Still awakened in the middle of the night by the screams—the terrible screams—and the pants—the pie-filled pants—erstwhile Double Dare host Marc Summers has spent decades racing away from the show through the Super Sloppy course of his life. But like a contestant climbing through a giant mouth, then taking a circuitous slide down a river of slime, Summers knows he’ll only end up back where he began. Like the heroin it was named for, Marc Summers needs another hit of that sweet, sweet gak: He’s begun lobbying for a Double Dare reboot with him as the host, if only to quiet those screaming middle-schooler voices in his head.
Unfortunately, capturing the flag of his old job is not as simple as, say, rooting around in a pool filled with clam chowder. Standing in Summers’ way are various nasty obstacles—specifically the comments he’s made over the years about Nickelodeon and its management. “Let’s just say that right now … the people who run the Nickelodeon network and I don’t necessarily see eye to eye,” Summers told HuffPost Live. “I’ve been trying to make nice to those people, but they refuse to talk to me.”
One possible reason for that conflict may be that Summers sees Nickelodeon as a shitty network, while Nickelodeon respectfully disagrees. As Summers told Tampa Bay’s MAX 98.3 last year:
Well, I have all sorts of issues with Nickelodeon these days… There’s somebody in upper management who for some reason has decided that they hate my guts. Meanwhile, their network is going in the dumper.
He later expanded on those thoughts to Baltimore’s 98 Rock, possibly explaining why that “somebody in upper management” doesn’t like him:
Their network is going in the dumper. Disney beats it. They have no idea what they’re doing. They put on a bunch of cartoons and stuffed animals instead of real human beings that other people can associate with. Whatever they want to do is fine. They play games with me, and I play games with them … the creative people are gone. It’s become a ‘how much money can we make from this merchandise’ and ‘how many tours can we put out and steal money from the parents.’
Nevertheless, Summers says he’s willing to set aside those games they play—the ones where he calls into radio stations and says their network is in the dumper, and then Nickelodeon ignores him—for a far more fun game, where kids jump into disgusting slop in exchange for Casio keyboards. Still, he’ll have to overcome his own Physical Challenge, in addition to the ideological one.
“I think they think I’m way too old to do it. I still have the energy and I think I could,” Summers said, while also suggesting the show could offset that age discrepancy by bringing in older contestants. “I think it would be fun to do it for colleges… think about it. The people who grew up on our show are now in their 30s and 40s and they have kids. So, you could do second generation.” And indeed, stuffing their jumpsuits with inflated balloons or filling a container with just enough milk is probably less degrading for college students than entering the current job market.
“I’m putting a call out to the folks at Nick: return the phone calls, have a discussion,” Summers concluded hopefully, believing in his heart that one can stuff the green slime back up the giant nose, even after it’s started flowing. After all, it’s what encourages each of us to keep going, along with the shrieks of our peers.
In lieu of a job hosting a Double Dare reboot, Nickelodeon will give Marc Summers—and all our contestants today—a fabulous pair of British Knights sneakers.