Did you , by any chance, watch "The One Ronnie" the other night ? Now, don’t misunderstand me about this, I could quite easily sit through an evening of the very best of The Two Ronnies, and if this was washed down by a night of vintage Morecambe and Wise there would be no complaints to be heard from the Clark sofa. Well, not if I was the person sitting on it. However I have to say that I was a little disappointed. Obviously nobody is going to fill Ronie Barker’s shoes, but also some of the updates of classic Two Ronnies sketch ideas just didn’t really do it for me.
That’s not why I write. Its just that one particular sketch caught my eye because it reminded me of something I wrote back in June. If you’re a regular you’ll know that I have shared with you the occasional idea for new quiz shows. Sadly nobody has yet expressed any interest in my 2009 offering “Count Your Beans ( Comptez vos haricots ) “ but back in June I wrote this : -
“The best we managed on Thursday night was picking off one of the questions from the first two words of the question. Here, you try it : -
Egon Ronay . . .
The answer is at the bottom of this post.
Of course, its not completely unheard of to be able to pick off an answer from just one word. For example –
Triskaivedakatriaphobia . . . ( not sure if its spelt correctly, but you get the drift )
The – phobia – suffix makes it obvious that its about a fear of something, so however the rest of the question is worded, in most cases its going to be asking you just what it is the fear of .
Without wishing to brag, there are times we have picked up an answer before ANY of the words of the question have been asked . I should stress that none of us possess ESP to the best of our knowledge, and it only happens in very particular circumstances, namely , as part of a set of connections. For example, we might be asked :-
Who played the female lead in The Mask, with Jim Carrey ? ( CAMERON Diaz)
Which Ivy League University was founded in Warren, Rhode Island in 1765 ? (BROWN)
Then its very tempting to take a flyer and predict that the next answer will be Eric BLAIR ( question – what was the real name of writer George Orwell ? ) Of course, you’ll come unstuck if the question actually is one that requires the answer Linda Blair, or The Blair Witch Project etc. , but then that’s all part of the fun of the game. The connection of course being the last three Prime Ministers of the UK.
Do you know, I think that I feel a quiz show idea coming on . Do you remember Name that Tune – I think Tom O’Connor presented it at one time, but doubtless there were others. Two contestants had to conduct a sort of dutch auction, to see who was prepared to identify a tune from the lowest number of notes. For notes, read words of a question. So our host ( Dale, Nick, Dermot, Jeremy delete where applicable ) would announce that the next category is , for example, world capital cities . Contestant one offers to answer in 10 words, the opponent in 9, and so on , until poor contestant 2 is committed to doing it in 1 word. The host gives him his one word, which is – “Ulaan” Contestant 2 is delighted, and answers Mongolia. So we face a second question from the same category – world capital cities. This time its contestant 1 who bids down to 1 word, and is licking his chops in anticipation as the host gives him his one word –
“Which “. Unfair, I know, but then cruel is in vogue at the moment. Personally, I think the concept has legs. If any production companies out there happen to be interested, well, you know where to contact me. “
Well, on the One Ronnie, one of the sketches featured Ronnie as the Question master of a new quiz show called "What ? " Each round featured Ronnie posing contestants Matt Lucas and David Walliams the one word “What ? “ , “Who ? “ Where ? “ etc. and then they had to supply the answer. The joke was that nobody in the history of the show had ever got one right etc. etc.
I see a resemblance. I wonder - is there, perhaps, a LAM reader among the writers of the show ? I don’t mind someone picking up a throwaway idea of mine and running with it , but it would be nice to at least be told. Personally I think it would have been funnier if they’d taken the idea of having really easy one word questions for one contestant, and then impossible ones for another, but then I would say that, I suppose.