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Marc Summers

Marc Summers (born Marc Berkowitz November 11, 1951 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American television personality, game show host, producer, and a two-time talk show host, best known for hosting the children's game show Double Dare on Nickelodeon. He is currently the host of Unwrapped and Ultimate Recipe Showdown on The Food Network.

Early life and career

Although he held various television production jobs before, Summers' career boosted in 1986, when Nickelodeon hired him as the host of Double Dare. Double Dare was syndicated within two years and had a brief broadcast network run in prime time as Fox's Family Double Dare in 1988. The show's popularity led to other hosting jobs including the syndicated Couch Potatoes in 1989, and Nickelodeon's What Would You Do? in 1991. He also had a rare dramatic performance in the Nickelodeon-produced Halloween program Mystery Magical Special, which also highlighted his skills as a stage magician. Summers also made celebrity guest rounds on other game shows including Scrabble, Super Password, Talk About, Lingo, and Hollywood Squares.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Summers appeared on television talk shows, including a stint on ABC television's Home Show. After Double Dare's cancellation in 1993, Summers co-hosted Our Home, a daily talk show aimed at homemakers, on Lifetime. Summers left Our Home after a couple of seasons to co-host another Lifetime talk show, Biggers & Summers.

On March 28, 2008, the Communication and Journalism Club of Coastal Carolina University presented Summers with the first annual Peach Cobbler Award and declared that day as "Marc Summers Day". The Peach Cobbler Award was modeled after Harvard's Hasty Pudding Award. The Peach Cobbler Award recognizes an individual who was made great accomplishments in the communication field. After the ceremony, Summers hosted a mock version of Double Dare on the university's campus.

The Tonight Show incident

Summers was involved in one of the most talked about episodes of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Summers appeared as a guest on the NBC show while hosting Double Dare. The first guest of the night was actor Burt Reynolds, who was noticeably grouchy and moody on that episode, and started taunting Summers while he was being interviewed. Summers shot back, ribbing Reynolds about his recently-failed marriage with actress Loni Anderson. Soon, the insults got heated between the two, and Reynolds threw his drink into Summers' lap. Summers attempted to return fire on two occasions during the remainder of the interview; the first was a failed attempt as Reynolds batted the mug back into Summers's face. (Summers would later note that he thought Reynolds had "knocked [his] tooth out.") Jay Leno decided that a duel between the two guests was necessary, and he brought out two whipped-cream pies (a signature on Summers' show at the time) for the guests to throw at each other. Afterwards, Reynolds embraced Summers, who was visibly annoyed and angry, to make amends. Summers said that Burt whispered in his ear, "I only did that because I really like you."

To this day, it is not known if the incident between the two was staged or legitimate. Summers, when interviewed about the incident, claims he was disturbed by Reynolds' behavior, and thinks that the actor was drunk and depressed. He professed his confusion regarding Reynolds' switch from arrogance to pleasantries, stating, "I only did that because I really like you," when he hugged Summers after the pie fight. Nonetheless, Summers was never brought back onto The Tonight Show after that episode.

The feud between Summers and Reynolds was in the Top 100 celebrity feuds of all time on E! Television Network.

Mental health

During an interview with Dr. Eric Hollander on Biggers & Summers, Summers revealed that he has obsessive compulsive disorder. This was particularly ironic since he hosted one of the messiest television shows on the airways and was constantly getting doused in various slimes and liquids. Summers went public about his condition on various television shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Today Show. In 1999, Summers co-wrote a book with Hollander about his experience, called Everything In Its Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

During the 1990s, Summers continued work on other shows, each with varying success. He created and hosted the short-lived children's game show Pick Your Brain; co-hosted Great Day America on the PAX Network; produced I Can't Believe You Said That; and hosted It's a Surprise on Food Network.

Later career

Summers returned to Nickelodeon in 2000 as the executive consultant for Double Dare 2000, an updated version of his original show. Two years later, he was the executive producer for another Nickelodeon resurrection, Wild and Crazy Kids. He also helped bury the Nickelodeon Time Capsule with Melissa Joan Hart.

Recently, he returned to television as the host of more shows, including History IQ on the History Channel; the Food Network series Unwrapped, currently in its seventh season, and its spin-off game show Trivia Unwrapped; and the Game Show Network series WinTuition. In 2005, Summers became the host of Food Network's reality series The Next Food Network Star. Most recently, Summers has joined Chef Guy Fieri as co-host of Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown" in 2008. Off the screen, Summers has been involved as an executive producer on the Food Network's Dinner: Impossible.

Summers has hosted stage versions of The Price Is Right and credits Bob Barker and The Price Is Right for helping him pursue a game show career. Summers was a young page at CBS when The Price Is Right premiered with The Joker's Wild and Gambit in 1972, and he often asked advice of Barker, Jack Barry and Wink Martindale – the shows' respective hosts – about a hosting career. He claims it's the best possible education and training in the game show field, and it was during this time that Summers got his first on-air experience, as a fill-in announcer on The Joker's Wild.

Summers recently served as host of "Drunk Double Dare" during Drunk Day, an annual episode of the Philadelphia-based Preston and Steve radio show on WMMR, held directly before the Fourth of July weekend. The show reunited Summers with his Double Dare cohorts John Harvey and Robin Marrella.

External links

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