'Double Dare' star speaks to students
Published: Thursday, May 19, 2005
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
Former Nickelodeon "Double Dare" host Marc Summers spoke at Ohio State Hillel last night about how a Midwesterner broke into television.
Summers, currently the host of "Unwrapped" and "Trivia Unwrapped" on the Food Network, agreed to speak to students because his cousin works at Hillel, 46 E. 16th Ave.
His speech, "Double Dare" to "Unwrapped": The Recipe for a Successful Television Career, focused on his goals in life, said Erin Essak, an employee at Hillel and Summers' cousin.
"I have a passion for television. I came out of the womb loving television," Summers said. "My goal was to host 'The Tonight Show.'"
Summers, a native of Indianapolis, has worked for CBS, ABC, PAX-TV, Lifetime and currently the Food Network.
He began his talk by directing two volunteers in a physical challenge. The participants had to toss marshmallows into a plastic cup in the mouth of another volunteer. Marshmallows hitting the faces of participants had the 75-member audience laughing.
He described to the audience his experiences on "Double Dare," his first national television show and how it "changed his life."
His speech was not only about his success though. He spoke about the many shows he has done that were cut from television.
"If we go on about shows that failed with Marc Summers we would be here all night," he said.
Summers started his career learning magic from a junior-high-school teacher, his first exposure to perform. He continued to learn and perfect his skills in magic when he moved to Los Angeles. The money he made performing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood paid his way through college at Graham Junior College in Boston, he said.
His first job in television was working for CBS as a page, after which he began doing warm-ups for CBS shows, telling jokes to get the audience warmed-up for the actual show, he said.
Summers said he is happy working at the Food Network, where he has been for five years. He described a new reality show for which he will be host called the "Next Food Network Star." On the show a guest can win a show on Food Network.
He spoke to the audience about the challenges of producing and being a host and said that he enjoys being a host the most.
"It starts with a passion," Summers said. "The odds of making it are slim to none. You have to start small and work up and remember you only get one chance to make a first impression."