If you've been following me for any length of time, I'm sure you've heard me reference one of the best game shows to ever be created, Double Dare. Today is October 6, 2018... and 32 years ago, Nickelodeon brought us this super sloppy game show for the very first time.
That might not seem too momentous to you, but to a strong and loyal group of friends that have found each other through the years by way of a mutual fondness of the show, we find ourselves being inspired all over again now that Double Dare is back on the air with original host Marc Summers and new host Liza Koshy of YouTube fame.
We in this core group found something special in the magical mess of Double Dare that is often hard to describe. I think it encapsulated the best years of our lives and the best years of America - when television was a wasteland of daytime talkers and soaps and not much for kids. The 1980's were the formative years for many of us in the Double Dare fandom along with other game show greats like The Price is Right, Pyramid and Wheel of Fortune. When Nickelodeon saw the opportunity to give us kids their own show, replete with trademark slime and gak, well, it was only a matter of time before it became a giant hit.
The show concept itself isn't the only reason it succeeded. It was 32 years ago that we were introduced to host Marc Summers, who at the time had almost given up on trying to find his break in show biz. He was surrounded by the most creative people in television and gave him a chance to shine. He became OUR Bob Barker. Our Pat Sajak. Our Alex Trebek. Our generation's Dick Clark.
Along the way, we kids had a new friend to turn to every afternoon after school. Along with assistant Robin and announcer Harvey, we were treated to the kind of fun we'd never be allowed to create in our own homes. We lived vicariously through them. They all had the kind of friendship that kids themselves had. They showed us you don't really have to grow up.
Long after Double Dare ended it's initial run on Nickelodeon in 1993, the core fandom refused to let the show die even as Nick ran endless reruns. We ran early web fansites, the original stans of the internet.
Through the years, Marc went on to host shows such as What Would You Do? on Nick and Unwrapped on Food Network among others. It was during this I found myself working through the final years of high school and eventually college, knowing I wanted to do what he was doing: having fun at work every single day.
Long story short, that's how I ended up working at iHeartRadio. It was through my job that I finally had a chance to talk to and get to know Marc Summers and Robin Marella (née Russo). Both were full of advice for a baby DJ entering the world of showbiz. Radio has proven to be very good to me, allowing so many fantastic experiences, concerts, events and meeting some of the most talented people in the world. Amazingly, Marc & Robin are teamed up once again bringing Double Dare on the road to cities this fall.
It was on this day, 32 years ago, I was fully inspired to begin my career in broadcasting and it's all directly attributable to the dreams that the cast & crew of Double Dare implanted in an impressionable group of young kids.
I'm excited for the reboot not only because it calls back to a time of innocence, but because I know somewhere out there another kid is being inspired right now to follow in our footsteps. No matter how messy those footsteps may be. Take a look at a classic episode of Double Dare below.