Double Dare (1976 game show)

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This article is about the CBS game show. For the unrelated 1986 children's game show aired on Nickelodeon, see Double Dare (1986 game show).
Double Dare
Double Dare
Created by Jay Wolpert
Presented by Alex Trebek
Narrated by Johnny Olson (1976-1977)
Gene Wood (1977)
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 96[1]
Location(s) CBS Television City
Hollywood, California
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions
Original channel CBS
Original run December 13, 1976 – April 29, 1977

Double Dare is an American television game show, produced by Mark GoodsonBill Todman Productions, that ran from 1976 to 1977 on CBS. Alex Trebek was the host, with Johnny Olson and later Gene Wood announcing. The show was created by Jay Wolpert.

This was Alex Trebek's only CBS game show, but in 1994, he returned to CBS to host the Pillsbury Bake-Off until 1998.

Game play[edit]

Main Game[edit]

Two contestants, each in separate isolation booths, attempted to correctly identify a person, place or thing based on one-sentence clues that were given to them, one at a time, on an electronic gameboard. The correct response was shown to the home audience before the first clue was given. The clues would typically begin with obscure trivia and gradually become more direct references to the subject. A maximum of ten clues were given on one subject. If nobody gave the correct answer after ten clues, the host would reveal the subject and a new subject was played.

Contestants could hit a lockout buzzer to guess the subject at any time. When a player buzzed-in, his or her opponent's booth was sealed off (doors closed over the front of the booth and the sound was turned off inside) in order to prevent him or her from hearing the guess. If correct, the contestant earned $50. If incorrect, that contestant’s booth was closed, and the opponent’s booth was reopened in order for him or her to see and hear a penalty clue and receive a free guess.

The contestant who ultimately guessed the correct answer was then shown the next clue in the sequence and given the opportunity to dare his/her opponent to guess the subject based on that clue (if the correct answer was given on a penalty clue, that clue became the "dare clue"). If the contestant declined to dare, the opponent’s booth was reopened and a new subject was played. If the contestant took the dare, the opponent's booth was re-opened and he or she had five seconds to study the clue before Trebek asked for a guess. A correct guess by the dared opponent earned $50 and a new subject was played. If incorrect, the player who made the dare won an additional $100 and his/her opponent's booth was closed once more.

If the dare was successful, the contestant was given a chance to "double dare" the opponent with the next clue for an additional $200, for a total of $350. If the contestant accepted the double dare and his/her opponent correctly guessed the subject, the opponent won $100.

The first player to win $500 or more won the game. Losing players kept any money earned and also received parting gifts. Like most CBS game shows at the time, champions could stay on Double Dare until they were defeated or reached the network-imposed winnings limit of $25,000.

Beat the Spoilers[edit]

The winner of the main game competed in a bonus round against a panel of three people who had earned a Ph.D. degree known as "The Spoilers". Each Spoiler sat in a soundproof booth that was activated whenever clues were read to him or her.

First, the contestant was presented with a subject and eight numbered clues randomly placed on a gameboard. The player selected a number to reveal and had the option to give that clue to the Spoilers, whose fields of expertise were not mentioned, or pass it on for another clue. Up to four passes were allowed. As in the main game, clues varied from trivial to fairly direct references and the numbers had no reference to the obscurity or relevance to the subject.

When the player elected to give a clue it was read to all three Spoilers, after which each in turn was asked to provide an answer. The other Spoilers' booths were turned off while each one answered. Each time a Spoiler gave an incorrect answer, the contestant won $100. If a Spoiler guessed the subject correctly, that Spoiler won $100 and retired from the rest of the round (although his/her booth would remain on so that he/she could hear everything else that went on).

The player was required to give four clues to the Spoilers. If at least one Spoiler failed to correctly identify the subject after being given the fourth clue, the contestant won $5,000. However, if at any time all three Spoilers guessed the subject, the round ended and the contestant kept all winnings to that point.

Broadcast history[edit]

Double Dare replaced the game show Gambit on CBS' daytime lineup at 11:00 AM Eastern (10:00 Central). Facing NBC's popular two-year-old Wheel of Fortune, it did not draw the audience Gambit had.

After a move to 10:00 AM Eastern on March 7, 1977, where it went up against Sanford and Son reruns on NBC, CBS canceled Double Dare and replaced it with reruns of Here's Lucy which aired until November 4, 1977, when The Price Is Right occupied that slot.


Jay Wolpert was acknowledged as the series' creator in the closing credits; Wolpert would later on create his own production company. This series also marked the debut of Jonathan Goodson as a producer.

Markie Post, future star of Night Court, was an employee of Goodson-Todman at the time and was an associate producer on Double Dare.

Virtually all of the show's music and sounds were recycled for other Goodson-Todman shows; the show's theme music, composed by Edd Kalehoff for Score Productions, was reused one year later for Card Sharks. Kalehoff also composed the theme for the 1986-1989 version of Card Sharks, and the unrelated Double Dare game show on Nickelodeon in the 1980s.

The sound effect for the opening of the clue board and the isolation booths found its way on both the game board for The Price is Right's Penny Ante pricing game, as well as the bonus round level "wind-up" sound on the Jack Barry-produced game show The Joker's Wild. A truncated version of the "losing horns" from Price were also used for bonus round losses.

The show's taping alternated between Studio 31, Studio 33 and Studio 41 at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California during its run.[2]

Episode status[edit]

All episodes are reported to exist, and the series has been shown on GSN. A clip from the finale, where sexually-suggestive clues to "a boomerang" were presented, appeared on VH1's Game Show Moments Gone Bananas in 2005.


External links[edit]