I don’t know of any game shows for kids these days. Not that I watch a lot of kids television, but it seems like it’s populated by made-up girls in trendy outfits, and, well, made-up boys in trendy outfits.
Back in my day (cue crotchety voice), we had some wild game shows. They were just for kids, or sometimes kids with their parents, and they required smarts, sports and talent. They had wild premises. Let’s continue walking down our childhood remembrance and think about the greatest game shows for kids in the ‘90’s:
Legends of the Hidden Temple. This game show aired on Nickelodeon from 1993 to 1995. Hosted by a man with the awesome name of Kirk Fogg, the set was supposed to be a replica of a Mayan temple, the centerpiece of which was a talking, stone head named Olmec. The two-person teams for the show were given alliterative names like the Blue Barracudas and the Purple Parrots, and had to complete a series of physical stunts and answer questions in order to make it into the Hidden Temple. Once inside, they had to find a historical object and retrieve it in order to win the game.
Nickelodeon GUTS. In this game show, kids compete with each other in a number of physical challenges that include water obstacles, running, anti-gravity stunts and sports games. The final challenge was to climb to the top of the Aggrocrag (or Super Aggrocrag in later seasons) amidst obstacles like wind and snow, and hit the buzzer to win the game. The show was hosted by Mike O’Malley (Kurt Hummel’s dad on Glee!) and ran from 1992 to 1995.
Double Dare. Double Dare was a long-running Nickelodeon hit, airing from 1986 until its final episodes in 1993. The show was notoriously messy and slimy, and I remember learning that the show’s host, Marc Summers, had obsessive compulsive disorder, so his hosting duties may not have been that pleasant to him. The premise was simple—contestants on the red and the blue team had to compete is a variety of gross physical challenges and answer questions. A team would be asked a question, and if they thought the other team wouldn’t know the answer, they could ask them to answer it for double the money. If the team that got double dared didn’t know the answer, then they could take a physical challenge. Some challenges involved catching pies in giant pants. Sometimes they would have to catch a number of items in a set number of time.