On October 6, 1986 (that’s roughly 5 months after I was born), the groundbreaking and influential kids’ game show simply known as Double Dare debuted on TV hosted by the one and only Marc Summers. For those too young to remember, the game show was about two teams consisting of two kids competing against one another answering questions to get the highest score to go into the Obstacle Course where they would try to win numerous prizes. Marc Summers would then ask a question to one of the teams and if they didn’t know the answer, they could dare the other team for double the money. If none of them knew the answer, they would take The Physical Challenge. The Physical Challenge and Obstacle Course were some of the main highlights of the show since it consisted of the craziest, slimest, and messiest games ever! Every kid I knew growing up wanted to be in Double Dare and still do after almost 30 years later.
But the main highlight that people still remember fondly to this day is Marc Summers. Marc Summers, alongside assistant Robin Marella and announcer John Harvey, had amazing chemistry, hilarious antics, a charming personality, and a serious, yet playful demeanor that shined whenever he interacted with the contestants, live studio audience, and the viewers who saw it on TV. Even still to this day, no other game show host from Nickelodeon could match Marc’s charisma or charm and people still regard him as the best game show host Nickelodeon has ever had.
Now that we gotten our brief history of Double Dare out of the way, now time for news. Recently, on The Huffington Post, Marc Summers is interested in rebooting Double Dare for a new generation at Nickelodeon.
“Here’s the deal. I would love to do some form or fashion of it. Let’s just say that right now … the people who run the Nickelodeon network and I don’t necessarily see eye to eye,” Summers told host Josh Zepps. “I’ve been trying to make nice to those people, but they refuse to talk to me.”I think they think I’m way too old to do it. I still have the energy and I think I could, So I’m putting a call out to the folks at Nick: return the phone calls, have a discussion.”
To learn more about it, click on the link here. I’m very mixed about this possibility of a supposed reboot to Double Dare. On the one hand, I agree that the only person who I can see host Double Dare is Marc Summers. I don’t agree with Nickelodeon saying that he’s too old to host the show. Some of the most iconic actors and actresses have kept their roles at their senior years. Fred Rogers from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood was 72 years old when he retired from the show. Bob Keeshan was 57 years old when he retired as Captain Kangaroo. So the whole speculation that Marc Summers is too old to host Double Dare is ridiculous. He’s been a great host and executive producer at the Food Network shows Unwrapped, Dinner Impossible, Restaurant Impossible, and Rewrapped. On his spare time, he does Double Dare games for college students and even drunk versions of the game called Dunkle Dare, sometimes alongside Robin and/or Harvey. He may be older, but he hasn’t lost his touch.
With that said, this isn’t the first time that Double Dare has been revived for a new generation. Almost 15 years ago, Double Dare 2000 debuted to gravitate towards the kids who never saw Double Dare the first time. However, it was critically panned by many viewers with it not being as good as the original. Eventually the show was cancelled after a few months due to poor ratings. While Jason Harris was a decent host, he was no Marc Summers. Plus, they added in a new segment called “The Triple Dare Challenge” which makes the Physical Challenge more difficult, yet if it succeeds, the team would get triple the points. This was one of the worst things they added into Double Dare 2000 that was not needed. Other than that, this revival played it way too safe being exactly the same as the original. With that, Double Dare 2000 has pretty much faded into obscurity with the original Double Dare still remembered in fondness.
That got me thinking. If Marc Summers plans on rebooting Double Dare, what new things will he add to make the new generation intrigued? My main problem with Double Dare 2000 was that it was the same as the original. I don’t think doing the same thing with having Marc Summers back is the answer. Ok, yes, it’s what everyone wanted in the first place, but there has to be some new ideas implemented into this reboot to attract the people who didn’t grow up with Double Dare. Maybe some new challenges, new questions, new prizes, maybe a celebrity guest here and there, and bringing back Robin and Harvey for a couple of episodes. Knowing Marc, I know he can make it work.
Here’s the sad and ironic part, a few days after Marc Summers made his plea to no avail, Nickelodeon is planning with the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team to do a “90’s Are All That” tribute at the stadium by having Kel Mitchell do the first pitch and have random spectators compete in a Double Dare game. To know more about this, click on the article here.
Nickelodeon hasn’t acknowledge Double Dare in a very long time, not even when it celebrated its 25th anniversary a few years ago. It’s such a shame. Besides You Can’t Do That on Television, Double Dare was the show that put Nickelodeon on the map. It was the very reason why kids tuned into Nickelodeon other than any other channel. It would be nice if the network would acknowledge it as oppose to ignore it and bring it back in some way, shape, or form when they feel like it. Knowing Nickelodeon, they will miss on another good opportunity to bring viewers again and they’ll continue to stay in their rut. Marc Summers deserves better than this and I’m glad he has moved on.
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