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Series / Double Dare (1976)

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Game Show created by Jay Wolpert for Mark Goodson, which aired on CBS from 1976-77. Host Alex Trebek read a series of clues to two contestants, who were in Sound Proof Booths. When one player buzzed in to guess the subject, the other player's booth closed. An incorrect answer resulted in a "penalty clue" and free guess for the opposing player. A correct answer was worth $50 and allowed the player to Dare their opponent to guess the answer with the next clue for $100. If the dared player missed, the darer could "Double Dare" with one more clue for $200. A correct answer on a Dare awarded $50, while one on a Double Dare awarded $100. The first player to score $500 won.

Not to be confused with Nickelodeon's Double Dare, which is a very different (and much messier) show.


This series provides examples of:

  • The Announcer: Johnny Olson and Gene Wood shared this role.
  • Bonus Round: "The Spoilers," usually three men (sometimes two men and a woman) with doctorates in different disciplines. The contestant was shown a subject and tried to stump the Spoilers by choosing four clues from a pool of eight, with the ability to pass up to four if they felt it was too easy. Each time a Spoiler didn't guess the answer, the contestant received $100; if a Spoiler guessed the answer, they received $100 and sat out for the rest of the round. If at least one Spoiler remained stumped after the fourth clue, the contestant won $5,000.
  • Downer Ending: One contestant had gotten three clues by three spoilers for a total of $900. Unfortunately, all three Spoilers got the answer with the last clue.
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  • Epic Fail: Even after the maximum 10 clues, both players were unable to identify Louise Lasser, the star of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
  • Funny Afro: Trebek had one, believe it or not. Complete with the Porn Stache he had then, he could not look more 70s than he did on Double Dare. And he had it during almost all of his 1970s hosting gigs.
  • Game Show Host: Alex Trebek, in his only game for CBS.
  • Game Show Winnings Cap: $25,000, although champions would be retired after passing the $20,000 mark.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the final few episodes, the writers were starting to have fun with their clues (well, if that worked for getting The Match Game Un-Cancelled...). The Grand Finale featured a hilarious round with some rather racy clues for "boomerang". The hilarity is only amplified further through Trebek, who was either completely oblivious to what they planted in there, or outright knew and delivered it straight.
    "The more horizontal this thing is kept while in action, the more you'll get what you're after."
    "In the film Walkabout, the lead male straps one against his thigh with his loincloth."
    "To use one properly, grip it firmly with three fingers at the curve near the tip."
    "Before using it, members of the French Resistance during World War II would announce, 'I'm going to telephone Hitler.'"
  • Losing Horns: Type A. Recycled from The Price Is Right, minus the first two notes.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Probably as a payback for taking assorted sound effects from other CBS shows (including The Price Is Right's Losing Horns, the sound when the player pulls the giant bonus lever from the "Face the Devil" bonus round of The Joker's Wild, and that one sound from Penny Ante and Trivia Trap), the entire intro (music and all) was recycled on Card Sharks.
  • Show the Folks at Home: When the first main game subject of each episode was put into play, Trebek would remind viewers to look away until they heard the bell if they were playing along at home.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Trebek, as is typical for his hosting gigs.
  • Sound Proof Booth: Each contestant was placed in one, as were each of the Spoilers.


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