Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Top pub quizzes in sitcoms

Last night saw the last quiz of 2008 in the Pill Harriers Rugby club in Newport, conducted by the doyen on South Wales Quiz masters, Mr. Trevor Parry. The cream of South Wales quizzing talent were all present and correct, and I hope that none would disagree with me that a good time was had by all.

I mention all of this by way of setting the scene, for what I really want to write about is the conversation which took part in the car on the way home. Heaven alone knows how the topic of conversation came up, but we began discussing depictions of pub quizzes that we've seen on TV, the realistic, the good, the bad, and the downright funny. It takes about 45 minutes to drive back from Newport, and by the time we turned off the M$ we'd come up with a list of our top 4.

We tended to discount pub quizzes from soap operas, because they're neither realistic nor particularly interesting or funny. So this left us with our top four : -

Fourth Position - Men Behaving Badly

None of us could remember which series it happened in, and I've been unable to find out on the net this morning. Still , 3 of us distinctly remember Gary, Tony, Debs and Dorothy taking part in a quiz which mainly consisted of the Landlord asking , " In which film did ( supply name here ) take her kit orf ? "

Third Position - Gavin and Stacey Series 1 Episode 2

Smithy takes full advantage of the rule that says the question master gets to drink for free all evening. A stunningly realistic portrayal , and the slump into unconsciousness evoked happy memories of an open quiz in Neath where the question master slumped gracefully to the floor at the end of the second - and as it turned out, last - round.

Runner-up position - Phoenix Nights Series 2 - Episode 4

The Phoenix club uses a money quiz to promote the launch of a new brand of japanese lager, and the questionable actitivies going on are highly authentic. Out of interest, Den Perry, owner of rival club The Coconut Grove, who features in this episode is played by Ted Robbins - one of whose sidelines is as warm up man for Mastermind !

First place and winner of the Award for the Best Portrayal of a Pub Quiz on Television - The Office - Series 1 - episode 3

An utter joy from start to finish. David Brent looks forward to contesting the annual Wernham Hogg pub quiz, which has been won for the last few years by The Dead Parrots, a team consisting of himself and his 'friend' - rep. Chris 'Finchy' Finch. His hopes take a knock when he realises that new boy Ricky once appeared on "Blockbusters". On the evening question master's duties are taken by Gareth Keenan. When it appears that all of his questions have a distinctively military flavour, he's asked,
" Gareth- are all the questions about the army ? " He replies
"No. They're not all about the army. There's one about tennis - there's one about the Suez Canal. Right then, next question. Which canal . . . "
When the Dead Parrots lose in a sudden death play off , Finchy turns on Brent, and forces him to tell them that his answer for
"Who was the leader of the Cuban Revolution ? " was actually
"Fray Bentos ".
Of course, if you've seen a pub quiz being acted out on television that I haven't mentioned, that you think is worthy of mention , then don't hesitate to drop me a line at the following address -


I had another email from David Bodycombe yesterday, with a couple of suggestions for "The Question Master is Always Right " , and these I'll hopefully post within the next day or so.

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