Mahna freakin' mahna, my felt friends: Wednesday night's first ever sensational, inspirational Big Muppets Quiz Thing (at Littlefield in Brooklyn) was one for the ages. Teaming with those masters of all things Muppetological, ToughPigs.com, we gathered NYC's Muppet fanatic community in all its splendor for an evening of multimedia Muppet quiz joy—covering the Muppet movies, the Muppet shows, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, even some of Henson's Muppet-less projects (what movie featured a future Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner and a future Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy winner?). The quiztastical fun was punctuated by dives into ToughPigs' voluminous vault of rare Muppet footage. (I particularly enjoyed the clip of Miss Piggy helping Jay Leno usher in 1997—talk about a guess outclassing a host.)
It was a hot, hot crowd, an especially enthusiastic one. Plenty of new-to-the-BQT faces (always a plus), but the diehards as well, including the especially hardy Fantastic Fournicators, joined by a Muppety facsimile of its linchpin member, Steve…
That's dedication. We were also visited by the ladies of Trashed in the Dress, a crew of newish brides intent of making their mark on the NYC's nightlife scene clad in their wedding gowns. (Joined tonight by their husbands; who knew that Muppets and trivia were the keys to a happy first year?) Wandering the crowd throughout the evening were Joe and Ryan of ToughPigs, lending their expertise, as each team was given two cheats for the whole evening. (Nice new element to the BQT format; gonna think of how to refine it and use it again.) Truly, everyone learned something, if only the amazing discovery that Fozzie's "Wocka Wocka" sounds exactly the same in reverse.
When the four rounds of trivia fun were behind us, the buzzertastic finale had some surprises: The two winningest teams in BQT NYC history—the Fournicators and Incontinental Congress (playing as Tickle Me Incontinent) were, get this, tied for fifth place. But hey, it was all good: Thanks to the generosity of ToughPigs' seemingly endless prize closet, every team went home with something, from a Kermit pencil mug to a Muppet Treasure Island coloring book. Still, ultimate glory went to the three teams in the finale: C is for Cash Cab (a.k.a. Cash Cab for Cutie, perennial BQT contenders, though represented onstage by a BQT virgin), the Very Brief Cameos (BQT newbies but longtime ToughPigs fans), and Sex and Violence (new to both). Fresh meat, people. But Matt of the VBC cleaned it up in two straight questions: He knew about the only movie officially directed by both Henson and Oz, and which Muppet's name refers to two '60s rock bands. A special kind of nerd indeed.
1. The Very Brief Cameos
2. C Is for Cash Cab
3. Sex and Violence
4. The Four Slowths
5. The Fantastic Fournicators/The Monster at the End of This Beer/Tickle Me Incontinental (tie)
8. Felt Up!
9. Green Legs and Ham
10. The Snake Oil Salesman
And hey, check out Bernie of C Is for Cash Cab, modeling his prize, a Cookie Monster jumpsuit. And I was wondering what human being would ever wear this thing.
Thanks to our prize sponsors: Our fantastic venue, Littlefield, and of course, the Museum of the Moving Image, future home to the Jim Henson Exhibition and Gallery. Plus, ToughPigs.com, who present their next edition of the Muppet Vault on Sunday, April 13 at Union Hall. As for the BQT, we're back at Littlefield very soon: April 1, it's our Top 40 Countdown of the the Greatest Music Trivia Questions of All Time (seriously!), with live band karaoke. It don't get no better, friends.