Double Dare (1976)

From Academic Kids

Double Dare was an American television game show that ran from December 13, 1976, to April 29, 1977, on CBS. Alex Trebek hosted this Mark Goodson-Bill Todman production; Johnny Olson and Gene Wood took turns announcing.

This version of Double Dare was not related to the popular children's game show of the same name that ran on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and early 1990s. (See Double Dare for more info on that version.)

Double Dare's theme music was composed by Score Productions. It was reused on another Goodson-Todman game show, Card Sharks, which premiered one year after Double Dare was canceled.



The main game involved two contestants who sat in isolation booths. The object of the game was to correctly identify a person, place, or thing based on clues that were given to them. The subject was given to the home audience before the first clue was given; Trebek often reminded viewers not to look at the screen if they wanted to play along. After a few seconds another clue was given; each clue was less difficult than the previous clue.

Contestants hit a lockout buzzer to guess the subject; once the buzzer was hit, the opponentís booth was closed so he/she could not hear the guess. If the contestantís guess was correct, $50 was added to his/her bank. If the guess was incorrect, the contestantís booth was closed, and the opponentís booth was reopened so he/she could receive a "penalty clue." The contestant would never see the penalty clue unless the opponent guessed the subject correctly.

If the contestant gave a correct answer at any time, he/she was presented with a "dare" clue -- which penalty clues became in that situation -- and had the choice of giving that clue to the opponent or declining. If the contestant declined to "dare," the opponentís booth was reopened and a new subject was played. If the contestant decided to give, the opponent was given five seconds to read the clue before making a guess. If the opponent guessed the subject incorrectly, the contestant banked $100. If the opponent guessed it correctly, he/she banked $50 and a new subject was played.

If the "dare" was successful, the contestant was presented with a "double dare" clue. Again, he/she had the choice of giving the clue to the opponent or declining it. If the opponent guessed the subject incorrectly on a "double dare" after five seconds, the contestant banked $200; if the opponent guessed it correctly, he/she banked $100.

The first player to bank $500 won the game.

The Spoilers

The winner of the game competed against a panel of three Ph.D.'s known as "The Spoilers." Each Spoiler sat in a soundproof booth that was activated whenever Trebek read a clue to them.

The contestant was presented with a subject and eight numbered clues that were randomly hidden behind the numbers 1-8 on the board. The clue was revealed once the contestant chose the appropriate number, and he/she was then given the option to give that clue to the Spoilers or pass it. The contestant could not pass more than four clues.

Each Spoiler had a chance to guess the subject if the contestant gave a clue to them. The contestant won $100 with each incorrect guess. If a Spoiler guessed the subject correctly, that Spoiler won $100 and was eliminated from the rest of the round. If all three Spoilers guessed it correctly, the game ended. If at least one Spoiler failed to correctly identify the subject after four clues, the contestant won $5,000.

Episode status

All of the episodes are considered to be intact, and the series has been shown on GSN. A clip from the series finale, where some risque clues to "a boomerang" were presented, appeared on VH1's Game Show Moments Gone Bananas in 2005.

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