First of all, I think I'm getting closer to cracking the case on TMZ's post today featuring Steven Slater's head on my body. That photo of me is available via iStockphoto. I'm getting in touch with the photographer to learn what's what, but it's probably his call.
Now then, tonight's Big Quiz Thing: our long-awaited return, the first (public, NYC) BQT since July 7. Obviously, there was much news between now and then, so plenty to recap from a trivia angle: the disgusting fate that befell Kings of Leon at a concert, the operation that made Dick Cheney even creepier, the horrible pun of Sting's new album title. I didn't have room for Wyclef running for president of Haiti.
The video round, "Who the Hell Were Those People?," was fun, and I don't blame you for confusing Deng Xiaoping with Jiang Zemin. Though really, you shouldn't confuse Ken Starr for Penn Jillette. Just saying. And to the person who thought the audio-round "Time's Up!!!" gimmick was unfair, it wasn't, and besides, my trivia philosophy has always been that it's better to be creative than to be unfair. (Not really, don't get upset.)
Speaking of which, that round featured a clip from the song "Closing Time," by Semisonic (Three Doors Down? Jeez…), and I promised to tell a story about how I was responsible for its success. (Not really, but more than you'd think.) It was 1998, I was working as a peon at Rolling Stone magazine, desperately trying to get the rockist powers-that-be to let me write record reviews. I had become a Semisonic fan back in college in Minnesota, the band's home turf (they played an awesome outdoor show in our arboretum), and I got the sense that the band's record label would get behind this new album, Feeling Strangely Fine. It took some arm-twisting, but I was able to convince my bosses to run my piddling positive review in the magazine (this was pre—they ran reviews online), and it was shoved to the back of the magazine, sans illustration. But it ran, and a few months later, there was "Closing Time" coming out of every radio in the civilized world, back when that meant something. The record went platinum, and I was gone and forgotten by Rolling Stone within a year. The music biz, ladies and gents.
Back to the BQT: The Three-Way Finale pitted returning champs Fat Kids vs. Gerard Depardouche vs. Incontinental Congress (under the guise of Genghis In-Khan-tinental). No one knew about the iconic shampoo ads starring Cybill Shepherd, Cheryl Tiegs, Kim Basinger, and Brooke Shields, but the Fat Kids successfully defended their title, winning on "In 1995, what city of many millions of people officially changed its name?" Well done.
1. Fat Kids Are Mostly Water Weight
2. Gerard Depardouche
3. Genghis In-Khan-tinental
4. Strippers for Stephen Hawking
5. Fantastic Fournicators/Hulk Hogan's Cunning Stunts
We're back at (Le) Poisson Rouge in two weeks, August 30. And register now for the NYC Clash of the Trivia Champions! $1,000, a trophy, and fucking glory, people!