‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’: 10 Fun Facts About Nick’s Infamous Game Show
It’s been a quarter of a century since Nickelodeon shut the temple doors for good: Legends of the Hidden Temple ended after three seasons and 120 episodes 25 years ago now, on November 24, 1995.
The beloved action-adventure game show was a highlight of Nickelodeon’s golden age, a time when “90 percent of all kids [were] watching the same show at the same time,” as Legends co-creator Scott Stone told A.V. Club in 2016.
Legends of the Hidden Temple still airs sporadically in reruns, and Nickelodeon honored its enduring appeal with a 2016 TV movie. And now, in honor of, well, the passage of 25 years, we’ve rounded up fun facts about the show below.
1. Legends of the Hidden Temple‘s Stone also told A.V. Club that the show was originally themed around a haunted house. “We went to Nickelodeon, and they said, ‘We really like this idea, but we don’t like the monsters. Can you do something else?’”
2. One former contestant shed light on the show’s audition process, telling the Orlando Sentinel back in 1994 that she had to take a written test, run, climb a rope, and do pull-ups during the tryout.
3. Dee Bradley Baker — known for his voiceover work in SpongeBob SquarePants, Phineas and Ferb, and American Dad — provided the voice of Olmec.
4. Stone said it would have been “ridiculously expensive” to make the Olmec head an animatronic, so instead, Baker did puppeteering as he read Olmec’s lines, reported the AV Club.
5. Olmec’s flickering eyes were another low-tech innovation.
6. Host Kirk Fogg said in a 2006 radio interview that the first Legends of the Hidden Temple episode took 18 hours to film because of production issues. “The kids were so wiped,” he recalled. “They were crying, they were weeping …because it was, like, 11:00 at night, and we were running them through the temple.”
7. Fogg also explained why so many contestants failed the seemingly simple task of assembling Silver Monkey. “Do you know how tired you are by the time you get to the Shrine of the Silver Monkey?” he told BuzzFeed in 2016. “You are completely out of gas, you get there to this room, the lighting is little bit funky, and you have to find the three pieces.”
8. One of the show’s temple guards reportedly said that the Dark Forest was his least favorite room of the temple: It was hot, it smelled like 3 years worth of B.O., and the Tree Limb sleeves tore your arms up. But it was still fun.”
9. Pressman released a Target-exclusive Legends of the Hidden Temple board game in 2017, but it gets an unimpressive 3.8/10 rating on Board Game Geek.
10. In March 2020, Quibi put out a casting call looking for adult contestants to compete in a “supersized, reimagined version” of Legends of the Hidden Temple. The streaming platform’s imminent demise, however, likely means the revival will never see the light of day.