Last week, I started a 3 part series, where we take a look back at some of the classic Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching. Last week, we took a look at some of the early Nicktoons.
In the 90s, in addition to the Nicktoons, Nickelodeon also had some memorable game shows.
We had several physical activity game shows, such as the infamous Double Dare (and later Family Double Dare) hosted by germophobic Marc Summers (kinda ironic, ain't it?), as well as Guts and Global Guts hosted by Mike O'Malley with sidekick ref Moe. In Double Dare, 2 teams of 2 kids (later 4 family members) would be asked trivia questions (some of which seemed near impossible for the average kid to know) for points. If they didn't know the answer, they could dare the other team to answer the question. If the other team didn't know, they could then double dare the question back to the other team. Since the original team didn't know, they would often physical challenge the other team and some crazy competition would occur that always involved the infamous green slime. The winner of the challenge would get the points. At the end of the game, the team with the most points would get to run the obstacle course, which included 8 obstacles where you would need to find the hidden flag in the obstacle. Finish the course with all 8 flags and you win the game and often a trip to space camp (or a cool Huffy bike!)
There was also Wild and Crazy Kids, hosted by Donnie Jeffcoat, Jessica Gaynes (later replaced by Annette Chavez) and Cuba Gooding Jr's brother Omar Gooding. Each episode consisted of one of the hosts emceeing a physical activity competition with 3 teams of tons of kids all wearing a different colored shirt (ie: Green, Blue, Black, Red, Purple and Pink) for the respective teams. There wasn't much of a point to the show, other than watching the kids compete in these wacky competitions that included messy items such as mustard, slime, water, and anything else wild and crazy and messy! As kids, we ate it up!
Another memorable Nickelodeon physical activity game show was Legends of the Hidden Temple. Hosted by Kirk Fogg, he was aided by the help of a talking head statue named Olmec. At the beginning of the episode we were introduced to 6 teams of a boy and girl duo wearing a colored shirt - Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots and Silver Snakes (since I have an Indiana Jones dislike for snakes, I always boo'd the Silver Snakes). The first challenge consisted of all 6 teams crossing The Moat using whatever method was available that week (ie: jumping rocks, swinging from ropes, etc) - the first 4 teams to cross and ring their "gong" got to move onto the next challenge, called The Steps of Knowledge. In this 2nd challenge, Olmec would tell a (often boring) story about something old and then would ask the teams questions. For each correct answer, the team would move down a level - the first 2 teams with 3 correct answers would get to move on to the next challenge - The Temple Games. The Temple Games consisted of 3 different activity competitions - in the first 2, 1 member from each team would compete for half a pendant while in the last competition, both team members would work together to win a full pendant. The team with the most pendants at the end of the 3 competitions would get to run the Temple Run. Hidden in the Temple, which was 2 stories high with a total of 12 (sometimes 13) rooms, was some "artifact" (the one Olmec tells a story about in the 2nd challenge) that the winning team would have to retrieve. But you had to be careful, as there were several guards hidden throughout the Temple who would snatch you up if you ran into them - if you had a pendant though (from the previous round), you could hand them that and have another chance to continue before a guard took you out and your teammate would have to enter the Temple and try and finish the race to the artifact and back.
A fun Nickelodeon game show that often is forgotten is Nick Arcade. Having grown up playing video games, I loved this one, as the contestants would face-off playing video arcade games (whoever scored the most points at the end of 30-60 seconds of playing would win that round of the competition) and eventually other consoles while answering trivia questions. The winner at the end would get to battle in a video game simulation, via blue screen (although at home it appeared they were actually in a video game) having to compete 3 levels before time ran out and defeat an evil Wizard at the end.
Stay tuned next week for our final installment of our Flashback Friday to classic Nickelodeon shows, with a look at some of Nick's original programming!