7 Questions with Double Dare's Marc Summers
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that every child of the 1990s dreamed of getting covered in slime on Nickelodeon’s Double Dare. And now that all those kids are of legal drinking age, they may actually have the opportunity to do it with a beer in their hand. Marc Summers (yes, the real Double Dare Marc Summers) has been hosting an adult version of his old Nickelodeon show called Dunkel Dare during Beer Week in his home of Philadelphia since 2012. This year he’s got his old assistant Robin and announcer Harvey joining him to complete the perfect 90s reunion. Cheering 30-somethings, pint glasses in hand, picking an oversized plastic nose that drips green slime will complete the nostalgic scene.
Dunkel Dare will take place June 4 to 5 at Frankford Hall Beer Garden at 7 p.m. We got to talk with Marc about his past, his long stint working with the Food Network and what it’s like to get drunk people to do anything he asks them to.
Do people still think of you as Marc from Double Dare?
I can’t walk down the street in Philadelphia without someone holding a baby coming up to me and saying, “I was on your show when I was 11.” I actually couldn’t believe the reaction the first time we did the show [in the beer garden]. It was insane.
What was your favorite challenge from the original Double Dare?
It has to be Pie in the Pants. One guy puts on clown pants and another one catapults cream pies into them from across the stage. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Will it be part of the Dunkel Dare festivities?
You bet your ass it will!
Have you had adults try it before?
Years ago, for the FOX morning show in New York, we went to Penn Station and stopped bankers with $2,000 suits and asked them to play Pie in the Pants. Then we would just leave them covered in whipped cream in the middle of New York City. I was pretty sure someone would end up killing me.
For these grownup shows, what do you make the adults do that the kids never had to?
All the physical challenges are exactly the same. People just drink while they do them. It’s amazing to me that I can get adults to do all these things. If I say, “crack 10 eggs on your head,” they just take the eggs and say, “Okay, Marc.” I think I could hand someone a bag of turds and tell them to stick their nose in and they would [grab it] just say, “Okay, Marc.” That’s the odd power of Double Dare.
This is obviously a beer show, but are you a beer or a wine guy?
Definitely wine. Some of the only times I drink beer are when I’m doing this show. I drink my Petite Sirah and I’m a happy little boy.
You still host the Food Network’s longest running show, Unwrapped. What is the weirdest thing you learned about food [during all of your shows] from filming all those episodes?
That Peeps used to be made by hand. Now they have this machine and I’m maybe one of seven people who has gotten to see it in person [who doesn’t work there]. It spits out a million Peeps a day. But it used to take a person 26 hours to produce a Peep by hand.