How to Become a Fan of the Nickelodeon TV Game Show Double Dare

Any child of the 1980s and 1990s who watched Nickelodeon would know the TV show called Double Dare. However, for those who didn't or who kept missing it, can still become fans of this show. Fans of the show who have complete episodes commonly post these episodes on YouTube illegally. If you'd like to learn a little more about becoming a fan, this article is definitely for you. Having been the sloppiest game where kids and (later families) would get messy, this was definitely a show where the fan really got their work cut out for them.


  1. Image titled DD86
    Understand the general make-up of what happened during the introductory scene (toss-up game). Before the opening credits flashed, the host would generally say "On your mark...get set....Go!!!!" then a game would be played. Though the directions of this game were never formally introduced to home-viewers, by watching this game, you'd see how each of these games were played.Generally, players had to fill a beaker of water that contained a large yellow line, or toss a number of props across a line to another player on stage with a number of different games. Sometimes it would be a water relay where players would have to fill a beaker with water from a variety of items, to sometimes players having to throw and catch props that could be any number of possible items into bigger-sized mock stage-props where their teammate would be situated. Once that toss-up challenge on stage was completed, a dinging sound would be heard and the game would end. The introductory credits would then display with a loud "splash" sound as the title pane appeared. Contestants would walk up to their contestant podium to dry off and complete the rest of the game.
  2. 2
    Understand the make up of the game.
    • Introductions: Once dried off, the host would introduce both teams (team structure and team colors will be talked about later). He'd go over the rules. Generally, it sounded like these rules were well rehearsed and the rules never changed from episode to episode and never dropped or changed even the simple rules. The team who won the introductory round won control of the first question. The host would generally use these lines: "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 have to either answer that question or take the physical challenge." [1]).
    • Question rounds: Generally, a question was asked to the team(it could be on any subject that the kids could know about or could have studied.) They could answer it or pass it to the other team (or by playing strategy if they knew it but wanted more money and thought the other team might not know) - saying "Dare". The question would then fall on the other team onstage, who could answer it or pass it right back - all by saying "Double Dare". However, when it got passed back to the initial team who originally passed it (with the "Dare" response), the team could answer the question or take what's called the Physical Challenge - a short game (most games lasted no longer than 45 to 60 seconds) that utilized the team's physical traits or muscle. After several of these question-answer-challenges were asked, points were doubled and more questions were asked. After a brief set of advertisements, the show came back, and there was another toss-up round without the "on your mark" mentioning. Dollar or point values were doubled following this and were answered in the same style as before the advertisement. The team with the highest point (and later money) values on the board generally won the game and was able to go for the grand prize in what was called the 8-itemObstacle Course.
      • Players would win points (and later money) for answering the questions(or for completing a physical or toss-up challenge or to the full extent). Generally, it was $10 ($20 for toss up or during Family Double Dare ($50)/Double Dare 2000 ($25 with normal questions winning $25 points upon not having a dare placed, and having won a physical challenge ($40 later escalating to $100 during Family Double Dare and Double Dare 2000) there'd be money involved and control of the next question.[2]
      • Physical challenge times varied not only by the type of challenge that occurred, but by the year the episode was taped (and most often by the exact show that was shown in the series). Most often times, this challenge lasted 45 seconds but could have been changed to become longer or shorter as the challenge varied.
    • Sometimes during the series run of both Super-Sloppy and Family Double Dare run, the host would mention that each physical challenge is tried with sample families and always tested to be easy enough to complete. But time and time again, some challenges are easier done off-stage than on and some challenges just didn't make the cut for some players to successfully complete.
    • Obstacle course: If the teams passed these obstacles, they'd end up winning a grand prize. If teams got partially through the obstacles, each obstacle that was successfully played, they'd win a prize for while others that weren't completely attempted never resulted in a prize won and they wouldn't be able to complete the remainder of the challenges. Players on the teams reaching this stage of the game had to win the obstacles, by finding a marked hidden red flag on the top of a pole that was as high as the obstacle allowed them to reach or in a mess of Nickelodeon rather edible liquid concoctions (such as the event The Sandwich or the pizza or the famous "In Da Nose" (where players had to reach up into a giant nose to find a flag inside the giant nostrils). Whether it was rolling down a slide filled with gooey substances (that were actually edible) to find a flag as you went down it, a ball pit-like pool (or sometimes was filled with water and mock alligator balloons) where the contestant had to make his way across to find the flag at the top of the pole or reaching down into a huge pool of colorful whipped cream that represented ice cream or one of a variety of things, as long as you were able to hand off the red triangular flag with the number of the obstacle on it to your partner who would rush from the end of your obstacle to theirs and completed theirs and switched off, completed that obstacle and handed that one off, your team would win the grand prize along with all the prizes successfully accomplished along the way.
      • The obstacle course was a timed challenge. Generally, the obstacle course would last for no more than 60 seconds, though sometimes to a kid, this felt a whole lot longer...
  3. 3
    Recognize what the player would win for winning the game. Although this varied by show, by the time this show became called Family Double Dare and later Double Dare 2000 (both of these you will learn about later in this article), the grand prize generally was trips to various family-fun places including sometimes Universal Studios Florida (later called Universal Orlando) (However, with this being taped at Universal Studios Florida at the time, this kind of broke the fun for the family for another separate family vacation here, when they've been in this park already.) If teams got partially through the obstacles, each obstacle they got through they'd win a prize for while others that weren't completely attempted they wouldn't win the prize for.
  4. 4
    Recognize what the players wore during the show. During this show, Nickelodeon supplied players with a free T-shirt with the Double Dare, Super Sloppy Double Dare, Family Double Dare or Double Dare 2000 logo (depending on which exact year this show was being filmed). Players were given either a blue shirt or red shirt along with an interesting (and sometimes even rhythmically rhyming) name. While the blue team would stand to the host's right, the red team would stand to the host's left. Players would also be given a free pair of sneakers - most often times these were Reeboks, while at sometimes later this changed to become Nike's when the promotional product placement contract changed hands.
    • During the first season of the show, all players wore red shirts, but due to a new TV game show on Nickelodeon (called Finders Keepers) in the second year, Double Dare changed their shirts so that each team wore different-colored shirts to designate the two different teams for the host to respond to so confusion didn't constantly happen.
  5. 5
    Watch as many shows of each type as you can. While watching, you'll see that during both Double Dare and Super Sloppy Double Dare, teams were composed of two kid players. When this series became Family Double Dare and was revived in 2000 (for Double Dare 2000), these teams held four players each (Family Double Dare generally contained a mother, a father and two kids who all interacted intelligently for each team.)
  6. 6
    Understand the parts of the stages where the events were taking place. Look for what the contestant desks looked like, along with the score-board for the team and what the stage looked like where the Physical Challenges were played.
    • Although the contestant desks stood on a podium that was long enough for both players from the team to stand behind, there would be a towel rack on the left side of the desk (when watching, you'd see the towels on camera on this towel rack).
    • Above the player podium, would be the players scoreboard. This scoreboard would not in any way be attached to the desks. Depending on the team colors, they would designate in digital form the numbers to the amount of money or points the team would accumulate. Each of these scoreboards would have rounded corners (on the earlier episodes these were tall triangular boards that contained a line of digital numbers for the score along with the program icon below it) and each portion of the backdrop of each number would be set on a black background.
    • In between the two teams would be the host's desk that looked a bit like the contestant's desk but was meant to fit just the host. It had the picturesque icon of the Double Dare name (interconnected D's (DD)) on a plaque (placard) at the center-most portion of the host-desk. Above (in back of) the host of the show, there would be a revolving time clock. From the "waiting position" containing the interconnected DD insignia, the time clock would revolve counterclockwise around when a physical challenge was needed revolved back clockwise at the end of the stunt.
    • The floor in front of the team's desks would be where the Physical challenges would be held. The floor always seemed to be spotless before a Physical Challenge was held. Depending on the wetness of the challenge, it was the stage crew's responsibility for cleaning it up while not showing themselves on camera (more on that in a minute, as there is at least one popular name that will come to mind in the fan of this show). The floor was this blue checkerboard with crisscrossing lines of greyish yellow, that was fairly large (about a quarter of the width of a given football field)
    • In between the Physical challenge area and Obstacle Course, the fan would sometimes see two steps where contestants could walk down (when the camera wasn't turned on them) to get to the Obstacle course. However, these steps would never be used in any challenge, but were visible in some camera shots during the Obstacle course run. (These steps were less visible during the Double Dare 2000 taping, but were still present)
    • In front of the Physical Challenge area would be a large area wider than the Physical Challenge area that held the Obstacle Course. It contained eight obstacles on the floor. In back of this and to each of the sides you'd generally see the viewer seating to watch as the episodes were taped. Also, you'd see in between the Obstacle Course and the home-viewer seating all the cameras and equipment that would make for a fantastic production number.
    • Viewers who chose to take a studio tour during this time and/or go in for a taping would notice what was happening in the hallway nearby. The hallway in back of the show area contained several other obstacles that weren't being used in that day's taping, but could be used on other episodes.
  7. 7
    Recognize the hosts for this show. Although Marc Summers was the starred host of this show for most of the series' run (from the creation of this show in 1986 till 1993), this show was shot with him as being the host from Double Dare to Super Sloppy Double Dare till Family Double Dare and concluding in 1993. However, when Double Dare was revived in 2000, another host came up onstage instead; This host's name was the little-known Jason Harris who did little along the lines of other gameshows that were set for TV. While Marc Summers had a few other TV shows he was responsible for, following his taping on Double Dare ("What Would You Do?"), it was Double Dare that really brought Marc the fame and glory for the great name on his resume. (Marc Summers later hosted the documentary of how certain packaged food products are prepared on the Food Network show "Unwrapped".[3]
    • Double Dare 2000 had some of the same rules but it had several additional challenges and some changes to the Obstacle Course.
  8. 8
    Recognize the TV network that brought the viewer these games. Although the name of this article says some of it, Nickelodeon brought the viewer these games, during a programming block between 4 and 5 pm (Eastern Time). It shot and aired over 592 episodes (525 of which aired as either Double Dare (10/6/1986 - 2/19/1988), Super Sloppy Double Dare (10/6/1986 - 2/19/1988, daily) or Family Double Dare (8/13/1990 - 2/6/1993)). These aired between 1986 and 1993 as was stated before[4]. Each of these episodes generally ran anywhere between 21 and 24 minutes (though some aired no longer than 26 minutes long, but tallying with advertisements, all episodes fit neatly into the 30 minute time block that was allotted per show. Although there were some shows (Super Sloppy Double Dare) that ran daily, each show ran only on Saturday nights on Nickelodeon. for Double Dare, Family Double Dare and Double Dare 2000. (Double Dare 2000 aired between 1/22/2000 and 11/10/2000.)[5]
  9. 9
    Recognize the stage hands that helped clean the stage. During a production or in the final presentation of the episode to the TV viewer, when the host mentioned the names Robin (it was rather common to hear this name on-screen), recognize that Robin Marella and Dave Shikiar (1986-1990) or even Jamie Bojanowski and Chris Miles[6] were all just stagehands that helped in preparation of the show and during cleanup of the production stage between the toss-up question and physical challenges, all without being seen on camera (down on their knees with off-white colored towels). Robin sometimes brought out the stage props for Physical Challenges.
  10. 10
    Recognize the narrator of the show. Although all fans of Double Dare recognize the narrators, fans should recognize three names. There was one who went by just his first name upon the program (he was called Harvey) taping, there would sometimes be heard other names of other narrators that would help out on other shows. When Family Double Dare came to air, the name "Doc Holliday" showed up as the narrator instead on some episodes of 1992 and all episodes of the 1993 airings. When Double Dare was revived for Double Dare 2000, Tiffany Phillips replaced them all and became the new narrator/announcer.
    • Harvey would sometimes be seen on camera when Super Sloppy Double Dare was being taped and aired. But this wasn't normal to see his face present.
  11. 11
    Recognize where else this name of the show was aired. Although the concepts remained the same when the show was brought over from Nickelodeon to the FOX Family Channel in the 1990s, the hosts differed along with the sets and overall end game and even point values/money changed in how things were set up.
    • CBS also had a game show that they called Double Dare that was hosted by a very young Alex Trebek. But it had a completely different set of rules and end result for the game along with almost everything else during the game and should never be compared to the Nickelodeon game show. (These episodes air in syndication on BUZZR, and these don't generally make it much to YouTube.).
  12. 12
    Get used to the main game music from the introductory credits as well as the theme music from when each obstacle course's prize was introduced after the host would introduce the obstacle). This game theme music was called "On Your Mark" and any fan of this show will remember it from memory, though Double Dare 2000 had a revised edition of this song used during it's run.
    • Also, recognize the short ditty between the time between the end of the host introducing the obstacle in the Obstacle Course and when the prize was shown.


  • Recognize that this show is no longer in syndication on any TV channel. Although it was once shown in syndication on Nick Gas, when that station went away, home-viewers got busy and illegally copied them all so they can now all be seen on YouTube. (You'd be losing a fighting battle if you were to report them all for YouTube to check them out and remove the account for copyright violations and block accounts with consecutive copyright violations.) It has a strong following on YouTube if you search for it with the search term "Double Dare" or "Super Sloppy Double Dare" or "Family Double Dare" or "Double Dare 2000".
  • During some episodes of Super Sloppy Double Dare, Marc Summers would pick viewers out from the audience and have them show the contestants how to run that obstacle from the Obstacle course for the camera (so the obstacle didn't look so "plain jane" like it did when Double Dare aired). In turn, this audience member would grab a new Double Dare T-shirt, towel and even a new pair of Reebok sneakers (for some stunts that were rather watery).

Article Info

Categories: TV Viewing and Shows