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Tuesday
Jun052012

GOLDEN GIRLS VS DESIGNING WOMEN TRIVIA GRUDGE MATCH 

So, this is happening.  TrivWorks got together with comedians Eliot Glazer and H. Alan Scott to create the most specific, most AWESOME trivia smackdown in the history of trivia smackdowns.

Yes, it's the Golden Girls Vs. Designing Women Trivia Grudge Match, hosted at The Bell House this Thursday, June 7 at 8pm.  Its mere existence shows that the trivia gods must have observed me for all of these years, wasting hours and hours on the couch, watching The Golden Girls and Designing Women marathons and designing drinking games around them like the pathetic drunk that I am (Drink every time someone says something sassy!). 

Needless to say, I am BEYOND pumped for this (they don't call me Harold Goldstein for nothing), and I needed to share my enthusiasm with other likeminded people.  Namely, the hosts, Eliot Glazer and H. Alan Scott, and Trivworks' own David Jacobson.  They answered questions like which Golden Girl and/or Designing Woman they'd be, and also why the gays can't seem to get enough of these shows.  

If you were a Golden Girl, which Golden Girl would you be?                                                              

Dorothy, so that I could finally live out my dream of wearing clothes exclusively from Chico’s.

What are your top 3 favorite episodes of The Golden Girls?

“Henny Penny Straight, No Chaser”: The girls all perform Henny Penny, the play, for children, with Dorothy as Turkey Lurkey. What that means is Bea Arthur is dressed in black feathers. Does it get better than that? I don't think so.

“Witness”: My favorite piece of dialogue from the show’s entire run happens when Sophia enters the room wearing black Ray Bans and Dorothy announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, Roy Orbison.”

“One Flew Out Of The Cuckoo’s Nest”: In my opinion, the show only got funnier with time (and also with the ballooning size of Bea Arthur’s haircuts). The series finale is one flawlessly-paced gutbuster after another, but the last moment of the series is so real and heartfelt and genuine in its sadness. It’s just perfect.

Why do you think The Golden Girls is so beloved by the gay community?

The show was campy, but still maintained a lot of heart, and had an incredibly sophisticated sense of humor. But, really, we all just want to be awesome when we’re old, so it’s a sort of wishful viewing.

When do you think Betty White is actually going to kick the bucket?                                     

Betty White will live forever. Trust me, she’s not going anywhere.

How specific are your Golden Girls trivia questions going to be?  For example, I’m hoping there will be questions along the lines of “What was Miles’s fake name when he was put into the Witness Protection Program?”                                                                                                     

Well, there goes one of our questions. (Samuel Plankmaker.) They will be pretty specific, so study up!

Is there a point in the evening when we’ll all join hands and sing “Miami, You’ve Got Style?”

Seriously, have you been reading our e-mails?

Why do you prefer The Golden Girls over Designing Women?                                                       

To me, Designing Women is fine. It’s just fine. There’s nothing particularly memorable about it, but I also feel like it connects more with Southerners. And it’s nowhere near as hilarious as The Golden Girls. And Meshach Taylor gives me the heebie jeebies.

Our editor told me to ask you about your Bea Arthur tattoo.  Do you really have one, and if so, where is it?                                                                                                                                           

I do, and it’s on my left bicep. It’s serious business. I'll be letting participants rub it for good luck (click here for a preview).

If you were a Designing Woman, which Designing Woman would you be?                                  

I'm not going to say the obvious, which is Julia Sugarbaker.  Everybody wants to be Julia.  But nobody can be Julia.  Nobody.  I said it.  Suzanne is more vain than I ever will be (but we both share a deep passion for food!).  It comes down to Mary Jo or Charlene.  Mary Jo is high strung, as am I, but she's more emotional than I am.  So it comes down to Charlene.  Sure she's the dumb one... I mean naive, but Jean Smart is the only one with a couple Emmy's on her bookshelf, so, I guess I win!

What are your top 3 favorite episodes of Designing Women?                                                          

"They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?": The episode where Suzanne comes to terms with her weight gain before her high school reunion, while being visited by an African child on a campaign to end famine.  The parallels between her having too much to eat and them (the Africans, they said it, not me) not having anything at all blows her hairsprayed mind. 

The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Century: Charlene gives birth, Dolly Parton guests stars as an angel and sings "Somewhere Out There."  Need I say more?

Killing All the Right People: A man dying from AIDS asks the girls to design his funeral, which causes a stir with some of their other clients, resulting in a dramatic "I'm going to have to ask you to move your car because you're leaving," moment from Julia.

Why do you prefer Designing Women over The Golden Girls? Is it all about the shoulder pads, or is it deeper than that?                                                                                                                          

It isn't so much a preference, I love both, BUT, there is something special about Designing Women.  Mainly it's the pride they had in themselves, in being Southern, in being liberal.  They were unapologetic about everything.  And they had great hair.

Why do you think Designing Women is so beloved by the gay community?                         

Because each one of makes a great drag queen.  Julia is the in charge, "I'm running this show" one, Suzanne is the showstopper, Mary Jo is the funny one that can't sing, and Charlene is serving the drinks (but probably the wrong ones). 

Is there a point in the evening when we’ll all join hands and recite “The Lights When Out in Georgia” speech?
                                                                                                                              

I'm going to request for this to happen on the street corner, so that the people of New York City can be blessed with it's inherent life lessons.

How in the hell did this brilliant idea come about?

Like many New Yorkers, I first heard of Eliot Glazer earlier this year by watching Sh*t New Yorkers Say. The timing of that video was perfect, coming out just days before TrivWorks’ NYC-themed trivia night at The Bell House hosted by TrivWorks “Special Host” Pat Kiernan, who receives many shout-outs in the clip. We invited Eliot to screen the clip for our audience and have an onstage interview with Pat, where we surprised him with “Sh*t Pat Kiernan Says."

Shortly after that, Eliot and fellow comedic genius H. Alan Scott contacted me with the bold idea of putting together the ultimate trivia night for NYC’s Golden Girls and Designing Women enthusiasts.  Apparently, there is a tremendous following for both shows among the city’s gay and lesbian communities, and they don’t have much in the way of dedicated events (especially Designing Women, for which there is virtually nothing).

We reached out to The Bell House, which has been a wonderful home to our public TrivWorks trivia events, and they were delighted to host us; we timed the event to coincide with the start of Brooklyn Pride week, and are looking forward to a truly unique event!

How is the event going to be structured?  Do participants have to choose between answering Golden Girls or Designing Women trivia questions, or are they able to participate in both?

It won’t be a head-to-head contest between enthusiasts of each show. The “vs” part is more of a reference to the two hosts: Eliot the Golden Girls guru and H. Alan the Designing Women fiend. Anybody who is passionate about either The Golden Girls or Designing Women will feel perfectly comfortable at this event.

Attendees can expect an equal amount of trivia love for both shows; we're going to ask a series of themed rounds of questions for the entire room, with fun surprise entertainment in between while tabulating scores. Attendees will be asked to break into teams in advance (max of 8 people per team), and will compete against all of the other teams. For the greatest chance of winning, teams should seek to have representative knowledge of both shows.

Why do you think these shows are so beloved by the gay community?

Not being gay, I certainly can’t speculate on that! However, speaking for myself, I can say that both shows were not only incredibly funny and risqué, but are timeless as well. I can remember watching The Golden Girls with my grandparents as a little kid, and we were all busting guts.  You watch that show today, and the humor stands the test of time.

In this age of reality programming, I think there always will be an audience who appreciates that kind of smart, sharp-witted scripted TV, which also holds a nostalgic place in many of our hearts.

What kind of prizes are going to be offered to the most obsessive fans?

You can expect lots of theme-appropriate prizes. We’re going to keep them under our hats to maintain the element of surprise, but attendees can also be assured that there will be cheesecake.

If you were a Designing Woman, which Designing Woman would you be?

Meshach Taylor, hands down. I know he’s not a woman, but come on, who wouldn’t want to be Meshach Taylor? (Ed note: Eliot, I would assume).

If you were a Golden Girl, which Golden Girl would you be?

Such a tough question…Blanche seemed to have the most fun (one way or another), but Sophia had the sharpest wit. Let me eat some cheesecake and get back to you on that…

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.  I'm more excited about this than I was when my brother got acquitted.

Tickets are $12, and you can book them hereWho's going?  Follow me on Twitter @AmandaWaas for Tweets from the event, and/or obnoxious, obscure references to both shows. 

  

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