Quiz Me Well. Quiz Me Really Well.
by Regyna Woodpile
After last year's debacle, I handed over my 25 clams for Quizzo Bowl VII at the World Cafe Live with some trepidation. That's a couple of hours pay for most people, and most who attend have no hope of winning. Was it worth it, you ask? Well...
Johnny Goodtimes and Chip Chantry came out in suits which probably weren't hard to get because Tubbs and Crockett didn't need them anymore, soon to be joined by Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez in the world's last surviving 8-ball jacket. The opening number was more enjoyable than last year's since it was more apparent that the rapping and dancing was supposed to be comedy, rather than the frustrated flow of a boy way too white to be any good at it. Correcting the grammar of a quiz-related "Push It" parody while downrock b-boyin' was actually pretty funny.
The team from Denver brought even more flags, but their best prop was a stuffed dog with x'd eyes and a Vick jersey and a Plumber's Helper up its rear. (I'm not sure what that detail was about.) They were heartily booed, of course, as is their due. I hear those Denver guys also had a small trivia event of their own recently.
Between rounds we were treated to tunes from Haulin' Oats, the finest coverband since that Andy Reid-looking-guy busted INXS tunes at a Casio keyboard. Haulin' O broadened their repertoire to include Patrick Bateman's desert-island discs, in addition to their core of six Hall & Oates tunes. They were so well-received that the crowd insisted Johnny delay the actual quiz so they could finish "Maneater."
The first round was uneventful. The music round was a bit of a mess. For some reason, he changed themes three times. The first part was fine. Haulin' Oats played a tune, and teams had to name what movie the tune was from. The next chunk was TV themes plinked out on a keyboard by a pretty gal from Haulin' Oats who could have used more practice.
The rest were "sung" by Fastball Bob, which gave him his comedic highlight of the evening, with "flying away on a wing and a prayer, dere" in the theme from "The Greatest American Hero." The mess included an error, which Johnny fixed to soothe the squawking of the nerds. ("Breathe Me" by Sia was not the theme from Six Feet Under.)
The "Halftime Extravaganza" consisted of a guy I missed by going to the bathroom, and Norm Klar, "magician" and comedian. The jokes were corny, but I admired his irreverent grin when they elicited massive groans. Most amusing were his bumbling magic tricks, some of which he just fumbled with and tossed over his shoulder. He beat the shit out of last year's lame Dating Game skit, no doubt about it.
After the cringefest that was last year's Wild Card round about dick pills, Mr. Goodtimes promised this year's would rip the roof off. I took this with a grain because, every year, he promises not to rap, too. QBVII's Wild Card round was a "Celebrity" round, with each question read by a local luminary.
When the time came, he gave the word, and then....nothing. Mr. Goodtimes turned as a pale as his suit, and said something like, "God, no! Please..please, oh, please." Then he decided it was a good time to give away prizes, with the help of Fastball Bob.
Johnny's voice became weirdly chirpy, and red blotches began to creep up out of his collar.
According to sources, Johnny busted his ass putting this thing together. He hunted down celebrities, ran all over town recording, then assembled it all in a short time before the Bowl, but now the AV Squad was threatening to pull the rug out from under. It was hard not to feel his pain as he remained amiable, but shat donkey-sized bricks.
However, after a few more door prizes, and appeals to various deities, the screen flickered to life.
The celebrities included Jerry Blavat, Schoolly D, Marc Summers, Tony Luke the cheesesteak dude, Fergie (the pub guy, not the hottie from the Peas), and, most impressively, Mayor Michael Nutter. Perhaps not Philly's A-list, except for the Mayor, but a nice selection of Philly icons. One question was read by "Ben Franklin," who was the ubiquitous Fastball Bob in breeches, waistcoat, and stirrup socks.
Video of the QBVII Celebrity Round
The whole round was entertaining and funny, with the best saved for the answers, where the celebs threw a joke or a diss. The Tri-Lams were mighty proud of a shot from John "Storm of the Century" Bolaris, Sofa Kingdom nearly wet themselves after a shout-out from Schoolly D, and Hizzoner took a moment from his busy day to take a swipe at the visitors from Denver. (How cool was that?)
Sofa Kingdom dethroned the three-time champions, Lambda Lambda Lambda in a very close contest.
Compared to last year, the comedy was better, the music did not make me wish for death, and the venue was much, much better. Well done, Mr. Goodtimes, well done.