Yes, its another wee book that you might just be considering slipping into the Christmas stocking of the quizzer(s) in your life. Actually Wendy Roby’s book probably doesn’t need any extra publicity from me, having been shown on “Russell Howard’s Good News “ on TV the other day. Certainly that’s where Mary saw it, and why she decided to get it for me.
The book is called “Universally Challenged “ – which is surely one of the most popular names for quiz teams throughout the length and breadth of the country – right up there with Norfolk and Chance, I’d guess. If you haven’t heard of it, basically a collection of daft answers which have been given by real contestants on real TV quiz shows.
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of very funny stuff in here. I’ll admit that I was laughing out loud at some of the answers in here.
However - quite a few of the funniest ones in here have been out there on ‘funny things contestants say on quiz show’ web sites and web pages for a long time, and won’t be new to you.
- most of the answers tend to come from a rather limited number of shows.
- You can’t help wondering whether every answer given in here is 100% genuine. For example, one of the answers given is this – in reply to the question which went something like this – what was the name given to people in medieval times paid to entertains royalty and the nobility ? – the answer given was lepers . Really ? I can remember the same joke being used in an episode of Blackadder 2.
- A large number of answers come from Family Fortunes, or from its American progenitor, Family Feud. For me, this tends to make them less funny than wrong answers in a real quiz.
Well, that’s the criticisms, anyway. If you still want to get a copy you can buy it off Amazon and get it delivered from Amazon for free for less than a fiver, which is pretty good value I would have thought. It was nice to see a little bit of a tribute to Bob Johnson at the end of the book as well. In case you’ve forgotten, Bob Johnson was the ‘turkey’ man on Family Fortunes. In the soundproof booth in the final of the show, something went wrong , and Bob could hear a member of his family give the answer ‘chicken’ to the question – name something you would stuff. Bob went back, thinking to himself that he could answer Turkey. The only problem was that he gave the answer to all of the first 3 questions. A salutary lesson for all of us about the perils of earwigging .