Nickelodeon had the 90’s all figured out. They knew what it took to make a good show. They had the right amount of animated cartoons and their fair share of live action shows. But they really knew what they were doing in the game show department. All of their shows were unique and Figure It Out was no exception.
As a child of the 90’s and an avid Nickelodeon watcher, I always assumed Marc Summers would host every game show on their channel. I was wrong. When Figure It Out premiered, there was a new host in town and her name was Summer Sanders. I’m glad they managed to keep the “Summer” theme rolling. Summer Sanders was a good host—anytime there was a lag, she knew how to keep the ball rolling. But I still missed Marc Summers.
Figure It Out was a great idea because it involved kids (like you!) that had special talents (not like me at all!). Their goal was to stump the special guest panel and reveal their talent at the end of the show. I liked when the panel would immediately guess the right answer and ruin the show. Why did I always want everything to be ruined?
The special guest panel were always stars from other Nickelodeon shows. Which was awesome for people like me who knew everything about everyone involved in Nick shows. Some of my favorite guessers were Danny Tamberelli, Amanda Bynes, Lori Beth Denberg, Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Aaron Carter, Carrot Top, Marc Weiner, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mike O’Malley, Moira Quirk, and Schuyler Fisk. There were many others, but those were the greats in my book.
Each episode had a different combination of four Nick stars. There were three rounds of guessing for the panel. For each round that the contestant stumped the panel, they would win a super cool prize. The prizes were typically N64s, Sketchers, Nerf guns or something of the like. The panel had to ask yes or no questions to the contestant in order to Figure It Out. If they said one of the key words in what the contestant’s talent was, it would show up on this brain board called Billy.
Since it was Nickelodeon, there was always some sort of slime involved. Usually around round 2, there would be a Secret Slime Word that would be known to the viewers at home and kept from the panel. Watching people get slimed never gets old.
There was also a conveyor belt in front of the panel to help them with their questions and guesses. If they guessed the talent correctly, or if all the rounds ended, the contestant would either play a video of themselves doing their super sweet talent, or actually performing it for the audience. Usually it would be something lame like “I can pet rabbits.” On occasion it would be something cool like a barefoot water-skier or a competitive jump-roper.