Stepping back into the Double Dare arena for the 2018 Nickelodeon reboot, Marc Summers felt right at home — even if he wasn't behind the hosting podium.
Summers, who hosted all 525 episodes of the the iconic Nickelodeon game show from its genesis in 1986, is currently touring with Double Dare Live, as well as executive producing and providing color commentary on the show's revival, now hosted by Liza Koshy. And week after week of sliming kids hasn't gotten old, he told PopCulture.com.
Bringing in a new generation of kids into the world of the Physical Challenge and Human Hamster Wheel has been a wild success, with the network premiering a new season after just a few months on Sunday, Sept. 30, but Summers is still awash in a wave of nostalgia from adults who spent their childhood rooting for the red or blue team.
"The thing that’s fascinating to me is how many grownups want to come and participate, even more than the kids do, because they want to relive their childhood," he told PopCulture.com.
Back in 1986, Summers said the Double Dare team couldn't have known how much of a cultural touchstone the show would become, but they did sense they had something special on their hands.
“I don’t think you ever really know," he recalled. "At the time, after we got done doing the first 65 [episodes], we all thought, 'Well, this is pretty cool.' And then when we got picked up, we were like, 'OK, a lot of people are talking about it.' We did 525 episodes and we toured it for eight years … so we became part of the culture of a particular generation. And the memories that we embedded in the minds of people your age are always fascinating because you have particular shows or things that happen that blow me away.”
Other than the brightly colored slime, outrageous challenges and promise of Space Camp, Summers sees the core of the show's staying power as how it brought people together.
“I've been very lucky in my career to do TV shows that moms and dads and kids could sit down and watch, whether it's Double Dare or Unwrapped or What Would You Do?, all those shows have been the kind of things that families can watch, and I think it was fun and silly,” he said.
At this point in his career, Summers told PopCulture.com he runs into people who tell him they got into the industry because it looked like he was having so much fun on the show.
"The fact that they actually gave us a check at the end fo the week to pour green slime on 11-year-olds was always fascinating to me," he said. "There was never a bad day on the set. We were always having fun.”
Bringing on Koshy as the host for the revival was a clear tie-in for the younger generation. The Vine star turned YouTuber has almost 16 million subscribers online, and at 22 appeals to a generation that grew up spending Saturdays on their tablets as opposed to in front of the TV.
“Liza's fantastic, and the thing I love about Liza is she’s very respectful in that she knew I did that show for 100 years," Summers said of the new host, adding that she often comes to him during breaks of the show and asks for pointers or help dissecting a moment. "I admire her. She’s wise beyond her years, she’s all of 22 going on 44, I think.”
The two even ran tape before she got started, breaking down old episodes of the show 15 seconds at a time for Koshy to absorb Summers' advice.
Bringing a new voice into the Double Dare world was always going to be a risk, but as viewers of the reboot know, it's one that paid off tremendously due to the chemistry between Summers and Koshy.
“The combination of the two of us, the question was, 'Is that going to work?' and for whatever reason, we have this rapport that the audience seems to like. You can never figure that stuff out, you throw it out there and hope it works.”
As for whether he misses his role as host?
“I really don't want to host the show," Summers said, laughing. "My life is much easier. The pressure's on her, it's not on me anymore!”0comments
Double Dare returns to Nickelodeon on Sunday, Sept. 30. For a list of Double Dare Live shows, click here.
Photo credit: Gavin Bond/Nickelodeon