Nickelodeon brought green slime to the forefront of television with its 1986 program, Double Dare. A combination of quiz show and obstacle course, the kid’s network made sure to provide plenty of slime, jelly, syrup, and other forms of goo.
Host Marc Summers started things off by having the two competing teams, decked out in safety helmets, start with a “physical challenge.” This consisted of pushing apples with their noses in a wheelbarrow race, throwing eggs to their partners who cracked them on their heads, or wrapping their partners in toilet paper. Whoever could finish the stunt first controlled the game.
Once the first mess had been made, Summers introduced the teams with names like “Ghastly Goobers” and “Stud Muffins.” He was joined by his assistants Robin, Dave and Jamie, and “Harvey” the announcer who never shied away from teasing the host.
The initial coin toss decided what team was in control. Marc then asked that team a question. If they knew the answer they could win $10. If they didn’t, or if they thought the other team didn’t, they had the option of daring the opposing team to answer it for $20. The second team could answer correctly and win the money, or double dare back to the first team, raising the stakes again to $40.
At this point, the first team could either answer the question correctly or opt for the physical challenge. Both would win the team $40, but the second option was definitely messier. The team might be asked to fill up a cup with sprayed whipped cream while one player held the cup in his or her mouth, catch an egg with a pair of cymbals while blindfolded, or toss pies into another players big clown pants. The options were endless.
Dollar values doubled in the second round, and the team with the most money at the end went on to face the obstacle course. It consisted of eight different challenges, each with its own prize and its own orange flag. If the team could get all the orange flags in under a minute, they won the grand prize – a trip to Walt Disney World, Space Camp, or some other totally cool family trip.
The obstacle course consisted of one slimy mess after another. There was the Sundae Slide, which had them running up a ramp coated with chocolate syrup. The Slime Canal meant diving under a bar in a kiddie pool that was filled with the aforementioned green slime. They could pedal a tricycle across a slippery surface in the Icy Trike, or play Pick It, where they had to find the flag inside a giant nose.
Double Dare was the first game show on Nickelodeon, but it proved so popular that it was soon joined by Finders Keepers in 1987, and an array of new game shows ever since.
Fox picked up Family Double Dare for their prime time lineup in the spring and summer of 1988. In this version, Mom and Dad were added to the team, and the prize was now a new car. After three months on Fox, the show moved to Nick in 1990 and the original show changed it’s name to Super Sloppy Double Dare, no doubt to capitalize on the sliminess that was the show’s calling card. The show was cancelled in 1991, leaving Family Double Dare to carry on the gooey tradition until 1993.
After showing reruns for the rest of the 90s, Nick brought a new version of the show to the network in January 2000 called Double Dare 2000. With host Jason Harris and announcer Tiffany Phillips, the updated show provided kids a whole new opportunity to get coated with slime, goo, and gak. We double dare you to say what could be better than that.
If you were a fan of the messy mayhem that was Double Dare, we invite you to share your memories of watching this classic kids game show, here at Retroland.