I want to be a contestant on Double Dare. You remember that game show, from 10 or 15 years ago, don’t you? With the pools of green Jell-O and the giant noses full of slime and the slides greased with whipped cream and chocolate syrup? And Marc Harmon as the host. Not covered in whipped cream and chocolate syrup, thank God, though I always thought they should make him try the obstacle course and see how well he would do.
I think they should bring back the show, but not as a show for kids on Nickelodeon. No, there should be Double Dare for adults. With questions focusing on different categories — perhaps pop culture, but perhaps something as serious as ancient history, as staid-seeming as Jeopardy! categories. Then — bam! — the second round is over and it’s time for the winning team to take on the obstacle course. Imagine the ancient history scholar or pop-culture queen running frantically toward a jacuzzi filled with marshmallow fluff. Breathing heavily, panting, in a frantic effort to capture the flag before time expires. It would be fabulous. There could be celebrity Double Dare sometimes — imagine the ratings! See, this is a genius idea. I should design game shows.
But let’s not stop there — no, let us go on to create the ultimate game show, a show that cannot be missed by anyone in the world. It goes like this: Contestants audition for the show in venues around the country by taking a difficult written test covering many subjects. The top 30 in each test location then must sing a song of their choice in front of three cranky judges who have had to listen to far too many songs. This is, after all, a number one-rated show. The final 32 contestants are flown to an otherwise deserted island, where they must eat rat flesh and learn to fish. Each week for four weeks, three people are voted off. The remaining 20 people must race each other around the globe to the city of Los Angeles. The first 12 to arrive are crammed into a mansion in the Hollywood Hills, where they are forbidden to leave the premises and their every waking move is taped and selectively broadcast. Each day, the viewers vote someone off. When there are only 6 contestants remaining, they are driven to a TV studio where the final show is broadcast. In the first round, they must categorize obscure lists of items in exact chronological order while sitting in chairs surrounded by flames. The first three respondents to successfully complete this task without hyperventilating or screaming for their mommies must match wits with host Ben Stein. The last man standing must face — you guessed it — the Double Dare obstacle course. The ultimate prize: Ten million dollars — and an iron-clad contract requiring participation in the next edition of Joe/Jane Millionaire.