Marc Summers' off-Broadway one-man show is part memoir, part interactive game show

Joelle Garguilo Image
Monday, April 29, 2024
Marc Summers' off-Broadway show is part memoir, part game show
Joelle Garguilo has more with the famed "Double Dare" host from the 90s.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Marc Summers is sharing insights into his life and career in his one-man, off-Broadway show, "The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers."

There are certain people you feel like you've known your whole life and for one generation, that includes Summers.

"I love to hear that, you know, people come up to me and say, 'I know you don't want to hear this,' but why wouldn't I want to hear this, the fact that anybody remembers I'm thrilled," Summers said.

In the '80s and '90s, "Double Dare" was a kid's dream come true. And as the host, it a dream come true for Summers.

He said he wasn't even supposed to audition for the show, but a ventriloquist friend suggested he go in his place.

"So I walked in blindly to an audition that I knew nothing about," Summers said. "And because I said, 'we'll be back with more Double Dare after this,' they thought that was more professional, and it changed my life. That one line."

Summers was 34 at the time and had a smoked salmon business that wasn't successful.

"And I was on the verge of stepping out because we had two kids, we had a mortgage, and I thought, well, this isn't going to happen," he explained. "And when that phone rang, and they said, we auditioned 1,000 people in New York and 1,000 and LA and you got the changed my life."

But while his career soared, he privately struggled with OCD. He spoke openly about it in the late '90s and it almost derailed everything.

"People in LA, they would see me coming in the street, they would cross the street," Summers said. "Because at the time when I announced it in the late '90s, nobody knew what OCD was. And quite honestly, they just thought I was crazy."

The show is part memoir and part interactive game show.

"And I think the OCD made me successful, there were people who told me they would hire me if I would just stop calling them. And so I never gave up," he said. "My first job was working on 'The Carol Burnett Show,' I worked on 'Sonny and Cher,' I worked on 'All in the Family.' And I thought, well, if this is as good as it gets, I'm fine."

He also addresses his personal struggles in the show in addition to OCD - like cancer and a terrible car accident. He is telling those stories and more in a Marc Summers kind of way.

"I dreamt about doing theater for years and a friend of mine said for 20 years that's all you've talked about, stop talking about it and do it. And I did," he said.

"The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers" is infused with depth, physical challenges and of course slime.

When asked what message he wants to share through the show, Summers said you can't let obstacles get in your way.

"Because it's up to you to be happy," he said. "This was a goal I've always had. And to be doing this, it's 72 years old, on stage in New York City. I get emotional on a regular basis out there. Because I can't wait to get to the theater. I cannot wait to do this every night. And I still can't believe it."

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