The rockin' theme song, brilliantly-composed by Edd Kalehoff, was cleverly-titled "On Your Marc".
Super Sloppy Double Dare was the first game show to be taped at Nickelodeon Studios at the Universal Studios theme park in 1989, predating the park's official opening date by a year. Double Dare 2000was the last.
A typical taping day was 3-4 episodes; two up-front games and two endgames with both respective winning teams, followed by two more up-front games and two more endgames with different respective winning teams. Usually, the entire taping day featured the same obstacle course lineup, but with slight changes as the day went on.
Adored by the Network: Double Dare 2000 saw the most frequent airtime out of every Nickelodeon game show towards the end of GaS. It was the only version of Double Dare to air on the channel in the final two years of its life.
Development Hell: In between the 1992 season of Family and 2000, there were two unsuccessful attempts to revive the series: one in 1995 and another in 1998. The second is discussed in detail below.
Doing It for the Art: The reason Marc Summers, an OCD sufferer (though nobody knew it at the time), agreed to host one of the messiest shows ever made.
With Fun House, at which several Take Thats were directed. In one noteworthy example, Marc Summers had a Cable ACE award given to Double Dare prominently displayed on his podium, and he proudly declared, "Fun House doesn't have one of these, we do!", while in an episode of Super Sloppy Double Dare in which a curse had ostensibly been placed on the show, Marc joked that perhaps Fun House host J.D. Roth was responsible for the curse.
Yet, over in the UK, the relationship was inverted somewhat. Where this show went on to a run and a revival in the US, in the UK it was relegated to a segment on the BBC's Saturday-morning variety show Going Live!Fun House, on the other hand, got only a couple years in the US (two in syndication, one on Fox Kids), but in the UK went on to a ten-year run on CiTV.
They had a somewhat more friendly rivalry with Finders Keepers, as both Nickelodeon shows were conceived and produced by Geoffrey Darby and Michael Klinghoffer, and even recorded at the studios of WHYY-12 in Philadelphia until 1988 (Finders Keepers actually drew bigger audience figures than Double Dare for much of its short run). In one memorable episode, Summers asked a young audience member named Andrea, "What's your favourite show on TV?" Andrea immediately replied, "Finders Keepers!" (In addition to the usual Double Dare T-shirt, she was also given a Finders Keepers shirt.)
They also had another friendly rivalry with Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, as host Greg Lee previously worked on Double Dare as a contestant coordinator and studio audience warm-up comedian. In addition, series director and co-developer Dana Calderwood also previously worked on Double Dare in a variety of roles, including associate director, director, producer, and writer. In the first episode of the fifth season of the latter show, Summers made an appearance in one of the sketches which gave out the clues to where the crook had gone, and even began reciting theRules Spiel to Double Dare before Greg corrected him.
Each episode from the first season in 1986 featured a plug for the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, where the cast and crew of the show stayed at. This was edited out of most episodes, because of the phone number in the plug. However, two episodes retained it: Pop Tarts Vs. Potato Heads, and the Christmas special, Razzles Vs. Grizwalds.
There was also a stunt plug seen in very early 1986 episodes, letting the viewers know how they could send in an idea for a stunt in future episodes. Naturally, this was also edited out. Without any commercial breaks, each 1986 and 1987 episode of Double Dare was 23 minutes and 57 seconds long.
The first episode of the prime time version of Family Double Dare from 1988, featured a prologue with host Marc Summers, nestled inside The Big Cheese obstacle, reminding the viewers that this was a special sneak preview episode. Reruns dropped the prologue.
The Fox season of the show also originally had Marc make references to the network, and what time it was on, in every episode. They are edited out of the episodes offered on iTunes. (Oddly, they were kept intact during the 1990 Nick repeats, despite the fact they were no longer accurate.)
Nickelodeon regularly edited the sponsor plugs for Family Double Dare, along with their othergame shows. At least four episodes episodes circulate with the original plugs, three from the original Nick airings, and one from a GaS rerun. This practice ended when reruns moved to Nick GaS.
Follow the Leader: There were several "messy kids' show" clones, most egregiously the short-lived Slime Time. However, most of the other kids' games of the era had completely different stunts and/or presentation.
Franchise Killer: 2000. Aside from specials, there have been no plans for any Double Dare revival since its cancellation.
Irony as She Is Cast: Marc Summers was host for seven years (1986-93) of a game show remembered as one of the messiest ever. Summers has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and he's been known to obsessively straighten out the fringe on a rug. When this news became common knowledge, he became something of a Memetic Badass since he was able to power through filming such a messy show and enduring having contestants Covered in Gunge hug him.
One 1990 episode of Family Double Dare never reran on Nick GaS. It finally re-surfaced on YouTube in December 2011.
Some episodes of the first season of Super Sloppy Double Dare, which aired on Sunday mornings and was more or less a carbon copy of the regular weekday edition, were taped in July 1987. Only 21 episodes aired on Nick GaS, and two that didn't air there circulates, with one of them only having most of the main game intact.
Highlights from these missing episodes include Marc Summers doing a Mary Tyler Moore impersonation, Marc losing it over a toy boat and spitting to the camera during an obstacle course briefing (as shown in the 1988 Direct-to-Video special Double Dare: The Inside Slop), and one team in particular winning the main game with a record-breaking $750 ($375 for each of the two teammates), as described in 1988's The Double Dare Game Book.
A clip of Marc and two kids getting drenched by white slime at the end of the show (as shown in the other 1988 Direct-to-Video special Double Dare: The Messiest Moments) is from the incomplete circulating episode the Masterminds vs. the Dynamic Duo.
In 2016, the Schwarzeneggers vs. Live Wires episode of the first season of Super Sloppy Double Dare was uploaded to YouTube by Adam Barcan of the Schwarzeneggers team.
One Orlando episode from 1989, Seattle Slug Squishers vs. Disco Dynamos, resurfaced in 2014.
Near-complete collections of the various series under the Double Dare umbrella sometimes surface on YouTube, but they're not always there for very long before the accounts are nuked; watch them while you can.
Missing Episode: An episode was not aired because a kid with fragile bones lied on the application form to get on the show. His team made it to the obstacle course where he broke his arm. It didn't help that his father was a lawyer; they wound up appeasing him with the seventh obstacle's prize to avoid being sued.
Promoted Fan Girl: Tiffany Phelps who announced Double Dare 2000 was a huge fan of the original version.
Real-Life Relative: On one occasion, Marc's wife Alice, helped demonstrate one of the physical challenges.
Screwed by the Network: There was a brief prime time version of the show which aired on FOX during the summer of 1988. However, it only lasted 13 episodes due to disagreements between Nickelodeon and FOX, as FOX wanted to produce more specials while Nickelodeon wanted the show to remain kid-friendly. This became the first volley which led to FOX striking out on their own and creating Fox Kids.
Among the hopefuls that auditioned along with Marc Summers was Michael Burger who would later host a similar show, Family Challenge on The Family Channel, a decade later (replacing the late Ray Combs); he had earlier hosted a failed pilot from RegGrundy called Matchmates in 1985, and hosted the ill-fated 1998 version of Match Game.
At the end of the Family Double Dare Tournament of Champions, Marc announced another tournament would take place the following year. At the time the episode was taped, the staff was considering another season of Family but they mutually agreed to end the show with Marc saying, "We could do reruns forever."
Allegedly, Josh Server hosted a pilot for Family Double Dare 2000 in 1998 on a replica of the Family Double Dare set.
Tom Kenny auditioned to host Double Dare 2000 with Doc Holliday also expressing interest for the announcer's spot. Both were turned down.
You Look Familiar: One of the first episodes of the Nickelodeon Family Double Dare had a team called the Holders; an episode later that season had a team called the No Clue Crew made up of the same family. They even had the mother and daughter do the same physical challenge.