If you grew up in the ’90s, then you know that Nickelodeon’s Double Dare was 100%, absolutely, undeniably, the sh*t. It was every kid’s dream to get to appear on that show, or any of the other awesome game shows Nick offered up.
People on AskReddit who happened to appear on some of Nickelodeon’s game shows sounded off about what their experiences were like.
1. Cold hard cash
“I was on Double Dare in 1987. Back when it was on Fox before it moved to Nickelodeon. It was awesome. Our whole class and the other teams class were the audience members. My parents had to chaperone the school trip to go there (Philly) and they had to sit on a different set (Finders Keepers) so they would not interfere. My team won but I messed up the obstacle course on the fifth obstacle. We split $320 cash and then each won a phone/tape answering machine, a gumball and dog treat machine, $200 to Kaybee toy store and a remote controlled car. Dave, Robin, Harvey and Marc were all extremely friendly. I went home with slime (icing) in my underwear.”
“I was on double dare when I was a kid. The way it worked for us is that we went to the taping and prior to the show they picked out families to do games which would determine who would be on the show. I think they were looking for people who could follow directions and people who tested well for the camera. We got picked to try out only because during the last chance to be picked I physically grabbed the guy selecting people (again, I was a kid and this was the 90’s) and yelled “please pick us” at the top of my lungs. Anyways we got picked and did a cake making challenge with the large styrofoam “cakes”. You would pass them down and stack them while one person added slime to help hold them together. We won that and were selected for the show.
There was a little talk and paperwork before the show, mostly handled by my Dad. The talk we got was to encourage us to listen closely to the rules and to be enthusiastic for the camera. We were team “Ah, real monsters!!” which excited me because that show was dope. During the show we did a couple of physical challenges. I remember we did one where you flipped frogs into the other player’s pants using a small catapult. We ended up winning the main show and got to do the obstacle course. I was picked to do, I believe, obstacles 4 and 8. 4 was the human gumball machine and 8 was the blimp. I remember being disappointed because my brother got to do “pick it” and that shit was my jam. The gumball machine was really cool though. You jump in and basically disappear into black for a few seconds while all you can hear are tons of plastic ball pit balls shifting. Then you suddenly see the stage lights again when you exit.
The blimp was very straight forward. I was told I could not engage it until the whole family was under it. When they were in place I pulled a cord and we all got slimed. I got the flag and we won. After the show we were covered in slime, which tastes very good surprisingly. The crew gave us Ah, Real Monsters!! T-shirts that had glow in the dark parts. On a side note, I wore that shirt until it was so full of holes that my Mom threw it away. Back to the story though, my family didn’t expect to get picked so we ended up having to find cardboard to lay down on the seats of the van so we could ride home without ruining the seats. It was an interesting ride back sitting around in my undershorts on a piece of cardboard trying not to touch anything.
For prizes we got Mountain Bikes, a Sega Genesis with Maximum Carnage, a Mario Paint game with the drawing board, a Nickelodeon flash screen, and random other things I’m forgetting. My parents paid taxes on all the prizes and they took a long time to arrive. I think it was several months before we got the first ones and about six months until we had everything. It was a great experience overall though.”
“When I was at Universal Nickelodeon I got called up to be a contestant on some test show. Got slimed, it was basically apple sauce. Got to meet the All That cast who were my age. Funny to see some of them around on TV and stuff.”
4. More slime
“I was on Slime Time Live back when they taped at Universal Studios in Orlando. They had a bunch of us kids line up outside by the slime geyser where the producers could see how enthusiastic we would be for television. My sister and I got on the show thanks in part to my dad splitting us up so the producers wouldn’t know we were related.
Anyways, once were chosen, we hung out in the green room at the old Nickelodeon Studios. They had a TV playing re-runs and couch… nothing too fancy. We did get to see where the slime was made, the prop room, and a couple of the sound stages. Sadly, the inside of the studio was largely deserted and a far cry from it’s heyday due to its impending closure.
We geared up in jump suits and when they were ready to go live, we went outside to tape the show. I lost the first game, but my sister wound up going on to getting slimed and winning a kick scooter.”
“Legends of the Hidden Temple. It was a long day but we had endless pizza and soda (mid 90s). Every recent gaming system was available to play between shoots. There was a live audience that would get shuffled in and out. The host interviewed us all individually and it was a bit uncomfortable. Red Jaguars 4 life.”
6. Used to brag about it
“My brother and I, while at universal Orlando in early 2000 or maybe 2001 , got chosen from the park to be on a short GUTS show/commercial break game or something where we were going to shoot free throws on their driveway/garage looking studio inside Nickelodeon. We go inside and see some awesome sets for the live shows and then get taken to the waiting room, which was basically a pimped out 90’s Nickelodeon dreamland. Video games and whacky decor.
Can’t remember a whole lot, but they didn’t let me wear the shirt I had on and took me into the enormous wardrobe room and gave me a baggy plain red shirt. I Felt like an idiot, I must’ve been 9 or 10. We go into the set and they tell me that I was too young to play so my brother played some free throws game with 3 other kids and I got to be the kid who rebounded the balls and passed them back. We didn’t win anything but later we both got letters from Nickelodeon with our names on them that I bragged about until I grew up and didn’t watch Nickelodeon anymore.”
7. Apple sauce
“I was on slime time live in the early 2000s. We all lined up in a row to play one game. The winner of the game got Ice Age on dvd. Basically there were these teams of two and you were either a kid with the balloon on your head or the kid with a nail file. You popped the balloon and you either got red slime or green. Green meant you won the prize and red meant you just got slimed. It was apple sauce cause I tasted it after I lost but I was still on Nickelodeon and you can bet I bragged about it to my friends I was on national tv.”
8. Had to pee
“I got to climb the crag on the roadshow thing they did. I was with my mom who got the tickets from her boss and the family next to us only had 1 child so I went on stage with them. It started with a dance competition and being the super rad 8 year old that I was, I pulled a Marty McFly and kind slid along the stage on my back. Needless to say we won. So we were part of the finale. Each family member had to do an individual stage.
Like a weird hybrid of double dare and GUTS. Mine was the crag. I was legit nervous and the second they clipped my harness in I had to pee. Like squeeze it to not pee yourself kinda pee. We lost, because my fly dance moves didn’t get me up the mountain any quicker. The family I went on stage with was super cool and they called my mom when they got the runners up prizes and let me have Ren and Stimpy for SNES.”
9. Chug a lug
“I was on the Double Dare Live Tour circa 1992. My parents and I were pulled from the audience to do a new challenge from the (new at the time) show What Would You Do. My parents had to do a chug a lug contest with a giant mug of milk. Marc Summers handed me a pie to smash in the losers face.
My mom thought she had this in the bag, because my dad is severely lactose intolerant. My dad doesn’t like to lose. He won, but spent the rest of the day in the bathroom. I pied my mom in the face. 10/10 would do again.”
“Back when I was 12 or 13 (10-11 years ago) my family tried out for GUTS in Universal Orlando, at a pop up obstacle course, had to sign papers to okay footage and waivers and whatever. My team was myself (played lacrosse and soccer), my cousin whom is a month younger ( played basketball and football), my aunt (fresh out of the army) and my uncle (was a track runner), and we are all very competitive, VERY, competitive.
We crushed it, we were consistently in the top 3 out of 20 families, it took hours. The way it seemed they tried to make it fair was the higher your score the earlier you went on the new obstacle or task, so the worse you did the more you could see and plan. Again we weren’t afforded that luxury, but we took it in stride with the other 2 families that we were neck and neck with.
After all was said and done we finished first, really we did, I promise, but they pulled us to the side, gave us a gift card to like the Cheesecake Factory and said we did great, but we weren’t what they were looking for. We preformed the best athletically we just didn’t perform the best for the camera, we were too involved in competition, that we did stop to be caricatures, pretty much. So we didn’t continue.
Basically, my family competed for GUTS (MY FAMILY GOT GUTS!!) we excelled athletically, but performed poorly as showmen/cartoon characters. We didn’t make the cut, but got a gift card to a hardly decent establishment.”
“My family tried out for Family Double Dare in Philadelphia. It was a disaster, as my parents were divorced, my brother was a sullen teen who was mortified to be there. I was the only one obsessed with the show, so I guess the rest of the family was there for me (which I still appreciate to this day).
We had to do family team type games, and I guess act like we thought a “real” family acts like (or at least one they would put on TV). I remember feeling like we weren’t convincing anyone. When we did trivia, I blurted our answers over everyone else (not demonstrating being a team player). Needless to say we didn’t get a call back.”
12. Cross the moat
“I was on LotHT. I was on the very young end of the 11-14 range, having just turned 11 a few months prior. The puberty gap was huge and some of these kids were much stronger than me.
I watched the show religiously to prepare and then I got handed the most difficult moat crossing I’d ever seen. Fell in multiple times, the fog made it kind of hard to breath. It took a really long time for one of the last 3 teams to get across the moat (which they reduced significantly in editing).
I went back to the dressing room and they were prepping the next 4 teams with the story for the Steps of Knowledge. I think they heard it at least 3x read to them and get a copy to internalize. Leaving this scene was surreal and I was already struggling to deal with it. I didn’t yet realize the huge letdown experience was going to lead me into a bit of a depression.
I remember arguing with the kid from the Red Jaguars about whether O.J. was guilty, changing out of my wet clothes, visiting the biggest McDonalds in Orlando and then driving home with my parents.
I got a $50 savings bond in the mail maybe 3 months later and I never redeemed it. My episode aired and we taped it, but now the YouTube version of the episode is actually higher quality – it just doesn’t have the commercials from the original era.”
13. The British version
“My cousin was on a British Nickelodeon game show (forget what its name was) wherein several pairs of kids competed for a room full of candy. Standard stuff, except the winning group would be voted on by the public.
Nearly everything about the show was fabricated. The producers made it look like the kids were sleeping in log cabins in the woods, but they were actually staying at a hotel in a nearby town. They filmed all of the groups “winning” the room full of candy but just used the footage of whoever ended up being voted in by the public. Although apparently it was real candy in that room, and they were given boxes and/or jars of it afterwards.”
14. The lottery
“When the National Lottery started in the UK, Nickelodeon gave away “lottery tickets” with numbers on and they would do daily prize draws. I didn’t win anything from the draws but about 2 weeks after it finished, we got a knock on the door from the postman and it was a package for me! This was early 90s so getting a package was a big deal especially as a child, opened it up and there was a Megadrive inside and a note from Nickelodeon saying “have a good game on us”.
I was so excited but my dad had to ring them first to make sure it was really for me before I could keep it. Turns out they raffled off all the unclaimed prizes. Only time I’ve won anything decent!”