Before we go any further, last night there was an odd confluence among the team names at the Big Quiz Thing's beloved Harvard Square home of Oberon: three squads whose names referenced the grand lord of statistics, Nate Silver. Sure, the guy had a great week, accurately predicting that a likeably cool-headed American success story would be elected over a desperate plutocratic buffoon. But still, odd coincidence. (Clearly Silver isn't yet old news. Neither is the Willardtron 3000, judging by the frequency with which we all used Mitt Romney as a piñata last night.) My noticing of this led me to ask the audience something I've been wondering: What if we did a special BQT event with Sir Silver, nothing but politics and baseball? Interested? I definitely am (I hate baseball), and the crowd tonight definitely seemed to think so. Stay tuned.
Now then… You know what I love? Smart-Ass Points.
For the uninitiated, Smart-Ass Points are credit for wrong but funny answers, one of the many things that makes the Big Quiz Thing so double-plus awesome. And last evening, we had lots of excellent Smart-Ass Points. But here's the problem: We're in NYC tonight, with much of the same fabulous BQT content (yeah, you heard me), so I'm loath to share with you some of yesterday's better SAPs, for fear of giving away. So I will tread carefully (then again, I do like rewarding people for reading this blog)…
—The book that included a murderer's analysis of the music of Genesis, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis and the News (really? I can't make fun of Huey, booing fans?) was Mein Kampf.
—The old smoking dude from the '50s clog-dancing in Appalachia was crumping.
— Whose did Mike Tyson bite off in '97? Vincent Van Gogh.
Et cetera. The audio round, "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions," was particular fertile Smart-Ass territory, as anytime a team didn't know the answer, they were tempted to use the Snappy Answer clue to come up with something clever. The best of the bunch won't make sense here without question-killing context, so allow me to be mysterious: "Are You Proficient in Word?" got the biggest laugh of the night.
As predicted, the video puzzle, "Movies and TV: Untranslated," was tricky…somewhat. IDing the movies and TV shows was fairly simple, but puzzling out the foreign languages was rather brutal. Tip for folks in NYC (and L.A., and Chicago): Bring a linguistics major to join your team, you won't regret it (and they won't, of course).
A quick thank-you to our serious prize sponsor lineup for the evening: Our old friends at the Modern Homebrew Emporium and the Harvard Museum of Natural History, plus newcomers the Grafton Street Pub and the MIT Museum. Beats remainder DVDs any day of the week, doesn't it? And also a thank-you to my returning warm-up comedian/sidekick, Mr. Wes Hazard. The man, the legend.
And the finale: Quick and easy, returning champs the Monstrous Humanoids mopped it up over perennial contenders Loose Lips Sink Quips and Nate Silver = Is Relevant (it's an anagram! neeeeerds!). Two questions, and Humanoidette Esther claimed the top prize, the first time in their long BQT history that the Humanoids had a repeat victory. Done, and done well.
1. The Monstrous Humanoids
2. Loose Lips Sink Quips
3. Nate Silver = Is Relevant
4. Flairway to Heaven
5. Sir Rex Hunt Kicks Ass!!
6. Tip Us Maybe (Oberon staff team!)/Ice Cream Antisocial (tie)
8. David Petraeus: The Spy Who Shagged Me
9. Nate Silver Gives Us a 91% Chance of Losing
10. Salvador Dali Parton/DARA the Explaras (tie)
Next: I repeated ad nauseam at last night's show, but it bore repeating: We are less than three weeks away from el grande enchilada, the Boston edition of our Tenth Anniversary Quiz Show Marathon Spectacular! Sunday, December 2, noon to 10pm; one cheap ticket and you can come and go all day. Nonstop quiz excitement, music, short films, comedy from Improv Boston, food, and ridiculously fantabulous prizes, including a grand $500 jackpot. Get your tickets now, now, now, now, now, and plan your strategy. We love you.