Titlecard used in the first two seasons
October 6, 1986 – 1993
No. of Episodes
Double Dare was the first Nickelodeon game show that was taped from 1986 to 1988 and aired until 1991. It was aired on Nickelodeon its whole run and additionally in syndication for its third season in 1988. In 2013 the local independent station KWTC 29 started airing reruns of Double Dare starting on September 5, 2013. Another revival of the series began on June 25, 2018.
Double Dare's format combines trivia questions with occasionally messy stunts.
Each episode begins with Summers saying "on your mark, get set... GO!" to start a tossup challenge, with the first team to accomplish the stunt winning $20 and control of the first round. They would then be asked a question worth $10. If they chose to answer it and they are correct, they win the money. If they chose not to answer it, they would have to "dare" their opponents, making the question worth $20. The other team could then "double dare" them back, and the question, now worth $40, would either have to be answered or the team would have to take a Physical Challenge.
Teams who answered incorrectly lost control, with money added to their opponent's score if a dare or double dare was at stake.
Host Marc Summers typically explained the rules like this:
"I'm going to ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, or think the other team hasn't got a clue, you can dare them to answer it for double the dollars. But be careful: they can always double dare you back for four times the amount, and then you either have to answer that question or take the Physical Challenge."
At the end of the first round, a double buzzer would sound and the show would go to commercial. The teams would then compete in a second tossup, this one worth $40 and control of the second round. All dollar values would then be doubled: $20 on a question, $40 on a dare, and $80 on a double dare.
At the end of the second round, the team with the most money wins the game and advances to the Obstacle Course. Each team splits their winnings, but the losing team is sent home with parting gifts.
The first season was aired on Nickelodeon in 1986, with a second season airing until 1987. Both seasons consisted of 65 episodes. During this period, both teams competed in red uniforms and the lighted triangles on the team podiums were both colored blue.
Double Dare began its third season in 1988, airing simultaneously on Nickelodeon, FOX, and in syndication on numerous independent stations in the USA. The stage-left team now wore blue uniforms, and the scoreboard border and lighted triangle colors reflected the change. Halfway during the season, the show received a refurbished set with a new backdrop behind Summers' podium and new lighting behind the contestant lecterns. New music began to be used with a horn lead, with new music tracks being implemented on Physical Challenges, the Obstacle Course, and a new ending theme. The show also received a new logo in this season, but it was not adapted for the show's successor, Super Sloppy Double Dare.
The Double Dare set maintained a basic structure in its three seasons, but minor changes were added during its run:
- The Vane-style "$" signs below the digits on the scoreboards were changed to "Double D" logos early in the first season
- Vertical yellow lines were added to the blue wall underneath the central backdrop in the first season
The third-season episodes of Double Dare featured many new set changes:
- The colored triangles, scoreboard borders and team uniform colors were changed to red and blue to match the teams' colors, respectively.
- The backdrop lights behind Summers were changed briefly to indigo and a different shade of red
- The "hole" behind the host's podium was filled with a glass block wall in episodes following FOX's Family Double Dare. Behind it, three lights were placed - one red on the right, one white in the center, and one blue on the left.
In 1988, syndicated shows such as Slime Time and Fun House, both game shows involving messy stunts, competed with Double Dare. The latter was especially sloppy, much messier than Double Dare. As a result, Super Sloppy Double Dare was created in 1989, introducing colossal Physical Challenges which made bigger messes.
After that came Family Double Dare, first airing on FOX April-July 1988, and then eventually moving to Nickelodeon for a run from October 1990-February 1993.
The first revival of Double Dare aired from January 22-November 10, 2000, in the form of Double Dare 2000, hosted by Jason Harris with announcer Tiffany Phillips. With less than a year of airing, the show only had two seasons with a total of 67 episodes.
Episodes of the original Double Dare continued to be aired in re-runs on Nickelodeon until 1991, and on Nick GaS from its launch until 2004 following its discontinuation.
Double Dare made its return to a Viacom owned network for the first time in 11 years in October 2015 when Double Dare was one of the first shows to air on the newly rebranded NickSplat (formerly called The 90's Are All That and The Splat) on TeenNick and continues to air on occasions.
It was announced that Double Dare would be getting a second revival in summer 2018 on Nickelodeon, with 40 new episodes as well as a new host, Liza Koshy. Marc Summers was announced to return to, "give color commentary on the challenges, lending his vast knowledge of the game and expertise to each episode". The new series premiered on June 25, 2018.