The show was simply about Marc getting the audience into crazy situations and doing crazy dares, games, and obstacles to win small prizes. For the loser of those games, they would get hit in the face with a pie. Almost everyone involved got messy, including Marc himself.
There were special guest appearances on the show, fun games involving with pies, and crazy pie contraptions that the kids would get into in the end. An example would be the infamous Pie Pod in which the kid would sit at a seat where four or five pies would hit him all over.
There was also the pie coaster in which someone would ride a mini roller coaster and run over a huge pie at the end.
There was also the pie slide in which someone would ride a slide all the way down a giant pie.
There was also the pie wash which was kind of similar to a car wash. But instead of a car washed with soap and water, it was a kid being washed with pie creme.
There were other pie themed situations that happened on the show, but you get the idea.
One last thing that they would do at the end of every episode is call out numbers that the audience would have. If Marc called out that number, then you would have a chance to pick out a prize at the Wall-O-Stuff. You could pick from any numbers from 1 to 20. The prizes range from a What Would You Do? hat, T-shirt, water bottle, or sweatshirt to a trip to the Pie Pod, the Pie Coaster, or the Pie Wash, or some other cool surprises.
The show had around 90 episodes and ended its run in 1993.
Overall, it was a pretty zany, crazy, and kooky show and I enjoyed it as a kid. However, I was more of a Double Dare fan as a kid and I would see that show more as opposed to What Would You Do? As you recall from my interview with Marc Summers, he didn't really enjoy hosting the show really much thinking it was too weird and strange. If this is the kind of show that interests you, check it out. If not, then I would recommend watching Double Dare.
The year is 1992. Aladdin, The Bodyguard, Batman Returns, Wayne's World, and A Few Good Men were released in theaters. Batman: The Animated Series, Goof Troop, Barney & Friends, and Mad About You debuted on TV. The 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain would soon begin. The video game 16-bit war between the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis was growing stronger with games coming out fast from each system duking it out to see who would be on top. (Spoiler alert: the SNES wins!)
The SNES that year had Super Mario Kart while the Genesis had Sonic the Hedgehog 2. What do you do when you put video games into a game show? You get Nick Arcade which debuted on January 4, 1992.
The show started off with two teams consisting a boy and a girl playing an arcade game to see who would start first on Round 1. This was known as the Face-Off. Next, the host named Phil Moore, would talk about controlling a little adventurous boy named Mikey on the main screen in any direction except diagonally. Remember folks, this is video games in the early 90's. We could only move our characters in 8 directions. We didn't have those fancy, schmancy gimmicks that we could move them in 360 degree directions. That wouldn't happen for at least a few more years until the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation came out.
Depending on where Mikey was in the Video Zone, the questions would try to follow with that theme. If he was in space, then some of the questions would be about the solar system. If he was in medieval times, then some of the questions would be out medieval history. You get the idea.
For every question the team gets right, they would have a chance to move Mikey. If Mikey landed on a square that contained the four Ps: Puzzles, Prizes, Pop Quiz, or Video Puzzle, then they would get that. If they land on the main villain, they lose control of Mikey and the other team gets a chance to control him.
If it was the Video Challenge, then the team would play a video game for a chance to win more points.
This was always one of the best highlights of the entire show: seeing a video game in action.
The main highlight of the entire game show was when they went to the Video Zone to play a live action video game via virtual reality. In three levels, they have to complete each level grabbing three coins without getting injured. At the last level, they fight against the evil villain, grab three orbs, and prevent getting injured before time runs out. This is where you really see the gamer's full potential: they either are good or they suck.
Every once in a while, the show would have guest contestants playing Nick Arcade. They were the actors who were on the popular teen Nick shows at the time like Welcome Freshmen, Salute Your Shorts, and Clarissa Explains it All.
There was even a regular teenager who entered Nick Arcade who would be a celebrity later on. That kid was known as Joey Fatone, one of the members of N'Sync.
The show was created by James Bethea and Karim Miteff, who revolutionizes live action and animation mixed with a blue screen to create their virtual reality games during the Video Zone segments. The virtuaul reality segments were designed by Bethea and Miteff and programmed by Curt Toumainian from Saddleback/Live Studios and Dean Friedman from InVideo Systems. You might remember that interactive blue screen game that Total Panic featured called Eat-A-Bug. Well, they were the ones who also worked on that and many other interactive video games.
Sure in today's standards, that's not a big deal. A good number of internet critics can purchase their own green screen effects and do it themselves. Video games are more sharper and cleaner looking. We see this kind of stuff in movies all the time. But back in the late 80's and early 90's, this was something that was never seen before. It was way ahead of its time. Here's what Phil Moore had to say about it when he first saw it in an interview by Mathew Klickstein at splitsider.com.
The host of Nick Arcade was Phil Moore. I have to say, out of all the Nickelodeon game show hosts, he is the goofiest of them all. He is really all over the place, making noise, cracking corny jokes, and dressing in some of the most ridiculous colored shirts. His style really screamed out early 90's and it's so hilarious to look at today. The show lasted for two seasons ending its run on March 12, 1993.