 31, 2007, Double Dare and all of its revivals are no longer rerun on the network. However, Family Double Dare is scheduled to appear on the TeenNick block The 90's Are All That in the near future. Current ownership of the series is split between Nickelodeon (all original episodes from 1986–1987, the 1987 "Super Sloppy" version, and all episodes from 1990–1993 [1988–1989 episodes were reruns]) & Viacom (now CBS Television Distribution) (entire syndicated run). The FOX version is co-owned by the two companies.
|Double Dare: The Inside Scoop|
|Directed by||John Wilson|
|Written by||Bob Anderson|
|Distributed by||Kids Klassics|
|Running time||70 minutes|
The Inside Scoop, a 1988 release under the "Kids Klassics" brand, explained the conception of Double Dare and featured clips from its early years. Included are Summers' host audition, and clips of the original pilot with Geoffrey Darby as host and a very basic set.
The video also includes unused footage from the very first episode taped of the series (it was taped on 18 September 1986, and aired shortly after the series premiered). Four successive re-takes were needed on the first item of the Obstacle Course, aptly titled "Nightmare"; while the object was simple — finding the flag hidden within a giant pillow — the flag itself was not in the pillow at all for the first two takes. For the third take, not only did the clock not start, but one of the show's cameramen accidentally fell, blocking the contestants' progress. The fourth take is the one seen in the episode as aired. Marc and Harvey refer to the title of the video as "The Inside Slop", however all printed materials give the official title of "The Inside Scoop".
Double Dare's popularity led to a variety of products made available for sale.
- Double Dare home game (tie-in with first version of Super Sloppy Double Dare), 1987
- Double Dare LCD handheld games ("Pie in the Pants," "Balloon Buster," and "Flying Sundaes"), 1988
- Double Dare jigsaw puzzle, 1988
- Double Dare computer game (C64, IBM, ZX Spectrum and Apple versions), 1989
- Wet 'n Wild Double Dare home game (tie-in with second version of Super Sloppy Double Dare), 1989
- Double Dare yo-yo, 1989
- Super Sloppy Double Dare pinball machine, 1989
- Double Dare video game (NES), 1990
- Double Dare 2000: the Game (tie-in with Double Dare 2000), 2001
- Goooze, a gooey substance replicating the slime used on the show.
- T-shirts, available in retail stores and on Double Dare Live Tour stops
- belt buckles
- painter's caps, available on Double Dare Live Tour stops
- Double Dare: The Messiest Moments, 1988
- Double Dare: The Inside Scoop, 1988
- How to Throw a Double Dare Party, 1989
- Double Dare: Super Sloppiest Moments, 1994
- The Double Dare Game Book, by Daniella Burr, 1988
- The All-New Double Dare Game Book, by Daniella Burr, 1989
- Double Dare lunchbox, featuring the Dueling D's on the Sundae Slide, 1988
- Double Dare folders, 1988
- Marc Summers (host 1986–1993; producer 1992–1993; executive consultant 2000)
- John Harvey ("Harvey," announcer, 1986–1992)
- Robin Marella (stage assistant, 1986–1993)
- Dave Shikiar (stage assistant, 1986–1989)
- Jamie Bojanowski (stage assistant, 1990–1993)
- Chris Miles (stage assistant, 1993)
- Greg Lee (contestant coordinator, 1986–1991)
- Doc Holliday (announcer, 1992–1993)
- Jason Harris (host, 2000)
- Tiffany Phillips (announcer, 2000)
- Edd Kalehoff (composer, 1986–1993)
- Rick Witkowski (composer, 2000)
On all international versions of the show (except for Brazil, Canada, and India), teams play for points rather than cash due to specific laws stating that contestants under the age of 18 cannot win cash on a game show.
|Australia||Double Dare||Gerry Sont||Simon Watt||Ten Network||1989–1992|
|Brazil||Passa ou Repassa||Silvio Santos
|Canada (French)||Double Défi||Gilles Payer||Gino Chouinard||TVA||1989–1991|
|India||Nick Dum Duma Dum||Vrajesh Hirjee||Nickelodeon India||2004|
|Netherlands||DD Show||Norbert Netten||Toine Stapelkamp||TROS||1989–1990|
|United Kingdom||Going Live||Peter Simon||Nick Wilton||BBC||1987–1992|
- ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh
- ^ "TV Guide Names the 50 Greatest Television Game Shows of All Time". Gameshowfame.com. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- ^ "`Jeopardy!' champ wins by a not-so-trivial $1". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1987-11-23. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- ^ Shister, Gail (October 13, 1987). "Nickelodeon finds home in Philadelphia". Ocala Star-Banner.
- ^ "The Slop Behind The 'Dare' Scene - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 1989-04-27. Retrieved 2011-11-25.