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 from April-May 1989, a year before it officially opened. Double Dare 2000was the last, taping in January and July of 2000.
On average, a typical taping on the original series was as many as 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 tape date featured the same obstacle course layout, but with slight changes as the day went on.
The timer above Marc in the 1986-93 run rotated 180 degrees in between physical challenges on the Fox run of Family, Orlando-based episodes of Super Sloppy, Super Special and the 1992 season of Family. On all seasons where the timer did not rotate, it displayed "00" when not in use. The clock was chroma-keyed in every version except for the Orlando run of Super Sloppy which used a graphic for most of its run. 2000 and the 2018 revival used graphics for the clock.
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 yearsnote 3½ years for Dish Network subscribers of its life.
Alan Smithee: Dana Calderwood directed 2000 under the pseudonym "Hal Leigh". He based the name on his daughter Hallie.
Breakthrough Hit: To put it simply, this show was the one that turned Nickelodeon from a little known cable network to one of the leaders in children's entertainment.
The Cast Showoff: On occasion, Marc would do magic tricks. Marc has also worked as a Magician outside of his game show hosting career. In 1988, he starred in his own Nickelodeon Halloween special called Marc Summers' Mystery Magical Tour.
Channel Hop: The FOX-aired run of Family along with a syndicated series.
Creator Backlash: In an interview with AfterBuzz TV, Marc Summers said "there were issues" with 2000 for which he was executive consultant. He admitted that the Triple Dare Challenge took way too much time out of the game, and the show would have been just fine without it.
Creator's Favorite: Marc Summers has said that his favorite obstacle is the Gum Drop, having gone through it on the "Marc Vs. Harvey" episode of Super Sloppy.
To wrap up the 1990 Family season, an "Old Timers" episode was taped with various people associated with Double Dare playing the game. Then-Nickelodeon president Geraldine Laybourne, executive producer Geoffrey Darby, art director Byron Taylor and co-creator Bob Mittenthal played against production manager Lauren Gray, original director Dana Calderwood, Robin and Harvey. The episode wasn't meant for broadcast, but a segment where the crew members carried Marc into the Sundae Slide's landing pod was included in the Double Dare: Super Sloppiest Moments video. Darby uploaded the episode to his YouTube account in 2015.
Marc Summers being the announcer of the 2018 version.
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 Nickelodeon 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 airings, and one from a Nick GAS rerun. This practice ended when reruns moved to Nick GAS.
As for the 1992 season, the Tournament of Champions finale exists from the original February 7, 1993 airing with original plugs, as well as from an August 21, 1994 rerun with redubbed plugs at the very end. There is also an original broadcast of Ballistics Vs. Tarpon Terrors, posted by one of the contestants, but the parting gifts are partly cut.
Any applicant to be on the show who was related to an attorney was barred from competing due to an incident where a contestant escaped injury on the Sewer Chute obstacle, and his attorney father threatened to sue the show. They settled by giving him a big-screen television, which was the seventh prize despite the team not completing its obstacle.
A likely reason why Marc was demoted to executive consultant for 2000. He later admitted that he did not agree with many of the show's changes.
Follow the Leader: There were several "messy kids' show" clones, like Slime Time. However, most of the other kids' games of the era had completely different stunts and/or presentation.
Whenever an obstacle gets updated on a later season, fans give it numbers to distinguish the newer version from its predecessor. These include "Inside-Out 2.0" for the Super Sloppy and Family versions of "Inside-Out" and "Kid Wash III" for the Double Dare 2000 update of 1992's "Kid Wash II"
Double Dare '18/'19 for the latest revival.
Franchise Killer: As a result of 2000, it took 18 years for there to be another Double Dare revival.
All episodes of season 1 from 1986 are accounted for, except for Extraordinaries Vs. Challengers. At present, only a 5-minute clip exists on YouTube. Jacin Ferrell, older brother of Dion of the Extraordinaries team, said in the comments that he has the full episode.
Three episodes from season 2 early in 1987 are unaccounted for. One of them, Goldfish Vs. Gumballs, is almost never in circulation. Another one of these missing episodes was shown in the 1988 Direct-to-Video special Double Dare: The Inside Slop. During the briefing of the Harvey's Wild Oats physical challenge, this exchanged ensued:
Marc: "This must be your grandfather, because nobody looks like this anymore." Harvey (dressed up like the man on Harvey's Wild Oats): "Um, nobody I know either, Marc."
130 episodes were taped for Syndication in 1988. Seven are unaccounted for. One episode, Cosmic Sparks Vs. Slimey Worms, had been missing the second round since the Nick GAS reruns. The full version with the missing second round surfaced on Amazon Prime in December 2019.
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 three 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 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.
On January 17, 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.
On October 19, 2018, the Columbus Cougars Vs. K-Team episode of the first season of Super Sloppy Double Dare was uploaded to Dailymotion.
Presumably, the actual first episode of the Orlando run of Super Sloppy taped on April 17, 1989, didn't even have the Double D's on the center stage, if this image is anything to go by.◊ The earliest one rerun from this season, Super Sloppy Slimey Suckers Vs. Toasted Crackers, had the Double D's.
One Orlando episode from 1989, Seattle Slug Squishers Vs. Disco Dynamos, resurfaced in 2014.
Rescued with the three Family runs and 2000. One 1990 episode never reran on Nick GaS for some reason, resurfacing on YouTube in December 2011. The 1992 Tournament of Champions special (the final episode of the original run) stopped airing on GaS prior to 2005. A re-run from 1994 is the one that's most circulated.
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.
An episode was not aired because a kid broke his arm on the obstacle course. He had fragile bones and lied on the application form to get on the show.
The opening to Celebrity has Stuart Pankin as one of the celebrities but it is not known if a second pilot exists.
Name's the Same: One boy who played on a Super Sloppy episode was named Jesse Jackson. Marc asked him if it was problematic having the same name as the civil rights activist, to which he said no.
No Budget: The 1992 season where the grand prize was changed from a car to a vacation. To be fair, the Tournament of Champions special awarded a minivan for beating the course.
Out of Order: Averted with the Fox primetime version, in which the episodes aired in taping order.
Production Posse: Marc, Harvey, Edd Kalehoff, producers Dana Calderwood and Michael Klinghoffer, and set designer Jim Fenhagen all later worked on the short-lived game show History IQ.
Promoted Fanboy: Tiffany Phelps who announced Double Dare 2000 was a huge fan of the original version.
Prop Recycling: The 1986-2000 versions continued to reuse most of the same props until the staff had to throw them out. Some props, such as the One-Ton Human Hamster Wheel and the twisty part of the Sundae Slide, were used in Legends of the Hidden Temple.
Real-Life Relative: On one occasion, Marc's wife Alice, helped demonstrate one of the physical challenges.
Saved from 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.
There was a brief prime time version of the show which aired on FOX during the summer of 1988. However, it only lasted a single season of 13 episodes due to disagreements between FOX and Nickelodeon. FOX wanted adult-oriented 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. Since Nickelodeon already had a lease on the New York studio, footage for The Messiest Moments and The Inside Slop was shot in lieu of episodes.
2000 and the 2018 revival were both cancelled without warning after their second production cycles were completed. Both had it pretty bad: re-runs of 2000 moved to Nick GaS by year's end, and the 2018 revival had six less episodes in its run than 2000 did.
There was also an extremely short-lived Billy Dee Williams series of the same name that aired in 1985, featuring him as a reformed jewel thief.
Throw It In!: In the first taped obstacle course win from 1992, a cameraman tripped over one of the bowling pins from the Big Bowl obstacle. The footage went in as aired with Doc and Marc having the prize total and sign-off faded over each other respectively.
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 Reg Grundy called Matchmates in 1985, and hosted the ill-fated 1998 version of Match Game. Other potential hosts included Soupy Sales (who Nick decided was too old) and Dana Carvey (he got his invite to join Saturday Night Live on the same day Nick offered him the Double Dare gig).
Several obstacles were developed that never made it past the planning or testing stage. One was "The Barber Chair," in which a contestant was supposed to use a lever underneath the chair to push themselves up into the air until they could reach the flag hanging on a pole. It was scrapped when they realized the contestants would have trouble getting down.
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.