Category Archives: Quizzo

Celeste DiNucci Beats Watson, Gets Crushed at Quizzo

celesteThe world of trivia is a strange one indeed. Some of you may remember Celeste DiNucci, who won $250,000 on Jeopardy a few years ago. Well, she was one of the contestants who was invited back to take on Watson, the IBM computer that will be appearing on Jeopardy starting tonight. Though her match with Watson was not televised, she did receive an award (above) for knocking him off. And she gets major badass points for doing so while wearing a John Henry shirt.

Not long after knocking off Watson however, she ran into the buzzsaw that was the Adam Sandler round at quizzo. I think we’ve found Celeste’s weakness. After crashing hard in the Sandler round, her team finished last at O’Neals. And so, not long after earning an award for knocking off the most advanced trivia computer in the world, she won some Double Platinum Wild Honey blunt rolling papers for finishing last at O’Neals (below). I don’t think blunt rolling papers are ever a prize on Jeopardy. That said, she’ll have a shot to redeem herself this Saturday…rumor has it she’s putting a kickass team together for Quizzo Bowl.

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Eric Stoltz in Back to the Future


Last week’s question of the week was, “Who originally played McFly in Back to the Future?” The answer was obviously Eric Stoltz. Unfortunately, there is very little Stoltz as McFly footage out there. Here is a short splice of the footage that has been released. The only place where I see Stoltz make any reference to it is in this short interview about it. On Thursday I had a round about actors who were initally offered major roles but turned them down. Here is a site that I got some of my info from, including Robert Deniro as the star of BIG.

Question of the Week

first pornoReleased in 1915, directed by “A. Wise Guy” and starring “The Jazz Girls” this is believed to be the first porno film in American history.

Quizzo News and Notes

Picture 1Several things to look forward to in the next few weeks. First of all, big Quizzo Bowl announcements coming next week. Venue and band will both be revealed. Also, I am still looking for sponsors. If anyone is interested in donating either prizes or having their name on the marquee, so to speak, shoot me a line. This is gonna be a great event with about 300 people in attendance, and website activity always shoots up around Quizzo Bowl time. All I ask is that you don’t spell the event “Quzzo Bowl” on the banners.

Also, in case you were unaware, me and a crew of geeks are heading back out to Denver at the end of the month. The Denverites ripped Philly a few months ago. Well, I’ve been working on a battle rap since. It’s finally written, and hope to get the video done and up by early next week. I’m not sure Denver and the surrounding suburbs will ever recover from the verbal assault I am about to launch.

As for regular quizzo next week, Mike Minion’s got a pretty interesting quiz going down at the Westbury on Monday. The entire quizzes topic is Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and in addition to the questions Mike will have some rock music to give away at the quiz. (After checking with our lawyers, we discovered that he is not allowed to give away either sex or drugs at the quiz, however.) As for my quiz, another week of the unusual insanity, plus more Face Off, where some players win within seconds, and others get booed after blowing easy questions, such as the players  involved in this exchange at the Rendezvous…Q: How does Humpty Hump like his oatmeal? Player 1: Runny Me: No Player 2: Extra Thick? Me: No, lumpy. Humpty likes it Lumpy. Crowd: Booooo!

Anyhow, I hope everyone has a great weekend and we’ll see ya next week!

The Art of Stealing Quizzo Questions

thiefTrivia questions have to come from somewhere, so a good quizmaster will search a variety of sources, from trivia books, to trivia websites, to trivia video games to (alas) wikipedia. But some people just flat out steal every question from somewhere verbatim to make their pub quizzes.

That’s part of the reason why Dicker from Denver doesn’t post trivia questions on the Geeks Who Drink blog, because he doesn’t want people to steal them. I’m a bit more relaxed about that, but I get where he’s coming from.

So I was interested when I stumbled across the following message board on the Straight Dope earlier today, in which someone posted that their quizmaster was stealing all of his questions from a trivia book the guy had recently read. While the discussion itself is interesting, it becomes even more interesting when you learn via a link in the thread that the guys who made millions on Trivial Pursuit basically stole a lot of their questions from a book called Super Trivia by Fred Worth (You see me holding a slightly updated version of it in my promo photo to the right. And no, I don’t use it. The questions are outdated). I had heard this story before, but never the full version. This from a website called triviahalloffame.com, which was linked to on the message board.

But it wasn’t just jealousy that had Worth upset. A lot of the questions bore a suspicious similarity to material from his books. In fact, he would decide that a third of the questions had been lifted from “Super Trivia.” In some cases, the game even copied the typographical errors and misprints. (Not to mention the book’s many unintentionally false facts.) It was time for Fred to set off his bomb. He began looking for the false fact he had planted in his game. And there it was. What was Lt. Columbo’s first name? “Philip,” said Trivial Pursuit.

“Ah ha!” shouted Worth. He had simply made up this business about Philip Columbo. His false fact had been stolen and he now had the evidence. On October 23, 1984, he filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for Southern California, against John and Chris Haney, Ed Werner, and Scott Abbott, who had created the game, as well as against the game’s US and Canadian distributors, Selchow & Righter and Horn Abbott Ltd. Worth wanted $300 million in damages.

Unfortunately, that’s about as far as he got. The trap he had sprung proved useless when the Trivial Pursuit people admitted copying from “Super Trivia.” However, they also copied from lots of other people. As one Web site puts it, “When you copy from one source, it’s called plagiarism; when you copy from many sources, it’s called research.”

And that was that. Worth’s case was thrown out of court by Judge Wm Matthew Byrne, Jr. It never even came to trial. In 1987, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal, declaring that Trivial Pursuit was “substantially different” from “Super Trivia”. The courts decided that the presentation of facts in an encyclopedia, where entries are listed alphabetically, was very different from the rewriting of those same facts as questions, and their division into categories randomly picked on a Trivial Pursuit card. On March 28, 1988, the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Worth’s lawyers.

Note that this is very different from simply stealing the questions and doing some minor reformatting or editing, which we consider stealing. Ahem!

So it probably wouldn’t be worth it for me to go chasing after question stealers (or for people whose trivia books I read to go chasing after me). But quizzo is a sport of gentlemen, and while grabbing a question here and there from various sources, checking them out and then giving them your own spin is par for the course, full on copycatting is extremely poor form.

Quizzo News and Notes, Love Hangover Edition

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  • Yes, the rumors are true. I am now an honest man. Got married Saturday. It was an incredible weekend. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it, and thanks to everyone who sent us your best. And thanks, Steve-O, for playing “Last Christmas” by WHAM! on piano right before the service started.
  • Just a quick reminder that the Westbury is having their holiday party tonight, and therefore Westbury Quiz is cancelled for tonight. The Westbury quiz is back on in two weeks. Quizzo for Terrace Taproom tomorrow is on as planned.
  • Quizzo pics of last week’s winners will be posted either later today or early tomorrow. I got married on Saturday, so things were a little too hectic Friday to get photos up. Today it’s back to reality, which includes cleaning up the house.
  • This week, it’s time for our annual Holiday Spectacular. This is always one of the highlights of the year. Should be a blast. This year, I’m also going to throw in a few “Year in Review” questions. And what the hell, I’ll even write two quizzes this week, as a present to all you quizzo uber-nerds.

Liberty, Comedy, Harry Potter, and Transvestite Golfers

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  • First of all, does anyone remember who won at the Rendezvous and Black Sheep last week? I haven’t been able to get a hold of the old scoresheets, and after investigating on Wednesday night, I found out who finished 2nd and 3rd but not first. Apparently we had upsets at both bars. If you’re team won, please give me a heads up so I can give you your just rewards.
  • Also, let me know who won Liberty 360 tickets at the Autumn Invitational. I have your tickets, I just forgot to hand them out after the event. Let me know and I’ll bring them to quizzo this week. It is a pretty cool show. I went a couple of weeks ago. And if I owe you any other prizes, whether from here or isportacus, let me know. I want to get caught up on all that stuff. Hit me up at johnny@johnnygoodtimes.com or on facebook.
  • The Chip Chantry One Man Show returns this Monday! Chip and I will be hosting the fun at a new location, the Shubin Theatre on 4th and Bainbridge. We have a great lineup and it’s gonna be an awesome show. Here’s some more details.
  • A quick reminder to you Harry Potter geeks. Mike Minion will be hosting his Harry Potter quiz on Monday, December 12th at the Ugly American at 8 p.m.
  • If you want to upgrade your team avatar just put one together and hit me up on facebook. If you haven’t sent me one, I’ve made one up, but you are still welcome to make one yourself and send it to me.

Question of the Week

troffeaWhat type of plague struck Strasbourg, France, in 1518, killing dozens of people?

Perfection, Inception, and Rejection: The Week That Was

Satan's Perfect MinionsA wild, wild, Spooktacular week. Steak Em Up finishes 3rd twice, Satan’s Minions (above) get a perfect score, I blow a tie breaker at O’Neals, and two new teams win for the first time ever.

We start at O’Neals, where I didn’t realize until I was announcing final scores that we had a tie. I ran over to Insert Topical Team Name Here and said “When was Dracula born?” Not knowing that it was the tiebreaker, one of them started looking it up on his phone. They were disqualified. Bad call by the ref: In a rush, I had neglected to tell them it was a tiebreaker. Savage Ear got the win. A tough loss, but the fact that they tied means they only lost one point on the JGTAI. Also getting a win on Tuesday night? The Tubular Two, whose City Tap House win was their first ever victory.

No tiebreakers needed at the Black Sheep the next night, as Satan’s Minions went 40 questions up, 40 questions down to record a perfect 120. Remarkably, after 7 years and over 350 quizzes without a single perfect game ever at the Black Sheep, we’ve had two in the month of October (Duane’s WOrld had one a few weeks ago.) It’s a funny sport.

Earlier in the night, 1022 kept their incredible hot streak going. Through September 10th, these Rendezvous regulars had won three times all season, and hadn’t won since early June. In the last 6 games, they’ve won 5 times.

Onto Thursday, where the serial killer wild card round was an instant classic (The Ghost Movie Speed Round, on the other hand, not so much. A fair amount of anger over what constitutes a ghost). And when the dust settled, the Exhausted Nihilists were the 2nd team this week  that won their first ever quizzo.

Then to a packed Bards, where incredibly 4 teams finished within two points of each other. Eschaton escaped with the win. Lots of surprises in the Halloween Spooktacular. Going to be interesting to see how the standings shake down on Monday.

The 8th Annual JGT Halloween Spooktacular!

jgthalloweenThere is little consolation to take from the Phillies loss. But if there is one, it is this: for the first time in 3 years, we will have an uninterrupted Halloween Spooktacular. And to celebrate, for the first time ever I am going to write two different Halloween quizzes. Scary songs, mass murder, and horror films will dominate the questions. This will not be a quiz for the weak of heart. We start tonight, on Big Money Tuesday. Winning team at O’Neals gets a $50 gift certificate. And considering that there have been 6 different winners in the past 7 weeks, anybody could take this thing. And $50 can buy you a lot of $3.50 margaritas.

On to the City Tap House. Our first quiz last week was a huge success. Great turnout, great venue, and great prizes make this an awesome quiz. Winning team gets a free two hour Happy Hour for 10 friends. Specials include the $10 personal pizza and a beer. That’s hard to beat. You better be there tonight…or else!

The Decision

jgtlebronNeedless to say, people all across Philadelphia have been wondering where Johnny Goodtimes will land on Tuesday nights at 10:15 p.m. But instead of just announcing it, JGT decided to get interviewed by Jim Gray so he could talk a bit more about himself. Here is the transcript of that interview, with the decision after the jump.

Thank you very much. Everybody is on pins and needles across the country, particularly those bars who are in the running for Johnny Goodtimes. Are you ready to go Johnny? Where is the powder?

What powder?

The baby powder you throw into the air before each quizzo.

I don’t do that. Someone could slip and fall on the powder and then I’d find myself in legal trouble.

What have you thought about this process?

This process has been everything I’ve thought and more. I enjoy any process that revolves around me, Johnny Goodtimes. Did I mention that I’m donating all of the money earned from this interview to  the Orphans of Oddfellows?

You weren’t able to be recruited because you went straight to Quizmaster from a job waiting tables while dressed in a colonial outfit. Have you enjoyed this recruiting process now?

I have enjoyed it. It’s been an unbelievable experience, a real humbling experience to be even to be in this position. But I’m sure it’s even more humbling for the bars that have had a chance to talk to me. 

How many people know your decision right now?

Not many. It’s a very, very small number. I probably could count them on my fingers.

One hand or two hands?

Well, I would use one hand to count the fingers on the other hand, so would that count as one or two?

When did you decide?

I think I decided this morning. I mean, I decided this morning, but I went day to day. I wake up one morning, it’s this bar. I wake up another morning, it’s this bar. I wake up another morning, and I can’t find my toothbrush. So then I go to Walgreens and buy a new one. And while I’m there I pick up some dog food. What was the question again?

So the last time you changed your mind was yesterday?

The last time I changed my mind was probably in my dreams. As real as it may seem. It was only in my dreams.

Who in this process, Johnny, have you taken advice from and who has had the biggest influence?

I’ve taken a lot of advice from my friends and family. And there was a guy in Rittenhouse yesterday that was mumbling something about government mind control. He seemed to know what he was talking about, so I took some advice from him. 

Would you like to sleep on it a little longer, or are you ready to make this decision?

That depends. Who would I be sleeping with?

Are you still a nail biter?

I’ve never bit my nails.

You’ve had everybody else biting their nails. So I guess it’s time for them to stop chewing. The answer to the question everybody wants to know: Johnny, what’s your decision?

In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall I’m going to take my talents to…

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Physical Challenges and Next Week’s Schedule!

autumninviteThe Fall Classic is going to be an event that you simply do not want to miss. I am going to have an AWESOME musical performer, it’s gonna be at a great venue, and as people will tell you who went to the first one, the event itself is a lot of fun. However, only the top 20-25 teams are going to get an invite. After 4 weeks, if you haven’t really scored many points yet, it is not quite panic time but it is getting there. HOWEVER, you can exit panic mode and enter contender mode quite easily. You can score 7 points by Monday w/o playing any quiz at all. To score three points, simply make a team avatar. This can be as simple as a photo that best defines your team name. For another four points, you can get a photo taken in front of one of the most recognizable landmarks in Philadelphia. To find out what that is, go to the JGT fan page on facebook. It won’t take long, and will make you a contender instead of a pretender.

IN OTHER QUIZZO NEWS: The schedule next week is going to pretty wild and wacky due to Phils/Giants, but could be kind of fun. This lineup is assuming that the NLCS goes at least 5 games. If the Phillies sweep, Thursday will be back to normal.

TUESDAY

O’Neals 8 p.m.

City Tap House 10:15 p.m.

WEDNESDAY

Both quizzes cancelled.

THURSDAY

Bards Pregame Quiz! 6 p.m.

FRIDAY

Ugly American 7:30 p.m.

Both of Mike’s quizzes (Westbury Monday at 10:15 p.m. and Terrace Taproom on Tuesday at 8 p.m.) are on as normally scheduled.

Quizzo News and Notes (Oh, and About Those Photos)

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Not to worry, the pics haven’t disappeared. But the problem is that I took them with my girlfriend’s camera and she has the cord to connect it to the computer in her purse, and her purse is with her at work. So I can’t post them yet. I will try to get them up tomorrow. In the meantime, several things to leave you with.

First of all, there were a bunch of colonial outfit pics, most of which were totally awesome. And one which was terrible, courtesy of Steve-O, trying shamelessly to earn Lambda points despite the fact that they haven’t played any quizzos yet. His shameless shenanigans have earned Lambda the first (-2) score in JGTSI history. Well, there are two new assignments that you can do to earn up to 5 points over the weekend.

Here is my letter of apology to Ruben Amaro. His deal to get Roy Oswalt was nothing short of brilliant.

There are rumors of a Philaguerilla comedy show this weekend. Want to be in the Most Exclusive Club in Town* and find out when Philly’s best comedians are going to be trying out all new material? Follow us on facebook to learn when the next show is. Spoiler alert: it’s soon.

*It’s not really, I just love writing “Most Exclusive Club in Town”

Koob Reviews “The Big Quiz Thing”

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On Tuesday night the World Cafe Live was the site of an event billed as “The Big Quiz Thing“, straight from New York. In other words, New York stole quizzo, glammed it up a bit, and returned to Philly to show it off. I appreciate the pluck of those New Yorkers, and though I had to work Tuesday night when it went down, I would have liked to have seen it. Fortunately, Koob went, and was gracious enough to return with a special report. In addition, the BQT website filed a report of the proceedings which can be read here.

It was supposed to be an epic triumph. A supergroup of Quizzo players the likes of which had never before been assembled were supposed to stroll into the World Cafe Live on Tuesday night, lay waste to the competition in the New York City import “The Big Quiz Thing” and show everyone how it was supposed to be done. Alas, it was not meant to be as we were foiled by some guy who could do anagrams really fast and the Ben Folds Five.

This version of “The Big Quiz Thing” was an all music version so we assembled a team of players from throughout the Johnny Goodtimes Quizzo circuit with a vast array of musical knowledge; myself and Nate from the Sofa Kingdom, John Kenny of the Hurtin’ Bombs (who now frequently plays under the Sofa Kingdom spinoff Steak ‘Em Up), Phil from The Jams, Mike Minion (quizzo host at the Westbury and a member of Satan’s Minions), Dave & Lisa of Group W (who have played with Sofa Kingdom during the last two Quizzo Bowls and are frequent winners at any of Quiz Master Chris’ quizzes), and Steve O of Lambda Lambda Lambda, aka one of only five people to ever win the car on VH1’s short lived game show “Name That Video” (one of the other five is none other than Noah Tarnow, the host of “The Big Quiz Thing”).

We pretty much breezed through the five rounds of questions including getting all of the Pop Music Thesaurus questions which were four part questions in which the first line of a song was given using synonyms of the words that are actually in the lyric. These were pretty clever but were no match for us. We tripped up a little in the music video round because they threw us through a loop by playing a video with the audio from a completely different song playing over the video and we had to name both the video and the song playing on the audio track. We also did really well in the slow song round where they played ten songs slowed down to half speed, but we were not able to recognize Roxanne by The Police.

Basically, the general consensus was that the questions were too easy for the most part meaning that it would be hard to separate ourselves from the pack. Going into the last round, we were actually down a point and another team was tied with us. We pretty much cruised through the last round, only missing how many of every ten reggae albums sold in the U.S. are Bob Marley albums (the answer is five by the way*). However, the kicker was that it didn’t matter where you finished as long as you made the top three.

For the finale, the top three teams had to select one representative to go up to the stage and they would have to answer questions Jeopardy style by being the first to ring in on a little bell that they were provided with. The first player to get two correct answers would be the winner. Naturally, we selected Steve O to be our representative because of his vast wealth of musical knowledge and because he already had experience handling these types of pressure situations as illustrated by the aforementioned appearance on “Name That Video”. It started out great as the first question was, “What duo had a best selling album in 1989 only to have it be recalled?” and Steve O quickly rang in and answered Milli Vanilli. We were only one question away from victory. The next question was, “What 80’s band had an album titled Spring Session M which is an anagram of their name?”

The answer was Missing Persons and the guy from the team who had been leading us by one point rang in and got it right.

So it came down to one question for all the marbles. What rock band, who reached their peak during the mid-90’s actually had two fewer members than their name suggests? The guy from the other team rang in first and blurted out “Ben Folds Five” thus ending the game and giving us all a pretty big ego check. Of course, it wasn’t all bad. I got a pretty cool Velvet Underground book as part of the 2nd place prize and our team was so upset at our performance at this quiz that we decided to take out our frustrations at Johnny Goodtimes’ Bard’s quiz (minus Steve O and the Group W folks) and proceeded to get a perfect score.

*ed. note: this is a bad trivia question. a) It is total guesswork, with each team having a 1 in 10 chance b) When? Annually? Total over the last 30 years? Does Sean Paul count as “reggae”? Is Shaggy “pop” or “reggae”?