If you’ve switched on a game show in the past year, you might have noticed a serious departure from the traditional “We ask you trivia, you win money” format. No, these days we require our game show contestants to do a little more for that tantalizing grand prize. Fit through holes! Jump on slippery surfaces! Crawl across a Seussian obstacle course in freezing weather! Frankly, it all reminds us of our childhood. Before the major networks caught on to the appeal of high-contact, Japanese-style game shows, Nickelodeon already had an entire line-up of them. From Double Dare to Legends of the Hidden Temple to GUTS, the visceral delight of seeing mystery gunk being dumped on hapless contestants’ heads was a defining feature of 1990s kid television. Which got us thinking — where are our beloved Nick game show hosts now? We’ve tracked them down, after the jump.
Kirk Fogg, Legends of the Hidden Temple
Kirk Fogg earned a place in our television trivia-loving hearts as the Indiana Jones-knockoff host of Legends of the Hidden Temple, guarding the steps of knowledge from 1993 to 1995. After the show ended, Fogg left the hosting game and focusing on acting in national commercials. He also played the district attorney in the pilot episode of Veronica Mars. Most recently, Fogg wrote, directed, and starred in a short thriller, 2006’s Distortion. As Legends became a cult college hit of the mid-2000s, Fogg occasionally gave interviews reminiscing on the show, like this one with College Humor, in which he claims that, with regard to the temple guards, “There was only one disembowelment that I know of.”
Marc Summers, Double Dare
Marc Summers was the ever affable, ever slime-covered host of Nickelodeon’s Double Dare from its premiere in 1986 until its cancellation in 1993. He also hosted Nick’s short-lived What Would You Do? as well as making the rounds as a celebrity guest on game shows across networks in the early 1990s. After the demise of Double Dare, Summers continued his reign as go-to basic cable television personality, co-hosting a few Lifetime television shows and the children’s game show Pick Your Brain. During the late 1990s, Summers revealed that he had struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder for most of his life. He published a memoir, Everything in Its Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and began working with behavioral illness nonprofits to raise funds for kids with OCD. In the past several years, Summers has found a home on The Food Network as host of Unwrapped and The Next Food Network Star, as well as an executive producer for shows including Dinner: Impossible. But he can’t seem to let that game show host instinct go — he’s also working on the Game Show Network’s WinTuition.
Summer Sanders, Figure It Out
By the time Summer Sanders landed the host gig on Figure It Out, she had already had several careers under her belt. Sanders started out as a gold medalist for swimming in the 1992 Olympics and then went on to do sports commentary for NBC. She was the first female Nick game show host when she came to the network in 1997, and led the wise-cracking panel of Figure It Out through four slime-filled seasons until its cancellation in 2000. Since then, Sanders has continued her sports reporting beat, checking in on basketball for NBC and tennis for the USA network. She also worked as a correspondent for Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show before landing her own sports commentary program in 2009, Inside Out with Summer Sanders. And, oh yeah, she was also on the last season of The Celebrity Apprentice.
Mike O’Malley, Nickelodeon’s GUTS/Get the Picture
You probably recognize Mike O’Malley better today than you did as the host of GUTS and Get the Picture. Yes, our smack-talking, kid-encouraging Mike has gone far since his days as the face of Nickelodeon’s most physically rigorous game show. After leaving Nickelodeon in 1999, O’Malley starred in the CBS comedy Yes, Dear, became the spokesman for Time Warner Cable, and landed the part of Burt Hummel, Kurt’s macho-yet-endearing dad on Glee. He’s also a recurring character on NBC’s Parenthood and an accomplished playwright. All that as a result of narrating the events of the Extreme Arena!
Omar Gooding, Wild and Crazy Kids
Gooding, the son of singer Cuba Gooding and the brother of Cuba Gooding, Jr., clearly has showbiz in the genes. He co-hosted Wild and Crazy Kids with Donnie Jeffcoat and Jessica Gaynes. On the show, Gooding was the one who egged the kids on, presiding over pie-throwings and bumper car races. After the show ended in 1992, Gooding appeared on Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and Playmakers, as well as the films Baby Boy and Ghost Dad. Despite getting in trouble with the law for unlawful gun possession in 1995, Gooding continued to nab parts in TV shows — he was Odell in the final season of Deadwood and Calvin Palmer, Jr. in Showtime’s Barbershop: The Series. Most recently, Gooding took at starring role in the CBS drama Miami Medical.