Pop Culture | 90s | 80s

'Double Dare' Host Shares What It Was Really Like Behind-The-Scenes Of Our Favorite Game Show

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Double Dare was one of those shows that kept us glued to the TV when we were young. We all thought that if we could get on that stage, we would be able to beat those challenges with ease. Obviously that's not true, but it doesn't hurt to dream right?

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Marc Summers was the host of the epic Nickelodeon game show from 1986 until 1993. He also was one of the executive producers and made sure that the show was a hit. He told Business Insider a bunch of details from the filming process that make us miss the show even more.

They made 30 shows a week

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Summers said, "It was fun. We started off doing 4 shows a day, then 5 shows a day, and we got up to 6 shows in one day. Times 5 days, that was 30 shows a week."

How they cast the kids

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Casting the kids was done in a way to make sure they had "real kids. According to Summers, "the thing that made us distinctive, over anything that was on the Disney Channel, was we used real kids. We didn't have the blonde-haired, blue-eyed a perfect child. Our kids had acne, and their hair was messed up. And I think the kids at home related more to the people that we had on our show than anything that was currently running on Disney at that time."

His favorite challenge?

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"Favorite physical challenge of all time on "Double Dare" was 'Pies in your Pants,'" he explained, "There was a catapult over here. You'd put a pie down, you'd shoot it up in the air, somebody had clown pants, and they had to catch 3 pies in their pants in 30 seconds or less.

His least favorite challenge?

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There was one specific challenge that gave him a lot of trouble, and that involved pet food. He said, "The one thing that I had trouble with physical challenges, was pet food. You see, if you open up a can of dog food, I pretty much lose it. And so they kept trying to get me to do this physical challenge, and as soon as I walked over to the set, and there was all this dog food, I almost lost it. I puked, almost. And I had to go outside, and they had to change the physical challenge."

But what has he been up to since?

His struggles with OCD

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Summers was struggling with OCD when he landed the gig. You wouldn't think that this was the ideal job for someone who was obsessively cleaning, but he actually was okay with it. He explained, "So people say to me all the time, "Well you must have hated it." I didn't. You know, think about it. I've been around in LA for about 13 years, it was my first real job on television. So I was happy as hell to have it. And so the slime didn't bother me in any way, shape, or form. Now, after the show, did I want to get showered and get that stuff off me? Absolutely."

On transitioning into theater

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Summers says that "I always wanted to host shows, but I didn't get my first opportunity until I was 34. Prior to that, I was doing theater. I always wanted to be on Broadway, in a show."

It wasn't until years later that he was able to return to his roots. After he experienced two life threatening situations, one being cancer and the other being a serious car accident, he decided it was time to try again. He said "I cheated death twice, and I figured, well, if I'm going to do theater, now is the time."

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He had an interesting route to where he's heading, he explained, "So I did summer stock about 6 years ago. I played Vince Fontaine in "Grease." And I met a couple of guys who were young up-and-comers on Broadway. And I talked to them about doing a one-man show. And they wrote it for me, and we performed it last year at a place called Bloomington Playwrights Project in Bloomington Indiana. And then we did the Adirondack Theatre Festival. And we're now in conversations to take it around the country and also do it Off- Broadway."

His other upcoming projects

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He actually has a documentary coming out about his life. He says that "It's called "On Your Marc," A little play on words of "Double Dare." The documentary was "shot behind the scenes of doing a one-man show and everything in between. So should be very interesting"

Most importantly, would he ever do 'Double Dare' again?

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"Here's a question I get all the time. If they brought "Double Dare" back, would I do it. And the answer is: absolutely. Why not?"

You can watch the full interview below.

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