#35: Celebrity Double Dare
AKA Why Kids Game Shows Should Remain Kids Game Shows

Unsold Pilot: (1987)

Double Dare: A game show made for kids that rocked the television world.  It was the perfect mix of quiz, comedy, and overall presentation that enthralled kids and grownups alike.  Everybody wanted to get a piece of the pie after Double Dare succeeded where many others failed.  One of the most pathetic attempts at building off of Double Dare's success was done by Double Dare's parent company, Viacom.  Their brilliant idea was to have two adult contestants team up with two adult celebrities and play a modified, adult version of Double Dare.  So, you're taking everything that made Double Dare unique and turning it into a sideshow not seen since the old days of Almost Anything Goes.  Brace yourself, people it's time for our first voyage into the realm of Unsold Pilots and what better way to kick it off with the attempted bastardization of Double Dare affectionately known as Celebrity Double Dare.

Before anything, I want to talk about the main set.  This is probably one of the most boring sets I've seen, especially for a pilot.  There's nothing there.  No chase lighting used in the original Double Dare set, no bright background, no nothing.  It's like they didn't even care.  It's just painfully generic.  Another thing that irks me is the horrific mix of the old Double Dare theme.  It sounds like it was done by a bunch of garage band guys who got paid in peanuts.  So, they've already failed on that aspect.

Now the host of this show is Bruce Jenner.  He was, in a word, average.  He wasn't the best host out there, but he is far from the worst candidate out there to host something like this.  I guess he needed something to do between winning the decathalon in the 1976 Olympiad and banging Kim Kardashian's Mom.  He doesn't rock the boat in any way, he does come up with a nice little joke every now and then and clearly explains what the people need to do.  So, he gets a pass.  But let's meet the celebrities who will be helping out the contestants.

It's TV Cooking Expert Heidi Bohay and Scott Baio.  So, a couple of B-listers helping out some B-grade contestants on a C-Grade Pilot.  It's kind of interesting here at Heidi pointing at Chachi's arms, thinking that he got that normally.  I mean, not everybody who's main diet came from Arnold's got arms like that.  I'm getting off track here, let's just start the game.

Like Double Dare, Celebrity Double Dare starts with a tossup, and unlike Double Dare, where the opening stunt is interesting, this one has the teams eating a strand of licorice until someone reaches the marshmallow in the middle.  It's just boring to sit through, unless you enjoy Scott Baio sucking on your TV screen.  I mean, he's an expert at sucking.  Just look at Joanie Loves Chachi episodes on Youtube, he had great practice there. 

The questions on the show are unique in a way.  Instead of multiple choice questions & other straightforward questions, the questions used on Celebrity Double Dare are 2-parters which must be answered by both teammates one at a time, sorta like what they did on the 2002 incarnation of Beat The Clock.  What also gets me is the fact that instead of just saying dare, they "I dare you" or "I Double Dare You".  Another thing that irked me is the fact that they don't let the teams confer unless they've been "I Double Dare You"ed.  I guess that's because the producers made the brilliant move of putting the contestant podiums right beside each other.  It's like they're trying too hard to stray away from what made the kids version what it is and try a sterilized adult version.  What's also disheartening that it just seems so bland and boring compared to the kids version.  The questions don't have any flavor to them, like the kids version did, and the teams don't seem to be enjoying themselves.  Another boneheaded move was that instead of keeping control, they passed it off after each right answer, probably to ensure that a competitive game was being played.  To be frank, most games of Double Dare were competitive, mainly because they were allowed to confer about an answer, and the questions weren't stupid 2-parters.  It just seems so sterile.

I mean, the physical challenges that they do are really really sterilized.  What was Double Dare back in the day you ask.  That's right, messy!

But do we get any mess in the physical challenge?  Not really.  I mean, in the Physical Challenge above, which was used in the original program, the contestants threw eggs and not tennis balls.  It just seems more lame than anything else.  Another thing that's lame is that there was an overhead clock on the actual show that ticked down.  Instead, we get the cheaped out chyron clock instead.  It makes the show more lame than it is.  The second round is the same, except with double the dollar amounts, like the actual Double Dare show, except just as boring and mind-numing as round 1 was on this pilot.

As proof, they were asked the question "There are two letters missing on most telephones, name them."  And they had to take the physical challenge.  Because they couldn't identify the letters Q and Z.  How dumb do you have to be to not get those two letters?  When I saw that, this went through my head.

Thank you High.

Ok, I had enough, let's just get to the course.  I mean, the setup can't be as bad as the main game set.

God, I hate being wrong.  Let's just go over what's wrong with the setup here.  There are no flags, the obstacles look so pathetic looking, the nameplates used for the obstacles look like something you see outside of a deli, there's buzzers out there to signify that you completed the obstacle, and there are only 7 obstacles instead of 8 in the actual series.  It doesn't also help that the obstacles are also placed without any care or any way, shape or form of continuity.

Well, let's get this over with.  I'll just give pictures of all of the obstacles and give you a small, 5 word or less review.

The Tire Blowout: Sterilized Recipe Tire Run.

Hurdler's Nightmare:  Water doesn't make it good.

Karate Chophouse: Worse than Karate Kid III.

Commando Climb:  Basic Training but dumber.

Mini Indy: Icy Trike minus the fun.

Slide For Life:  Not interesting at all.

Winner's Lemonade Splashdown:  The sad, wet climax.

Needless to say, the contestant won.  Well, since this is a pilot and all, so they needed to make sure there was a winner.  They all say goodbye, and so does my sanity.

I'm just thankful that this didn't make are, otherwise I bet anything that the regular version of Double Dare would have been dead because of this.  It's kinda sad when Bob Hilton was the best thing about the show.  The celebrities looked like they didn't want to be there, the set was the most boring thing I've seen in the mid-late 80s game show world, and let's not forget they sterilized the hell out of this show to make it look, feel and sound like a different show.  Thankfully, it didn't work out and this was buried with the rest of the failed pilots of that era.  What was weird was that this wasn't the only Celebrity Double Dare Pilot out there.  I recognized Stuart Pankin in the open, so at least another pilot exists.  Hopefully, that won't see the light of day again.

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