Copy Cat Double Dare

Like any good television show, Double Dare led the way for many copy cat shows that were never as sucessful. Here you can find some of them.

Program: Family Challenge

Network: The Family Channel
Host: Ray Combs (1996) Michael Berger (1997)
Packager: Woody Frasier Productions & MTM Enterprises

Family Challenge was a show that took the stunt and obstacle course portions of Double Dare and made an hour show out of it. Two families of six players vied in various events, that usually were sloppy. The family with the most points at the end of the game won the "Family Challenge Cup".

The series was orignally hosted by Ray Combs, former host of Family Feud, who was replaced by original Feud host Richard Dawson. This version of the show was shot at the Glendale Studios. Ray Combs wasn't in the best of mental health while hosting Family Challenge. He was having marital problems and deep in debt. After taping a season, Ray became suicideal, and was admitied into psyc. ward of a California Hospital. It was at this hospital Ray removed the sheets from his bed, went to the closet and hung himself. He was only 40.

The second season was hosted by Michael Berger and taped at Universal Studios Hollywood. This version was pretty much the same as the original expect that the Friday shows were devoted to audience participation, which resembled What Would You Do. This version didn't last long, and was soon sent to weekend mornings before it was finally cancelled. The Michael Berger version was terrible. The Ray Combs version wasn't too bad. This was one of the better copy cats of Double Dare.

Program: Xuxa

Network: NBC/Family Channel
Host: Xuxa
Packager: NBC Productions

This copy cat was one I actually enjoyed. Xuxa (shoe-sha) was forgein host who's show had a mix of stunts, music, and large mascot like animals. When "Gloop Time" was annoucned kids competed in stunts and won prizes. Musical acts were also frequent. The program ended with "The Big Xuxa Kiss" in which Xuxa would choose a kid from the audience and give them a kiss. The show ran for a season on NBC on Saturday mornings before going into repeats on The Family Channel.

Program: Fun House

Network: FOX and Syndicated
Packager: 20th Century Fox
Host: JD Roth

Fun House was one of the most sucessful copy cats. It combined the stunt, question and obstacle course portions of Double Dare, to create almost an exact duplicate. Two teams vied in stunt and question rounds in order for an opportunity to go through the "Fun House". Clever name wasn't it?

The show was hosted by JD Roth who you might know from some of his other shows such as Zoo Venture and most recently Sex Wars. JD wasn't a bad host. His youthfulness and high energy helped Fun House to be successful. I thought Fun House was a pretty good show, but it was no Double Dare.

Program: Perfect Strangers

Network: ABC
Packager: Lorimar Television & Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distributions
Starring: Bronson Pinchot, Mark Lynn Baker, Bob Goen

In the late 1980's ABC was famous for it's goofy sitcoms. On such show was perfect Strangers. In 1989 there was a classic episode in which Larry (Mark Lynn Baker) is assigned to do a story on what it is like being a gameshow contestant. He chooses his cousin Balki (Bronson Phincot) as his partner. The are contestants on a gameshow called "Risk it All" in which they answer questions and compete in stunts for prizes. If they fail to answer correctly or don't complete the stunt, they lose the game and prizes. They refrain from the stunts until the last question in which they must do all of the stunts they didn't do before, almost like an obstacle course. They don't complete them all, and lose everything they won. This was a halarious episode, though it was a total Double Dare copycat. One side note, the host of "Risk it All" was play by the current host of Entertainment Tonight, Bob Goen.

Program: Zoo Venture

Network: Animal Planet/The Discovery Channel
Host: JD Roth
Packager: Discovery Channel Productions

If Double Dare had been based totally around animals, we'll then you would have Zoo Venture. One of the worst of the copy cats, Zoo venture consisted of 2 teams of one player competing for a chance to be zoo keeper for the day. The teams would compete in various stunts and question rounds. The game had two rounds and the winners from each round duked it out in a final obstacle round. The winner of that became zoo keeper for day. You might recall JD Roth as the host of the Double Dare copycat Fun House and most recently Sex Wars.