Long Live The Trivia King! (Again, You Wouldn't Know This Unless You Watched His Show...)

Every now and then, Entertainment Weekly, a magazine for which I have a long-running subscription (and a long-running love-hate relationship), knocks out one of their massive trivia contests. You would think this is a great place for me to show off (at least to myself) all of the obscure stuff bumping around inside my head. But, as I said, my brain really does not work this way. The trivia tends to fly out of me at inopportune moments -- especially inopportune for those unfortunate enough to be caught in its assault.

I have a really bad habit of saying, when I hear someone doesn't know something about that which I consider to be the gospel, of going "Oh! I can't believe you didn't know that!" Of course, we all have this bad habit. There isn't a person around who doesn't think that everyone else is an idiot for not knowing what they know so well. And trivia contest creators are the worst. They can put together a test with the answers readily at hand, and pretend they know all of the answers, and come off as a smarty-pants because it is their test, though I am sure they would hard-pressed to come up with most of the right answers themselves. (Unless, of course, they had just put together a list of those same questions.)

EW is, collectively, one of those people. The smarty-pants after the fact. The needler at the party. "So, you think you know television? Try this test on for size, pink boy!" EW's latest is just that, a television quiz (hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, or so they pretend in the magazine), that throws a bunch of crap into a stew and calls it entertainment. (I like to call it stEW, actually.) I decided to take their quiz, pride be damned, and fairly certain the thing would be filled with questions about reality shows, which it was. And which I don't watch. I have not put down all of my answers, and I decided not to guess on the questions about that which I disdain. So, I could have tallied a few more points by simply guessing, but that would not have served my purpose here. The answers (if you want the questions, read the magazine or go to their website, or simply take what I give you and believe what I have to say...):
  1. Oceanic Airlines, Flight 815 (this one, I know...)
  2. Uh... not only have I never watched 24, I don't even know what "CTU" means, let alone know who is dead or alive on the show.
  3. Green Lantern -- I watch Smallville only sporadically, but have seen it enough to know that GL has yet to appear. When and if he does, my own personal GL ring will glow and alert me of this. (By "GL ring," I mean that, yes, I am geeky enough to own an official one...)
  4. I watched the first episode of Brothers and Sisters, and the overrated and overbearing acting of Sally Field was enough to drive me away. However, I do know that Sarah is older than Kitty, but I have no idea about the rest of the siblings. Nor do I care one whit...
  5. I liked Friday Night Lights... the movie. Haven't seen the show. I do recognize Connie Britton's name from the flick, but I have no idea who else from the movie is also in the show.
  6. I have only seen the pilot for Battlestar (loved it, but missed the next few, so I have catching up to do... much catching up...), but I have a flurry of friends who are Battle-geeks. I am pretty certain Cylons are referred to as "toasters".
  7. Carl Weathers appeared on The Shield as Vic's mentor.
  8. For the last time, take your abhorrent Grey's Anatomy and find an appropriate place on your anatomy to shove it...
  9. Catherine Willows? Is she the one William Petersen plays? Don't know, don't care what she did in her "pre-CSI job".
  10. Another one. Have never seen The Closer. Kyra Sedgwick looks like a duck impersonating the young Corey Feldman...
  11. The name of the front organization on Heroes that The Company uses to monitor, hunt and even exploit people with special abilities is the Primatech Paper Co. The name of the organization that is driving me away from watching Heroes next season is NBC.
  12. I almost started watching Gossip Girl because I saw a picture of Leighton Meester, and thought she was amazingly hot. Then I saw some other photos, and Meester started looking more and more like a Mister. I was saved...
  13. House guest stars matched to ailments. Easy...
    LL Cool J: C - The black guy usually ends up playing the "death row inmate"
    Cynthia Nixon: D - Not only possibly faking her symptons, but also faking her talent
    Dave Matthews: A - It says "piano whiz" in the clue! No one else here is a musician! (No, not even Cool James...)
    Mira Sorvino: B - I'm not buying her role as a psychiatrist, but she was pretty darn naked, even for television.
  14. I'm supposed to look at these 11 photos and come up with the ten pairs of partners on Law and Order? Even spending half my day avoiding episodes of Law and Order, I can't do this!
  15. Ugly Betty sound bites. Fill in the blanks. Uh, yeah... I am soooo there...
  16. I like the Flight of the Conchords as a band. I haven't seen the show yet, though. In the future, I will be able to answer questions regarding where their manager Murray works.
  17. I am only watching My Name is Earl nowadays out of fond remembrance of the way we were, but I still recall the amount he was awarded was 100 grand.
  18. I have seen The Big Bang Theory three times, and each time, it was the premiere episode. The band singing the Monty Python-sort-of-ripoff theme song is Barenaked Ladies.
  19. The hospital in Scrubs is Sacred Heart.
  20. The Great Gazoo is not a character on The Simpsons.
  21. Bill Hader has yet to appear on 30 Rock, but I know this only because I spend half the show waiting for Tina Fey's SNL peeps to show up.
  22. Entourage: another show I will catch up with one day... another answer I don't know...
  23. Anyone familiar with Chris Rock knows that 'Tussin cures everything...
  24. Scrantonicity is the greatest band ever... cover band or otherwise... I'm calling for a tour...
  25. Kelsey, Kelsey. You had to go do a show with that whore Patricia Heaton, didn't you? Sorry, won't watch your new show. But I have read enough of your reviews to know you play Chuck Darling.
  26. Love M. L. Parker in a long-running, not-yet-stalkerish but very sick way. Have Showtime, but still haven't watched Weeds, though. Somehow, perhaps on a preview, I did hear about the MILF weed. And I agree.
  27. Robin Sparkles is How I Met Your Mother's Robin's awesome Canadian teen idol name. And she should go on tour with Scrantonicity...
  28. I will man up and take the hit here. I am the other guy that watches Desperate Housewives. I know exactly how all of the listed characters died: gun, fence, strangling, sleeping pills, stairs. Too frickin' easy.
  29. There are professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars? Technically, since everyone on the show is getting paid to dance on the show, doesn't that make everyone a professional dancer?
  30. Models are too freaky to be considered hot. Which explains why I don't nor won't ever watch America's Top Model. As far as I am concerned, Tyra Banks always sits alone...
  31. Her real name isn't New York? I guess I will never know.
  32. Oh, The Bachelor questions! Please take your cold sores and please go away...
  33. I could probably solve the American Idol anagrams from sure media saturation alone, but I just don't want to waste any more time on it...
  34. There are winners on The Biggest Loser? Doesn't that contradict its own title?
  35. There are alliances on Big Brother? I mean, beyond all the rutting I keep hearing about?
  36. Apparently, Lauren interns for a magazine on The Hills. I'm guessing it isn't Ranger Rick, and probably involves teaching young girls to wear slutty fashions and waaaayyy too much eye makeup...
  37. I thought every couple on The Amazing Race was dysfunctional. In fact, don't you have to be a dysfunctional couple just to try out?
  38. I don't know what was never given as a challenge to contestants on Project Runway, but the challenge for me is ever giving a rat's ass about models or designers. And I will fail that challenge every single time.
  39. I saw the first two seasons of Survivor before I screamed "What the hell am I doing?" and swore off, for the most part, reality television. Therefore, any Survivor questions after that, I am to be considered lost... on a remote island... naked... grossing the other survivors out...
  40. Oh! A classic section! How nice... yes, Ralph Kramden pretended to play golf. Truly classic...
  41. Easy... Boy George - The A-Team; Liberace - Batman; Henry Kissinger - Dynasty; Andy Warhol - The Love Boat. That leaves Madeleine Albright and Gilmore Girls, so by process of elimination...
  42. The Bunkers sang about their old La Salle and how it ran great.
  43. Knight Industries Two Thousand. I only know this because Jen told me this about a month ago when we accidentally missed watching the new pilot. (I never watched the old show...)
  44. Ted McGinley was never on Kotter. But he does have a note from Epstein's mother explaining where he's been...
  45. Ten shows and their bar/restaurant/diners/coffee shops. Way too easy. Considering that nine of the ten shows were on my radar at some point in my life, that leaves 90210 and The Peach Pit. Which I have now gotten right obviously.
  46. ALF is from Melmac. I've only seen the show thrice (and over 20 years ago) and even I know that.
  47. Many people don't realize how large Bert Convy (and game shows in general) looms in my past. Naturally, I know he hosted Tattletales. Eubanks? Card Sharks was one of his for awhile. I remember that. I recall Chuck Woolery did the Scrabble thing once. Jim Lange? I never saw the $100,000 Name That Tune, but it's the only choice left, so I am sticking to it.
  48. Cleese was the "something completely different" voice.
  49. Charlie's voice was John Forsythe.
  50. OK, I have to be honest and say that I never actually knew who shot J.R. Somewhere in my head, I think it is Maggie Simpson.
  51. Don Cheadle was in The Golden Palace. The reason I know is I saw it on a biographical profile recently.
  52. I have no idea who played the first female U.S. president on TV. I think they are trying to trick me into saying "Geena Davis" and I am probably right about their deviousness. I don't know the answer.
  53. Laura Palmer's dad, Leland, did the dirty deed. (As for the plastic, she had a fetish for it.)
  54. Scully had a boy. And then she had a baby boy named William because of it. Or did she hump an alien?
  55. Steve Allen created and originally hosted The Tonight Show.
  56. The bust with the hidden button on Batman was Shakespeare. They didn't ask about the phone, but it was red.
  57. I absolutely cannot answer the series of 90210 questions. But pictures of Jennie Garth are always cute.
  58. "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" Cliff Clavin is a genius, no mater what Norm says...
  59. General Hospital premiered in 1963. I know this because I was once looking up research on the early b/w episodes they showed on Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and I put the info on a list.
  60. The Addams Family and The Munsters only lasted two seasons each (astoundingly enough, nearly going on and off air at the same time). Of Jeannie and Bewitched, I pick she of the twitchy nose over the blink-and-a-nod hottie as the longest-running show.
  61. 15 shows, 15 spin-offs. I know them all, even the ones for Murder, She Wrote (The Law and Harry McGraw) and Who's the Boss (Living Dolls). Why do I know them? 'Cause I'm a dope.
  62. I know M*A*S*H has the biggest series finale audience, but after that, to me the other four are a crapshoot. Just like movie box office numbers, ratings mean nothing to me. And they shouldn't to you, either.
  63. Daniel Baldwin was in Cleaver on The Sopranos. This reminds me of when Alicia Witt got naked on there. Yummy...
  64. Tom Hanks was Uncle Ned on Family Ties. Those were the days, until Gump napalmed us, that I would watch Hanks in anything.
  65. George Carlin was the original host of Saturday Night Live (née Saturday Night). I watched the premiere. I was ten. I was not supposed to be up that late, but I was. I probably stayed up way too late, way too often in those days.
So, here's the tally: only counting 1 point for each whole answer, I got 39 out of 65. Using EW's point system, where 1 point is given for every single answer and match-up within the questions, I got an anemic 81 out of 149. EW says, "Not too slouchy. You're still not quite ready for prime time, though."

Using this test as proof, not being ready for what passes for prime time these days, is not such a bad thing. I will stick with what I know.

And what I know is that I am nowhere near being a trivia master. Nor do I wish to be. So, stop cornering me.


Mark Otis said…
All right... I apologize for the "smarty pants" comment on your last blog entry, but I somehow feel better that you've used the same phrase in this one.

Not knowing the questions, but reading over your answers, I can tell that I might (and I strongly stress: "might") have gotten one of the answers correct, (if there was multiple choice, maybe three correct). So, in this realm of TV Land that we are speaking of, you are my resident "smarty pants", and I do congratulate you for that.

Of course, knowing how much I care for television, please feel assured that I appreciate (and much, much more so) your other talents and areas of expertise. Your fine writing, and highly creative mind, for example. And you are also the best bigger brother that I have ever had.

If I hadn't added that, would you have kicked my smarty ass?

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