Stand Up and Answers

December 18, 2012 in Culture, Quizzes

stand-up-micDuring the second half of my time in university, Galway was a hotbed for quiz innovation. A thriving quiz scene produced a few unique experiences.

First up, there was an event called the Alternative Table Quiz. Run by several members of the University Ents Crew, this featured a scoreboard of QI-like irrelevance, questions about the price of calves in the marts and sufficient casual nudity to ensure that it got mentioned on RTÉ Radio’s Liveline programme the following day.

For my own part, I was part of the team that created the Performance Table Quiz. Part of the University Arts Festival of 2004, it featured Book-a-minute summaries, hit songs performed in the Club Style, intros performed live on guitar and our own filmed re-enactments of famous film scenes. The only quiz I’ve hosted in which the crowd at the end was much larger than it had been at the beginning, it’s also one of my proudest achievements in the world of quizzing.

So why am I mentioning these events now? Well, it’s because last Friday night I attended an event which remined me of those halycon days.

Friday night at the Claremorris Festive Festival featured Stand Up and Answers, the work of comedian Jarlath Regan. As the name implies (well, it did to me, anyway), it’s a mix of quizzing and comedy.

It features four rounds of questions with each gap being filled by comedy, of one form or another. Filling these gaps were Foil Arms and Hog, The Hardy Bucks Eddie Durkan (aka Martin Maloney*) and Eric Lalor. All were very funny.

But I’m not a comedy reviewing blogger so I’ll move on to discuss the quizzing.

Round 1: General Knowledge. Pretty good questions, if a bit scatter-gun. They were genuine questions (if you get my meaning, not p!ss takes) and, while some of them were multiple choice (a few had four options, another had five), the majority weren’t. We got stumped on a question which asked us to identify which song from a list wasn’t released in the 1990s. Let’s just say I’m surprised to find out how old Jay-Z is…

Round 2: Absolute genius audio round. Foil Arms and Hog came back on stage and acted out three conversations from around Ireland, in the style of a Leaving Certificate aural examination. I’ve included the provided answer books below, as they obviously won’t affect the usability of the round in the future. It’s the performances that make it. The papers merely hint at the craic involved.

Accents-paper-1

Accents-paper-2

Round 3: A picture round involving just THREE pictures. Sorry, Jarlath, but I’m going to have to call this lazy. Yes, we were asked a supplimental question on each of the three (“What is their connection to Mayo?”) but, even then, that meant the round was worth just six points. Also, two of the ‘links’ were a tad spurious. For example, one person had attended the Mayo Clinic! Again, I only mention it as it’ll hardly be a question that will be used again, when the event is being run in different counties.

Round 4: In the wake of Eddie Durkan’s performance, the man/character himself then asked 10 questions of his own creation. These were most bizarre, albeit that was the point. They ranged from presumably real (“In which church did Pierce Brosnan get married?”) to the presumably daft (“Who invented the handball alley?”).

I haven’t a clue how we got on in that round as the quizmaster neglected to tell us the answers after Eric Lalor’s stand-up performance! Jarlath simply came back to the microphone from the side stage (where he’d been correcting rounds throughout the evening, as the performances took place) and announced the name of the winning team – the aptly named ‘And the winner is…’

When all was said and done though, I had a great night. For the price of admission the three comedy performances (plus a good monologue/sales pitch by Jarlath Regan at the start) were great value. Rare as it is that I’d say this, the quizzing was basically an extra, thrown in for free.

Gosh, that is an odd comment.

Anyway, if you see Stand Up and Answers coming to a venue near you, do check it out.

Footnote:
* Swap those two names around and that sentence still works.

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