Think Fast (Nickelodeon game show)

For the unrelated ABC game show of the same name, see Think Fast (ABC game show).
Think Fast
Genre Children's game show
Created by Bob Mittenthal
Michael Klinghoffer
Developed by Geoffrey Darby
Michael Klinghoffer
Robert Mittenthal
Herb Scannel
Byron Taylor
Directed by Lexi Rae (1989–1990)
Bob Lampel (1990–1991)
Presented by Michael Carrington (1989–1990)
Skip Lackey (1990–1991)
Narrated by James Eoppolo (1989–1990)
Henry J. Waleczko (1990–1991)
Composer(s) Edd Kalehoff
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 106[1]
Executive producer(s) Geoffrey Darby (1989–1991)
Michael Klinghoffer (1990–1991)
Producer(s) Robert Mittenthal (1989–1990)
Marjorie Cohn (1990–1991)
Location(s) WHYY-TV Studios
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1989–1990)
Universal Studios
Orlando, Florida (1990–1991)
Original network Nickelodeon
Original release May 1, 1989 – June 29, 1991

Think Fast is an American children's game show which aired on Nickelodeon from May 1, 1989 to June 29, 1991.

For the first season, the show was hosted by Michael Carrington, and announced by James Eoppolo. When the show moved to the new Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida for season two, Eoppolo was invited to stay on as announcer but was contractually obligated to another project by that time. Carrington was replaced by Skip Lackey and the new announcer was Henry J. Waleczko. The show's theme music was composed by Edd Kalehoff.


Two teams of two (one of them wearing gold, another wearing blue) competed in various events that would "boggle the mind as well as the bodies". The team that completed each stunt won money ($50 for Round 1, $100 for Round 2). In the Carrington era, it was possible for some events to end in a draw, whether by both teams failing to complete a stunt, or by a tie score. When both teams failed, no money was awarded to either team; with a tie score, the money was awarded to each team. Also in the Carrington era, some events required a team to buzz in when they were done; if a team buzzed in before completing the event, the other team won.


The Think Fast Brain Bender

After each event, the winners of the event in addition to the cash won a chance to solve a visual puzzle known as the "Brain Bender". In each attempt a puzzle piece was removed. The puzzle could be a picture of a celebrity, a rebus, a close-up object or objects in common. Correctly solving a Brain Bender was worth $200. If the Brain Bender was solved in the first round, another one was started in the second half, still worth $200. If nobody solved the Brain Bender after the final event, or if a tie occurs at the end of the game, a sudden death showdown was played. Originally teams alternated turns taking guesses after each puzzle piece was removed; in later episodes, pieces were removed one at a time until one player buzzed in with a correct answer. Generally speaking, who ever solved the Brain Bender-won the game. On very early episodes if the puzzle was solved early in the first round, a second Brain Bender was thrown out. Usually, this puzzle was so hard or obscure, it couldn't be solved. When the Brain Bender was objects in common, a different version of the Brain Bender was used in which one of six pictures or drawings was revealed after every event. The teams had to guess what the depicted items all had in common.

The theoretical maximum a team could win upfront was $750, $150 for winning all 3 events in round 1, plus $200 for winning both events in round 2, plus another $400 for solving the brain benders in both rounds.

The team with the most money at the end of the game won and advanced to the bonus round, the Locker Room.

Locker Room

The Locker Room contained fifteen large lockers, each containing either a costumed character that would distract the players by bombarding them with sometimes messy surprises, or a number of themed objects (rubber balls, balloons, or small props which would fly out at the contestant, for example). In the Carrington era, the lockers also contained puppet characters and cannons that blasted confetti when the locker opened. A locker would open, and the player then had to find its match. Because of the numerous distractions and surprises that popped out of the lockers when opened, players were required to wear helmets, goggles, and knee/elbow pads in the Locker Room. In total, there were seven pairs of characters or objects, as well as an unpaired locker. Each match won a prize.

Every time a player pressed a button, the locker corresponding to that button would open up. When a player found a match, they had to press a button in the center of the stage that closed all the lockers as well as deactivate the buttons to the matched lockers, as they were already matched and not needed to match again.

Carrington version

The first player had 30 seconds to find as many pairs as they could. The unpaired locker contained a Time Bomb that was "set to go off after 20 seconds". The first player had to deactivate the Time Bomb within the first 20 seconds by simply opening the locker containing the Time Bomb. If the first player found the time bomb, the second player also received 30 seconds to find pairs; however, if the time bomb went off (signaled by its locker opening automatically and an accompanying explosion sound), the second player only received 20 seconds. On very early episodes, finding the Time Bomb also added 10 seconds to the second player's time for a total of 40 seconds; this rule was dropped after only two or three tapings. Each match on this version was worth increasingly valuable prizes; making six matches won the team a trip. The lockers that were still able to open had the lights off (located on top of the lockers).

Lackey version

This time, the team took turns for each match, and the team had 60 seconds to find all seven matches. The first four matches were worth $100 apiece; the other three matches awarded prizes, with the grand prize being awarded for all seven matches (on this version, it was not always a trip). The unpaired locker contained the "Red Herring", which was simply a character with no match. At some point during the run (after any of the first six matches), the Red Herring would be opened. At that point, the contestant had to "yank on the Herring Handle", a cord suspended in the center of the room; the team did not get credit for a match, but they were then able to continue to the next character. When this handle was pulled, a bucket of red plastic fish toys (ostensibly "herrings") was dropped on the character while his/her door was being closed. The lockers that were still able to open had the lights on (located on the buttons).


The series was taped at WHYY-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for its first season. The show relocated to Universal Studios Orlando in Orlando, FL for Season Two, where the set received a makeover. The Orlando episodes of the show were taped in January 1990, 5 months before Nickelodeon Studios opened, and was the second Nickelodeon game show to tape there (Super Sloppy Double Dare was the first).[2] As with virtually every Nickelodeon game show from 1986–1996, the set was designed by Byron Taylor.


  1. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-present, by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh
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