Koob Reviews “The Big Quiz Thing”


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”?

One thought on “Koob Reviews “The Big Quiz Thing”

  1. Thanks for the review! Hope you had fun, and indeed, I definitely underestimated how good you Philly people would be; much harder next time.

    And I assure you I didn't steal “Quizzo” (whatever that is, never heard of it). Pub quizzes have been around in the U.K. for decades, and thousands of people do it all over the country here. The format is public domain, though yes, I did class it up a bit.

    – Noah of the BQT

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