If you’re an ’80s or ’90s kid, you recognize Marc Summers as the host of Nickelodeon’s iconic game show Double Dare. If your kitchen is your happy place, you know him from Food Network’s Unwrapped. But his new documentary offers a raw, real and endlessly entertaining look at his more than three decades in show business.
On Your Marc captures Summers behind-the-scenes as he creates his 2016 one-man play, The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers. Ever the showman, Summers is currently touring the United States, creating one-of-a-kind experiences for audiences who watch his screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse. (He’ll be in Brooklyn on Thursday before heading to Philadelphia, Austin, Baltimore and Chicago.)
“I always wanted to do theater and got side-tracked along the way. In the entertainment industry, you have no control of your own life. Other people make decisions for you,” Summers, 65, tells PEOPLE.
For the Indiana native, that meant becoming a magician first, then a comic — he performed at The Comedy Store in the 1970s, working alongside stars like David Letterman, Jay Leno and Robin Williams — before landing Double Dare in 1986.
“I came out of the womb knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I’m one of the few people who had a passion from a very young age,” says Summers, who soaked in every minute of classics like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Ed Sullivan Show.
“I would watch these things and live vicariously through them and say, how do I do that? How do I get on stage?” he says. “And then I found Bob Barker doing game shows, and I thought, well, I don’t know if I can act, but I know I can be myself. And so through the magic and the standup, I got to know my voice.”
Why return to theater? After breaking every bone in his face during a 2012 car accident and being diagnosed with cancer seven years ago (he’s now in remission), he realized there’s “no time like the present” to follow your dream.
As for the tour, “I’ve never done anything terribly normal, and it’s attributed to show business,” Summers says. “We started to be a little renegade. … We thought, well, let’s bring Double Dare to the people.”
Attendees can participate in live physical challenges — and, yes, even get slimed.
“It sort of kicks back to the old vaudeville days, where you see a movie and then there’s a live stage show,” Summers says.
What is the infamous green liquid that’s been dumped on the heads of every tween/teen celebrity imaginable?
Though Summers says there have been “a million revivals,” he dilvulged the secret to Nickelodeon’s surprisingly simple original recipe: vanilla pudding, apple sauce and green food coloring.
“The insurance company made us guarantee if any of this got in the kids’ mouths it was edible,” he explains. “And it tasted good, and it smelled great.”
You’ll have to see On Your Marc — which features cameos by his celebrity friends Guy Fieri, Ryan Seacrest and Neil Patrick Harris — to learn more about Summers’ incredible life. But there’s one thing he hopes every viewer takes away from his movie.
“That everybody’s got a great story,” he says. “That you probably could have a fantastic one-person show if you walk down the street — be it Los Angeles, Indianapolis; Indiana; Toledo, Ohio or New York City. I was fortunate enough to meet the right people and get this thing done. And I always like to say, just because you’re in show business doesn’t make you special. … God knows, there are many people who don’t know who Marc Summers is, and the one thing I asked is that people walk away with something positive. And the one thing I think I’ve been overcome is the word ‘no.'”
Click here for more on On Your Marc and the full tour schedule.