- Game Format -

Both versions of Family Challege kept the same main idea for the format of the
show: two families compete head-to-head to go home with great prizes
and the most coveted award of all, the Family Challenge Championship Cup.  This
was a cup, similar to the one shown in the logo above, where the winning
family's last name was engraved in the front panel.

This cup was only rewarded to the strongest, smartest (in most cases), and fastest
families.  As mentioned above, the format stayed primarily the same
through both versions.  The later version had less events and dealed more with
the audience since it was taped at Universal Studios, wheras the
original version was taped at an individual studio - different then a theme park.

Studio Version

The studio version of Family Challenge was taped for Woody Fraser Enterprises
(the company responsible for What Would You Do?, Wild & Crazy Kids,
and Home and Family).  The studio was adjacent to the one used for Fraser's
sister show at the time, Wild Animal Games.  Both shows were
also produced for the Family Channel, and aired in the afternoon as a
part of the Fam TV  lineup.

The studio version's game consisted of seven events which both families
would compete in.  Although there were many different games
on the show that were used more often than others, here is a list of almost all
of the challenges that made it to television at least once, in
both versions.  If you personally know of one that is not listed below, e-mail
me the name of the challenge, and I will add it to this site.

* Shave the Balloon
* Pop the Balloon Outfits
* Fast-food Relay
* Gunk Tank Basketball Relay
* Know Your Family Members Pie-in-the-face Challenge
* Pie Pengalem
* Jump on Allegators
* Stab Gak Balloons With Sword
* Decipher Backwards Words
* Park Monster Truck
* Outdoor Gak Obstacle Course
* Outdoor Monster Truck Challenge
* Seven-event Obstacle Course (used frequently)
* Clothing Relay
* Gunk Tank Relays

As mentioned, the challenges above were used at least once in the show's
complete run, but some were used many more times, especially
one's featuring the trademark of the show, the Gunk Tank.  The Gunk Tank
was a large vat, that resembled the tank in What Would You Do? 's
pie slide, and it consisted of organic potting material.  The tank was used
in both versions of the show, as well as many of the challenges
above, but the later version consisted of a different material (see the
Universal Studios version below).

Anyway, the family that won the most points by the end of the seventh
round was awarded the Family Challenge Championship Cup,
which was "The most coveted cup next the the World Cup," according to
original Family Challenge host Ray Combs.

In 1996, just after the show's second season, Ray Combs was found
dead - a victim of suicide.  As a result, the Family Channel
temporarily removed Family Challenge from it's broadcast schedule
for the entire summer season.

The show returned, however, on September 30, 1996, but with a slightly
different name...

Universal Studios Version

The New Family Challenge began on the date above, with new host
Michael Berger (also host of Fraser's Home and Family),
and a completely different set.

Three things remained, though, the rule of two families competing for
the cup, the infamous Gunk Tank, which
had a slight renovation when switching locations to Universal Studios,
and a similar game format.  Challenges were completed
by each family, but there were less than seven.  More information regarding
The New Family Challenge can be found in The New Family Challenge
section of this website.

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