On your mark! Get set! Go!
If it’s 1987, and some guy wearing a sport coat and Reeboks is yelling that from your TV, well… you, like us, are a fan Double Dare. Hosted by Marc Summers, this awesomely-sloppy game show is part of what made Nickelodeon super-cool.
Contestants in sweet, color-coordinated ensembles (not unlike… well, prison garb) were asked a simple general knowledge question. They could either answer it or dare the other team to come up with the right answer. But then… (You can feel the tension building, right?) the dared team could either answer correctly or…. (I can’t take it!) Double Dare the original team! (But wait! It’s not over!) The original team then had to either (a) answer the question (though, since they didn’t know the answer thirty seconds ago, it’s safe to assume they still don’t) or (b) take the… PHYSICAL CHALLENGE! (…which is, of course, what we were all hoping for in the first place). And, really, when you had the opportunity to nail your best friend with a slime-filled balloon or swim through a tub of pudding, wouldn’t you have taken the Physical Challenge, too?
Then, just when the show couldn’t get any better, it was time for the bonus round- the Double Dare Obstacle Course. The prevailing team stood face-to-face with eight obstacles (remember the Blue Plate Special? How about The Tank?), but not only did they have to safely navigate those obstacles, they also had to grab the orange flag after each one. Sure, this was fun to watch, but it was also infuriating at times. Some moron would always dig through the kiddie pool filled with whipped cream and then, unknowingly, toss the orange flag aside. Noooooo! It was very hard for us to not reach through the TV and punch that contestant in the neck.
Every flag you grabbed, you got a prize (how about… a NEW CALCULATOR!). Get all eight, you got the grand prize. Sometimes it was a vacation (awesome), but many times all your hard work earned you was… a scholarship to Space Camp. Wah wah waaaah. We bet those kids felt more than a little bit like Ralphie discovering his secret decoder pin message was, “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.”
Ah, Double Dare. The show was awesomely 80’s, and you’d be lying if you said you never dreamed of being a contestant yourself.
We ♥ Double Dare.