View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Quiz Show FAQ

What's it like being on a quiz show?

More like a TV show than a sporting event. They ask you to play yourself, only dorkier and more enthusiastic. They re-shoot bits and re-do segments they don't like, only never ever ever so it affects the outcome of the competition. Example: one woman answered in the form of a question, and they re-shot her answer as an answer. They also had me do three different takes of the "Big Pie Payoff" because the host kept messing up the questions. Eventually, I had to spin for a different category altogether,

What's Marc Summers like?

Nice guy. He's kind of the Crash Davis of game show hosts. Summers has hosted about 173 different cable shows, but never broke through to the networks. He's also got OCD, but is nothing whatever like Monk.

Why is this thing on at 9:30 Eastern every day?

Why do you think? The show stinks. It's a nice attempt by a cable network to do some original programming, but the pacing is slow, the questions a little convoluted, the theme too overdone, and the focus is too narrow.

Where was it shot?

Down at Comcast studios here in Denver. Didn't you notice that all three contestants were from Colorado? They said I was from DC so you wouldn't notice. They came here because for a trip to Orlando, you probably couldn't get enough jaded Los Angeles game-show-circuit-junkies to show up for a week's run. Here, they figured they'd find yokels who were just happy to be on TV. But they didn't want you to know that. That was one of the segments they had to re-take, when Summers said that the pastry festival was in Beaver Creek, he also mentioned it was right up the road.

What's with the facial expressions at the end of the bonus round?

That's what you get when you leave LA to shoot. At least it proves I'm not on Botox.

How do we know you didn't cheat?

Because the Standards and Practices guy was built like a dockworker.

What did the other two contestants get?

Dentist bills. They each got something like a packing-crate full of Circus Peanuts, which are actually marshmallow and aren't served at circuses. Great for your teeth. They were actually a little pissed, and I can't say I blame them. We had to come in for two different "auditions" and then give up a day of work.

Didn't you answer that Jimmy Carter question a little too enthusiatically?

C'mon, you didn't see that question coming as soon as they started to roll tape? I saw it coming before they started to roll tape. I was actually kidding around backstage about them asking that very question. I answered it and I started looking around for the S&P guy to stop the show and haul me off in irons.

Would you do this again?

Yes, and I'd try not to point at the board.

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