Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Credit: Nickelodeon

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

John Cena is going from wrestling adult men to hosting a game show with kids, but no matter the perceived difference between the two gigs, the face of Nickelodeon’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader is still pulling from the same mindset.

“There is no way I can ignore my experience in the WWE for preparing me for something like this, where you not only have to be a vehicle to move the show along but not being afraid to have a personality,” Cena tells EW. “I think that is a lot of WWE is. There are many more things I learned performing in the WWE that helped me with this experience — as they do with every experience.”

And it’s the similarities that Cena sees between the WWE and Nickelodeon that has kept his relationship strong with both, having twice previously hosted the network’s Kids’ Choice Awards. “We have the same goals,” says the 42-year-old. “We want to put smiles on people’s faces. That literally is Nickelodeon’s ethos and it is one that the WWE shares and one that I certainly agree with. When you want to make kids and families happy, it makes it a lot easier.”

Like the original, which ran on Fox and was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, the new Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader has adult contestants putting their knowledge to the test with questions taken directly from an elementary school curriculum for a cash prize ($100,000 is up for grabs here). But Cena says this time around they are putting the spotlight elsewhere. “The show is largely based on showcasing the kids,” he shares. “Not just their smarts and intelligence, but also their skills and personality. I thought that was a really nice angle to reboot the show and very well-executed. It really empowers the youth to not be afraid to be who they are and say what they know, which is important.”

And there is one thing that Cena can say he knows with confidence after this experience: “I figured out that I am definitely not smarter than a 5th grader.”

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader premieres Monday at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

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Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
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