The Return of Figure It Out

If you grew up on 90’s Nickelodeon, chances are you watched your fair share of Figure It Out.  It was a game show featuring a celebrity panel that attempted to guess what special talent the contest had.  The panel had three rounds to guess the talent, and each time they failed, the contestant won increasingly better prizes.  It was hosted by Summer Sanders and the answers were displayed on a large head called Billy the Answer Head.  On top of that, the panel was already pretty fun, featuring a mix of stars from Nick shows and whatever other C-list celebrities they could rope into it.  Saturday Night Live’s Keenan Thompson, and twitter train wreck, Amanda Bynes were often contestants.  Also, Carrot Top was on once, but that’s not something we talk about.

So why am I bringing up this up?   Nickelodeon has decided to revive Figure It Out for a new audience.  Of course this is something I had to check out, as it’s pretty rare for Nickelodeon to roll out updated versions of old favorites.  I’m still waiting on them to bring back Wild & Crazy Kids.  Come on Nick, you can even get Omar Gooding and Donny Jeffcoat to host it again, it’s not like they have anything else going on.  Right, anyways, let’s begin.  Meet Dalton Smith, he’s got a secret talent.


That’s actually not that bad of a talent.  Figure It Out was fairly lenient with the use of the word “talent” on their shows.  For example, I remember an episode where a kid’s talent was drinking pickle juice.  Ready that star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Speaking of Hollywood, let’s meet our celebrity panelists.

I…don’t know who any of those people are.  New Figure It Out makes me feel blank and blank blank blank.  If you guessed “old” and “out of touch” then I don’t get to go to Space Camp.  Moving on, it’s time to meet the host of Figure It Out, Olympic Gold Medalist, Summer San…

Who the hell are you?

Alright, apparently new Figure It Out is hosted by that guy, Jeff Sutphen.  It should be noted he has zero Olympic Gold Medals, and has never proudly represented our country in any organized sporting events.  I will say, he’s not actually that bad of a game show host.  He’s no Marc Summers, but he’s serviceable.  The game begins as it always has, by showing the panel the board, so they can see what they’ll have to figure out.  In the classic version, the board was Billy the Answer Head.  In the new version, the board is just something called “The It Board” it’s far less exciting.

More like the shit board! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that…I just really miss Billy the Answer Head. Why did he have to die so young.?!

The game itself remains pretty much the same.  They’ve even kept the same sound effects for correctly guessing a word, and for getting slimed.  Clues are still thrown at the panelist from all directions.  They’re dropped on their heads, thrown from behind them, or shot out of hidden compartments at them at high speed.  It’s just as fun as it ever was.  They’ve also kept the “Secret Slime Action” that special thing a panelist could do that would get them slimed.  It’s actually an area I’d say the show has improved in.  Instead of just simply having it dumped on their heads, when a panelist gets slimed on the new Figure It Out, they get it from above and below.  As it rains down from overhead, a second hose in their podium pops up and sprays them.  Nickelodeon was built on slime, so it’s nice to see that despite all the changes the network has gone through, they still go all out in that regard.

All in all, I’m giving the new Figure It Out my seal of approval.  It’s a shame they’ve killed off Billy the Answer Head, but other than that, the show remains pretty much identical to the original version.  Granted, I have no idea who the panelists are, but I’m no longer the target audience, so I’ll have to let that slide.  Nickelodeon changed pretty drastically when it shut down its Orlando studio, and kids today really don’t know what they’re missing out on.  It’s nice to see the network revive something from its golden era for a new generation.  Here’s hoping it marks a return to game shows and maybe even a return to Nickelodeon Studios in some fashion.


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