April 30, 2012

Quiz recap: Strike!

So last night's Big Quiz Thing at the palatial Bowlmor Lanes Times Square (in the magnificent Tribeca Loft; yeah, I find the name confusing too) was…interesting. As you attendees noticed, I was without EDP. DJ GB was scheduled to fill in, but other commitments intruded. I'd advertised the return of sidekick Bex Schwartz, but unforeseeable events conspired. My trusty assistant Liv backed me up all the way, but we were nonetheless operating at less than full-team capacity. Did the event suffer? All feedback indicates no, though it was grueling from my end, and moments after the audience left I curled up into a fetal position in one of the bowling lanes and cried into my blankey. Not really, but never doubt that I suffer for my art. (Similar for Liv; the Minnesota girl finally proved she's a real New Yorker by posting on FB how much she despises Times Square.) But hey, if I can't handle this, how on Allah's green earth will I be able to withstand…

Buy your tickets now to find out.

Anyway, last night was fun, right? We had an extra-impressive slate of sponsor prizes, and Bowlmor is a hella classy place: Outstanding food from celebu-toque David Burke, mega-pretty digs, and I got to work with a podium for the first time in a long while; the crouching-into-the-microphone posture is effective for expressing your regular-guyness, George W. Bush taught me…

The video puzzle, Rebus-O-Rama, is one of my absolute favorites; eminently Figureoutable, super-fun to put together, ideal for a private party—the quiz-business sweet spot, I like to say. John the Animator, frequent Three-Way Finale representative from Strippers for Stephen Hawking, had a point of order, though, about this one:

Yes, it's her; the little spiky wheel in a spur is called a rowel. The man was stunned—he'd never hard that before—and I consider a victory to teach him something new, because this dude does advanced physics in his head to help him fall asleep (I don't know, maybe; he's definitely very smart). Anyway, there's a reason this was No. 9 in the round.

The visual Four-Part Question, "Not Literally on Broadway, but About 12 Feet Above It," was by popular request (actually, it was just one regular team complaining that I don't feature enough theater-related content). Easier than I'd anticipated, though—really, everyone recognizes this marquee?

Fascinating. You people are fuckin' cultured, dammit.

The audio round, "Music History by the Prime Numbers," worked out better than I expected, combining music knowledge (to satisfy the cool nerds) and math knowledge (to satisfy the uncool nerds). And of course, the Text Message Challenge continues to unwisely publicize my personal cell phone number. As for the best Smart-Ass Point of the evening, I vote for this…

Q: In the U.S., Canada and Australia, most people call it by a six-letter word; in U.K., India and other English-speaking countries, most people call it by an eight-letter word. What is it?
A: Fuckin'/Shagging

Quick shout-out to our huge list of prize sponsors last night: The Ping-Pong palace of SPiN New York; the East Village brew-and-food mecca that is Jimmy's No. 43; the musical-theatrical mind-fuck delightfulness of Voca People; the nerdtastic chocolate chip heaven of Geek Treats; and of course, Bowlmor itself, kicking in the ol' gift cards. It's a business, folks.

And the finale: Honestly, I panicked briefly when I added up the final scores and saw that we had a three-way tie for second place. Such an eventuality had never occurred to me before, let along actually happened, and in my late-show stupor, damn if I knew how to handle it. The solution: Our buzzer system accommodates up to six players at a time, so it would be a Four-Way Finale: returning champs Gerard Depardouche, perennial superstars Incontinental Congress and Cash Cab for Cutie, and BQT virgins Taking the Mulligan. Appropriately, it lasted a full seven questions; yeah, okay, a question about Bigg Mixx was obscure…

…but are you telling me that I couldn't ask a question about that cereal? Come on! Besides, if you can't handle the heat in the Finale, when can you? Shouldn't be a surprise that the IC ultimately proved victorious.
The standings:
1. Incontinental Congress: Getting tantalizingly close to overtaking the Fantastic Fourincators as the winningest team in NYC BQT history.
2. Cash Cab for Cutie
3. Taking the Mulligan: Always great to have newcomers in the finale; hope to see them again.
4. Gerard Depardouche
5. Fat Kids Can't Count to 20
6. Strippers for Stephen Hawking
7. Oh Noah You Didn't
8. Hulk Hogan's Heroes Assemble/Inappropriate for Polite Company (tie)
10. Never Were the Vikings

NEXT: So yes, we're now in the midst of crazy times for the BQT. The next public show is our at-long-last Brooklyn debut, just a week away, May 8 at Littlefield. Later this month we have the usual Boston gig, our return to L.A., private parties galore, and then: the Biggest Quiz Thing ever—our Tenth Anniversary Marathon Quiz Show Spectacular. Ten Years, Ten Hours, Ten Hundred Dollar Grand Prize. June 3 at 92YTribeca, noon–10pm; come for one hour or all ten. The live band is set to go, comedians, guest DJs, so much more, and yours truly onstage for the whole shebang. Pray for mojo, and buy your tix now!