Well then: The Big Quiz Thing made it back to Philadelphia last night for our first ever Movie Trivia Spectacular, which seemed a dodgy proposition in the days leading up to it: snow, transportation complications, etc., etc. But we made it (or, more accurately, I—Quizmaster Noah—made it; sidekick EDP was unexpectedly detained, and I owe a tremendous thanks to my last-minute Philly-local assistants, Amanda and Jen from Sazz Vintage in Old City, source for my newest quizmaster jacket. Plug well earned, but completed). Philly wasn't nearly as walloped by the snowpocalypse as NYC was, so it was pretty smooth sailing once I reached the Brotherly Love region (doesn't sound right).
However I got there, it was great to be back at World Cafe Live, rapidly becoming one of my favorite venues, this time in the beautiful big room downstairs. Thanks to what I gather was a very important rescheduled Eagles games (I was told that some bar trivia nights around Philly were canceled to make way for it, which boggles my sports-averse mind—don't let jocks bully you around, nerds!), the crowd was on the light side—ten teams. But it was quality over quantity, especially considering that absolute avalanche of Smart-Ass Points last night:
The future Oscar winner who appeared as the baby in the christening scene in The Godfather? This guy:
Mabel Simmons is the full name of what contemporary film character? Him:
In The Wizard of Oz, the two-word message does the Wicked Witch of the West skywrites above the Emerald City? This:
As part of the run-backwards "Movies Go Kaboom!" video round, which film is this scene from?
Groundhog Day was the extremely clever answer.
Although it must be said, several of these teams hardly needed the Smart-Ass boost: As I discovered in my previous sojourns to PA, Philly trivia geeks are among the sharpest I've encountered in my career (perhaps we dodged a bullet when a promised team of party-crashers didn't make it to the NYC Clash of the Trivia Champions). Several teams were scraping the upper limits of scoreability at last night's quiz (one squad—Don't Call Me Shirley—missed only half a point in the 20-point Bipolar Movie Challenge round, failing to specify which Kill Bill was being juxtaposed with Gone with the Wind). I'm sorry I couldn't challenge them more vigorously, but hey, I gotta please all types.
But then, of course, is the Three-Way Finale. Such is the nature of the Big Quiz Thing that no matter how high a point total you rack up, it comes down to the bells (or—now in New York—the annoyingly loud buzzer system). After a quick runoff for third place, we were left with one representative apiece from Don't Call Me Shirley (Koob was the man's name; in the heat of competition, I missed the details of his explanation, but I like to pretend it's a reference to this), Ask and Tell (Michelle), and Ron Paul Stiltskin (Mike), live onstage. Heavy, heavy contention: the score was tied one-all, but Mike of RPS clinched it with this question (a favorite of mine):
What fast food chain was named for a character in the 1971 film The French Connection?
Isn't that interesting? My favorite kind of question: Somewhat figureoutable, fascinating to discover the answer whether you're correct or incorrect. Behold your winning team, seemingly happy in their cups:
Thanks to everyone who was there. We are most definitely hoping to come back early in 2011, perhaps for another movie quiz, maybe general knowledge, perchance an entirely new gimmick. Keep track like the kids do, with Twitter and Facebook, and buy a shovel, already.