TV Tidbit: Double Dare
In the early days of the Nickelodeon Network, there was a raucous fun to be found in TV shows like You Can’t Do That on Television, Out of Control, Danger Mouse, Turkey Television, Don’t Just Sit There and Hey, Dude. Totally outrageous and always full of wisecracking humor that delighted kids, these shows are what the network’s success were built on. Another show from the early Nickelodeon pack that was a must-watch for kids was the gameshow Double Dare.
Premiering in October of 1986, Double Dare was aimed at kids who loved the gross factor. Answering trivia questions delivered by host Marc Summers, kids vied one another for the winning opportunity to run the Double Dare obstacle course, a complex gauntlet of wheels, buzzers, contraptions and puzzles that often resulted in the contestant being coated in slimes, doused with water, dipped in food, and generally humiliated. It was grand fun. The show eventually spun-off Family Double Dare (same concept, but whole families subjected themselves to the fun), and then Super Sloppy Double Dare (again, same concept, just this time the mess took longer to clean up). The show aired in the late afternoon/early evening, capturing that afterschool crowd of adolescents (among them, me) who reveled in the juvenile shenanigans (yes, shenanigans, I say!) as a great way to unwind after a hard day of school.
Fun Fact: The green slime that was regularly utilized in the show was introduced on You Can’t Do that on Television where kids who said, “I Don’t Know” to a question were punished with a torrent of this disgusting concoction. Green slime became a staple of many of Nickelodeon shows and an iconic prop of the network.