The YouTube Files – Double Dare USA.

Double Dare (Nickelodeon, 1986-1987, 1990-1993, Fox, 1988)

This is the original version of the rather ridiculous game show that came to this country as part of CBBC’s Saturday Morning show Going Live! in 1987. Double Dare launched in America a year earlier in 1986, and helped to establish a game show element in the schedule of the increasingly popular at the time children’s channel Nickelodeon.

This version was hosted by Marc Summers, who had a lot of enthusiasm, but unlike our dear friend the award-winning Peter Simon who hosted the UK version, he also had the gift of being able to walk properly. Two teams of two took part, although there were a few differences to what happened in the UK. Firstly, the teams had names, and they began with a game to get control, cheered on by an overexcited studio audience. On your marks, get set, go! vlcsnap-00074

Questions were then asked (which also appeared on the screen) such as “which president got stuck in the bathtub?”, and they were worth money rather than points. If you don’t know the answer though, you can dare your opponents to have a try, but beware, because they could double dare it back! If still no-one knows, it’s time to play a physical challenge. vlcsnap-00075

This was where the team had to complete a challenge, usually in around 20 or 30 seconds, so make sure that you’ve got your kneepads on. There are usually about two of three of these played per show, so lots of money could be won. Watch out for when the hooter goes though, because that’s the end of part one, and going into the second part, the money values are all doubled! vlcsnap-00076

When the second hooter goes, it’s the end of the game. The losing team take away some consolation prizes though including a bag of Skittles, but the winners progress to play the obstacle course! In the final, there are eight obstacles, that all contain a flag. They have to find all eight of them in 60 seconds, to win some really big prizes. Now it can be done, and it ends up with a big mess everywhere. Repeat for years. vlcsnap-00078

There were also various spin-off series that were shown on a few other channels along with Nickelodeon in America. These included Family Double Dare, Super Sloppy Double Dare, and Double Dare 2000, along with a computer game too. In more recent years there have also been further revivals, along with a stage show that Summers was also involved with.

CBBC Memories – Double Dare.

Double Dare (CBBC, 1987-1992)

Double Dare must be one of the silliest game shows to have ever been on TV. Like CITV’s nearest equivalent Fun House it began on American TV in the 1980s before coming to the UK. Double Dare was often shown during the Saturday Morning extravaganza Going Live!, but it also occasionally appeared as an individual programme during the summer holidays. The show was hosted in front of a rather enthusiastic studio audience in a somewhat unique style by none other than Peter Simon. vlcsnap-00456

Two teams of two took part. First of all they played a quick challenge to determine who got control of the game. On your marks, get set, go! They would then be asked general knowledge questions. If they didn’t know the answer, they would “dare” it over to their opponents. If they didn’t know either they would “double dare” it back. If still no-one knew the team had to take a physical challenge, and what fun this would be. vlcsnap-00457

The team had to complete a daft challenge in a very short time. If they did it, they won the points on offer. If not, the other team got them. This would carry on until a high-tech electronic noise signalled that it was time for Double Double Dare, where the points were doubled, can you deal with how exciting all this is. They did this until time ran out and the highest scoring team went on to the obstacle course. Double Dare 5

There were eight obstacles and 60 seconds on the clock. The more obstacles the team successfully navigated, the more prizes they won. If they get all eight they win the star prize, what a good job! Not many teams did this and it really was a terrific achievement. vlcsnap-00460

The mixture of all this was very good but the thing that really made Double Dare always worth watching for me was Peter Simon. His somewhat madcap style of presenting was rather remarkable really. He is best remembered for not having the ability to walk during the physical challenges and yet it was still funny every single time as he got covered in gunge and lost control of what has happening. He also seemed to get more excited than the contestants did when they completed to obstacle course which is always an amusing sight and he started jumping around with them before falling over yet again. What a guy. Double Dare 6

Double Dare was a rather short show, with not many episodes running longer than 20 minutes but they packed a lot of great fun in. There were also variations with Celebrity Double Dare and Family Double Dare. After Double Dare ended, the final series of Going Live! featured the new gunge-filled game show Run The Risk, which then continued into the early days of Live & Kicking. Peter Simon stayed on for this and he was joined by Shane Richie. This show was great too and I’ll review that soon. vlcsnap-00458