Runner-up: What Would You Do?
Not quite as much of a game show as the others on this list but I felt it still needed mention. It was hosted by Marc Summers and his partner from Double Dare, Robin Marrella. The cool thing about this show was that anyone in the audience could be involved. It was filmed at Universal Studios in Florida. I always had dreams of being an audience member and jumping at the opportunity to eat a Twinkie with gravy or chug a glass of milk quicker than the other kid…all with the reward of smashing a pie in his face.
Prizes were awarded for some things but normally it was just a “What Would You Do?” shirt or water bottle. The best part about the Wall O’ Stuff at the end of the show was when they didn’t get a prize and got a pie or cream squirted in the face instead. Some of the awesome parts of the show were the Pie Coaster, Pie Roulette, the Pie Wash and who could forget the Pie Pod (1,2,3 or four pies?) always FOUR!!!! One of the best things was during the family contests when a spouse, parent or kid would take out their frustration on one another with a good pieing.
5.) Figure It Out
Hosted by the fabulous Summer Sanders (also an Olympic gold-medalist swimmer & NBA Inside Stuff host), I had such a crush on her. This show featured some kid with a random talent which the panel of judges had three rounds to guess off of Billy the Answerhead. They were aided by various clues and the “Charade Brigade”.
The judges were allowed to ask yes or no questions and if they received a yes they continued asking questions. The best was when they’d inadvertently perform the “Secret Slime Action” and get green goo dumped all over them. Danny of course would always fling his hair back getting the crowd in on the action.
The judges would rotate from show to show but some of the regulars were Lori Beth Denberg, of All That fame, Danny Tamberelli, from The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Amanda Bynes. Some interesting panelists have been Coolio, WWE’s The Big Show and the Steelers Kordell Stewart.
I don’t know about you but I would always cover my eyes and ears when Summer mentioned the kids skill so as to be able to play along with the judges. I would have loved to be on this show but I’m not sure if my talent of being able to down a tube of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles in 1 minute was worthy enough. All be honest with you though, some of those “talents” were pretty darned pathetic….one of them was a kid who was born with a birthmark on his back that looked like the big dipper.
Here is a video of a very awkward but very hysterical tubby kid showing of his ability to eat way too much watermelon while the whole time behaving, and sounding, like a pig.
4.) Legends of the Hidden Temple
Who can resist the mighty draw of Olmac? I’m still a little curious about the host Kirk Fogg though. From the tight jeans and the quasi-Indiana Jones thing going on, what with repelling down from the rafters at the start of the show. He was always pretty goofy to me.
The show starts with 6 teams (Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots and Silver Snakes) pitted against each other in crossing the moat. Of that, the quickest four teams moved on to “The Steps of Knowledge” where they had to listen to a history lesson from Olmec and answer trivia questions based on the story. From this the top two teams moved on.
The two teams would compete in three various “Temple Games” with the first two winning them half a pendant of life and the third scoring them a whole pendent of life. The pendants of life are used in the final round to ward of the Temple Guards within the temple. The Temple Games always looked like they would be a blast to try. I especially liked any of the wall climbing ones or the bungee related ones.
The best part of the whole show of course was The Temple Run. If you had two full Pendants of life you could potentially win the grand prize no problem if you were quick enough. If you didn’t have both it was possible to be snatched up by the Temple Guards. The team had 3 minutes to get in, go through the various rooms, find the hidden artifact and get back out. I always felt like I could do this no problem. I would have loved a to take a shot at it. I probably would have been humbled and failed miserably though, I’m sure it wasn’t quite as easy as it looked.
3.) Wild and Crazy Kids
This was a great show and at one time hosted by Omar Gooding, the lesser known brother of Cuba Gooding who was also on Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper (man…I miss Marc Curry). This was essentially a couple teenagers leading a bunch of kids in various messy games. It was like a day at fun camp. Water balloons, buckets of spaghetti, egg tosses, pies in the face, Slip ‘N’ Slide races….this was like what you’d come up with if you and your friends were left to your own devices at the park with a slew of props and food stuffs.
Sometimes they would have celebrity appearances on the show. Did you know that Chuck Norris, Hulk Hogan, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all appeared on it at one time or another….how badass is that?
2.) Double Dare
Hosted by the great Marc Summers (also of Unwrapped fame), this was the one of the first successful Nickelodeon game shows and pretty much what lead to the whole kid game show fad. If I may be so bold I would refer to it as the Godfather. There were quite a few ‘spin-offs” like Supper Sloppy Double Dare, Family Double Dare and Double Dare 2000…but none are as memorable as the original.
There were 2 teams that competed in a trivia round that if they didn’t know the answer could dare, double-dare or failing that opt for the physical challenge. The physical challenge was always the most fun. They obviously made some of the questions tougher as to get to be able to get to the physical challenge.
Some of them were dreadfully pitiful, like the crew that came up with the ideas had nothing just minutes before the show and just threw something together without even trying it or testing. But some of the games were awesome. I would love to catch a few pies in my pants or fill those buckets full of green slime.
Of course the mack daddy of them all was getting to the obstacle course filled with 8 different challenges. I knew for sure that I could get all of those orange flags. My favorite was the nose picking one, the Ice Cream Sundae Slide, the the Chocolate Tunnel and the Hamster Wheel. And in what can only be explained as possibly the most amazing 90s marriage of oddities…I bring you Weird Al Yankovic on Family Double Dare doing a faceplant while attempting the Hamster Wheel (also featuring Lou Ferrigno oddly enough).
Also check out this awesome behind the scenes show done in 1989 with Marc Summers taking us through all the ins and outs of the amazing Double Dare.
By far the best best show of the bunch. What kid would not want to spill their GUTS in the Extreme Arena? Hosted by the awesomely enthusiastic Mike O’Malley (now known for his work on Yes, Dear) and helped out by the kind of attractive, mainly for her accent, Moira “Mo” Quirk.
This was the most physical of all the Nickelodeon game shows and probably the most lopsided as far as talent and skill are concerned. The most athletic, rightfully so, would most often win and unfortunately more often than not that meant the female contest was left lagging in the rear. I did however love seeing when they whooped the weak boys butst and humiliated them on TV.
There were so many different events that they had that I would have loved an opportunity to try. From jumping off a huge ledge attached to a bungee cord and trying to crossbow a big target or dunk a basketball to the Zero G event where you had to run sideways along the track jumping hurdles and off of trampolines. There was also all of the pool events and the track events. My favorite was the Mad Max event where you had to navigate the track in a souped up tricycle, the best was when the contestants tipped over in it.
The end-all-be-all of the show and the most amazing round of any game show ever, on any network, and for any age group is the almighty Aggro Crag (at one time becoming the Mega Crag). This beast of an obstacle challenge was 28 feet of pure awesomeness where the contestants had to active all the actuators on the way up, all the while being sprayed with air guns, showered in confetti and having foam rocks dumped on them. God help me if every time I saw that thing I wanted nothing more in my life then to scale it triumphantly defeating the lesser two contestants and celebrating like Chad Ochocinco scoring the game winning touchdown. What I wouldn’t give to attempt the Aggro Crag right now.
As if the reach of GUTS could not expand any further, check out the supreme version of them all…Global GUTS!