Part of my childhood involved hours and hours of Nickelodeon: Double Dare, hosted by Marc Summers. Family Double Dare, hosted by Marc Summers. Super Sloppy Double Dare, hosted by Marc Summers. What Would You Do?, hosted by Marc Summers. Make the Grade, hosted by Lew Schneider for a year, and then Robb Edward Morris for the final year. Legends of the Hidden Temple, hosted by Kirk Fogg. Figure It Out, hosted by Summer Sanders. Nickelodeon Guts, hosted by Mike O'Malley. And on PBS, there was Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, hosted by Greg Lee, with a formidable force in Lynne Thigpen as the Chief.
They were all good hosts, enthusiastic, into the game, and Kirk Fogg was always game in swinging onto the set, but none of them could outmatch Marc Summers. He was having just as much fun as the kids, the families, and others in both Double Dare and What Would You Do? His sincerity was genuine, not staged for the benefit of filling time. When he asked questions about the families on Family Double Dare, he truly wanted to know. He thrives on people, while also making himself distinct.
I thought about this early this morning after watching an episode of How It's Made, Tivo'd from the Science Channel, and had a yen to watch Unwrapped on Food Network again. The same concept as How It's Made, but with food and drink. And there's Marc Summers again, with that same enthusiasm. It hasn't wavered all these years. He also appears as a correspondent on The Chew on ABC and insight into types of food is made more interesting because he's interested. I sometimes wish that he would host America's Funniest Home Videos, because Tom Bergeron strikes me as phony sometimes. However, Summers is best where he is with Unwrapped, The Next Food Network Star, and those occasional segments on The Chew. He's doing the same good in my adulthood that he did in my childhood.