Toeth's Game Show Insights
Toeth's Game Show Insights
Marley's Play It! Report.
In various areas of the article, Marley uses "Bored" Lingo,
used often on a Message Bored. Here is an example:
BB = Board Buddy
Nintendo Kids = Kids that are guessing at the Fastest Finger
FF = Fastest Finger
While a squad of BBs were moving in to take DCA by storm, I made a
solitary assault on MGM Play It! on Thursday and Friday. Herewith
are the highlights.
First, some general observations. To the great relief of those of us
who have seen it too many times already, they have eliminated the
taped segment with Regis. Instead, they go right into explaining the
rules, introducing the host, and starting the game. The shows are
still about half an hour long, but we probably get five extra minutes
of playing time out of that without the Regis shtick.
They're also promoting the SyndieBAM show, while saying that Regis
will continue with prime time specials. Just when, I'd like to know!
Audiences were small, often only half capacity. With most of the
Nintendo kids back in school, the FF times were actually reasonable.
One FF, in fact, only had two correct contestants in the entire
Arrange these US currency according the people pictured on them, in
A) $1 B) $5 C) $10 D) $20
Trying to instantaneously recall the people on these bills and
alphabetize them, I either brain farted or fat fingered, since I
wasn't one of the two. To add insult to injury, the winner was a man
from Scotland! :-)
On Thursday, I missed the Hot Seat in the first show, ending up as #1
when the buzzer sounded. But in the second show, I followed the FF
winner and was again sitting in the Hot Seat by noon.
The $200 question almost tripped me up.
Who is the big, blue creature in Monsters, Inc.?
A) Mike B) Sulley C) something else D) something else
I haven't seen the film, but I remembered from reviews that both the
first two were in that movie.
"I've narrowed it down to two," I say.
"I don't want to say," thinking of the real show, where you don't
want to tip your hand to the audience, then I stop as--duh!--I
remember that Play It! ATAs are locked in before you ask for it.
"It's either Mike or Sulley," I say--then I notice the clock is down
to two seconds--"Sulley, final answer!"
And the time out buzzer sounds as I'm saying that, but thankfully
they accept my answer and I move on.
Note to self: Fifteen seconds is not enough time to talk out an
Nothing difficult for the next few questions, such as deducing that
one of the Scandinavian names for Donald Duck is not Seņor Duck.
At 4K or 8K I have to use my ATA for the Canadian pop musician who
won a "Best New Artist" award in 1996. The audience gives me a clear
65% vote and I move on.
And I reach the 32K plateau, where I run into trouble.
For 32K I get the question:
Since 2001, the Marines have required training in what?
A) martial arts B) computer programming C) American sign language
D) something else
I don't recall anything from the news. A seems like an obvious
distractor, B is a possibility, so are the others, I suppose, so I
ask for the 50/50. That leaves:
A) martial arts C) American sign language
Well, this is a reasonably high level question, and I'm left with a
clear distractor and a choice that seems so odd that it must be right
(although sign language might be reasonable, both for political
correctness and for combat situations where soldiers might want to
communicate silently). So, I say something about being sure that
martial arts training must have been required long before 2001 and I
choose American sign language.
And Kevin, the host, tells me I'm wrong! :-(
Rats! I've barely started the first day of a two day visit...and I'm
officially finished, on the bench for 30 days before I can sit in the
Hot Seat again. For the price of an airline ticket, three nights in
a hotel, park admission and overpriced food, I've "won" another five
pins and a baseball cap. And now they're going to send a 1099 to the
IRS to make sure I pay taxes on the inflated retail value of my
Time out for a tax law question: If the Play It! prizes are taxable,
shouldn't my expenses to play be deductatable? At the least, my park
admission should be, since contestants must pay admission to Play It!
At that point I went to lunch, saw some other MGM attractions and two
other Play It shows, before park hopping to Epcot. I'd be returning
on Friday, when I expected to meet RJS and family.
On Friday, I was back for the first show of the day, after riding the
Tower of Terror three times in a half hour. :-)
RJS and family never showed up. I hope nothing serious happened; but
if not, I reserve the right to tease RJS mercilessly for chickening
out of our bragging rights competition. ;-)
So, playing for fun only, I manage to top the leader board and turn
down the Hot Seat on the first show of the day, and the second, third
and fourth. I miss the chance on the fifth show (was #1 at the 32K
plateau, but answered wrong on the 64K question), but get it again
on the sixth and seventh, for a total of six times in one day! By
the last time, Olga, one of hosts I didn't have, knew my name and was
saying, "[Marley], stop playing!" I tried one more show but missed a
question, so I called it a day with a record of six declined
opportunities in eight shows, and hopped back to Epcot for dinner and
their fireworks show.
During my run, there was one time when I was #1 and turned down the
Hot Seat, as did the #2 person (who also had played already), and the
#3 person (ditto). They had to go down to the #4 slot to get a
by which time the host was begging, "Please tell me you can play!" :-)
I also sat next another competitive couple, from Ohio, for a couple
of shows. We ran neck and neck for a while, until the wife got into
the Hot Seat during the second show. She answered too quickly at the
32K level and also walked away with a hat.
By my final show, I was starting to hear grumbling from the row
behind me, "I'm answering as fast as he is. How is he doing it?"
Discretion said it was time to leave before things got ugly. :-)
Now, about my Marine Corps question: It turns out the Marines have
started something called the "Marine Corps Martial Arts Program"
with it own system of belt rankings. Every recruit must now pass the
first level while in Boot Camp. Higher level belts require more
experience and higher rank.
While martial arts was clearly the "right" answer, I remain
uncomfortable with its phrasing. The Marines may have a new system
of training--which, BTW, is a weapons-based program--but no one can
say that martial arts, whether hand-to-hand or with weapons, has not
always been a required component of Marine Corps training. As the
answer was phrased, it would have been ridiculous for me to have
chosen it as my answer, unless I had read some news report of the new
program, which I didn't.
I don't know whether I'll write a letter to Disney to protest the
question, or if it would be worth the time. Opinions, anyone? I
don't care about getting another polo shirt, since I was really
hoping to bring back a confetti-covered leather jacket in time for
tomorrow's bus tour audition in Syracuse. Now that I'm home, the best
I could hope for is an exemption to play a second time in one 30-day
period, whenever I make my next trip to MGM.