Almost everyone who grew up in the 1980s and '90s remembers those classic Nickelodeon game shows - Double Dare, Finders Keepers, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and GUTS. The silly televised contests were exclusively made to entertain kids and featured fun games, rewarding prizes, and often lots of slime. But what was it really like to try out, compete, or be a member of the studio audience during one of the shows?
Check out these Redditors who participated in one of the classic Nickelodeon game shows and lived to tell all the secrets. What does slime really taste like? Why do some families get selected to compete on television over others? And what giant caveat comes with winning prizes?
Winners Had To Pay Taxes For Their Prizes
From Redditor /u/xCanont70x:
I was on Double Dare when I was a kid. The way it worked for us is that we went to the taping and prior to the show they picked out families to do games which would determine who would be on the show. I think they were looking for people who could follow directions and people who tested well for the camera. We got picked to try out only because during the last chance to be picked I physically grabbed the guy selecting people (again, I was a kid and this was the '90s) and yelled "please pick us" at the top of my lungs. Anyways we got picked and did a cake making challenge with the large styrofoam "cakes". You would pass them down and stack them while one person added slime to help hold them together. We won that and were selected for the show.
There was a little talk and paperwork before the show, mostly handled by my Dad. The talk we got was to encourage us to listen closely to the rules and to be enthusiastic for the camera. We were team "Ah, real monsters!!" which excited me because that show was dope. During the show we did a couple of physical challenges. I remember we did one where you flipped frogs into the other player's pants using a small catapult. We ended up winning the main show and got to do the obstacle course. I was picked to do, I believe, obstacles 4 and 8. 4 was the human gumball machine and 8 was the blimp. I remember being disappointed because my brother got to do "pick it" and that sh*t was my jam. The gumball machine was really cool though. You jump in and basically disappear into black for a few seconds while all you can hear are tons of plastic ball pit balls shifting. Then you suddenly see the stage lights again when you exit. The blimp was very straight forward. I was told I could not engage it until the whole family was under it. When they were in place I pulled a cord and we all got slimed. I got the flag and we won. After the show we were covered in slime, which tastes very good surprisingly. The crew gave us Ah, Real Monsters!! T-shirts that had glow in the dark parts... my family didn't expect to get picked so we ended up having to find cardboard to lay down on the seats of the van so we could ride home without ruining the seats. It was an interesting ride back sitting around in my undershorts on a piece of cardboard trying not to touch anything.
For prizes we got Mountain Bikes, a Sega Genesis with Maximum Carnage, a Mario Paint game with the drawing board, a Nickelodeon flash screen, and random other things I'm forgetting. My parents paid taxes on all the prizes and they took a long time to arrive. I think it was several months before we got the first ones and about six months until we had everything. It was a great experience overall though.
It Was A Dream World For Every '90s Kid
From Redditor /u/normanbailer:
Legends of the Hidden Temple. It was a long day but we had endless pizza and soda (mid-'90s). Every recent gaming system was available to play between shoots. There was a live audience that would get shuffled in and out. The host interviewed us all individually and it was a bit uncomfortable. Red Jaguars 4 life.
Contestants Got To See Where All Nickelodeon's Slime Was Made
From Redditor /u/ddtape:
I was on Slime Time Live back when they taped at Universal Studios in Orlando. They had a bunch of us kids line up outside by the slime geyser where the producers could see how enthusiastic we would be for television. My sister and I got on the show thanks in part to my dad splitting us up so the producers wouldn't know we were related.
Anyways, once were chosen, we hung out in the green room at the old Nickelodeon Studios. They had a TV playing re-runs and couch... nothing too fancy. We did get to see where the slime was made, the prop room, and a couple of the sound stages. Sadly, the inside of the studio was largely deserted and a far cry from it's heyday due to its impending closure.
We geared up in jump suits and when they were ready to go live, we went outside to tape the show. I lost the first game, but my sister wound up going on to getting slimed and winning a kick scooter.
Before 'Double Dare' Was On Nickelodeon, Parents Weren't Allowed On Set
From Redditor /u/jonathan22877:
I was on Double Dare in 1987. Back when it was on Fox before it moved to Nickelodeon. It was awesome. Our whole class and the other teams class were the audience members. My parents had to chaperone the school trip to go there (Philly) and they had to sit on a different set (Finders Keepers) so they would not interfere. My team won but I messed up the obstacle course on the fifth obstacle. We split $320 cash and then each won a phone/tape answering machine, a gumball and dog treat machine, $200 to Kaybee toy store and a remote controlled car. Dave, Robin, Harvey and Marc were all extremely friendly. I went home with slime (icing) in my underwear.