Quizzo, Quizo, QuizzMo
is a pub quiz
game. It was first popularized in Philadelphia
, but has become popular in other parts of the United States
, including Chicago, Illinois
, Portland, Oregon
, Denver, Colorado
, Logan, Utah
, San Francisco, California
, Wahiawah, Hawaii
and Washington, D.C.
Origins of Quizzo can be traced back to Ireland, where pub trivia games with similar format have been played for a long time before Quizzo's inception.
In 1987 A Magical Music Tour Inc., an Entertainment Service Company registered in Camden County New Jersey did the first QuizzMo show at the Antlers Lodge, now the Britannia Country Inn in Swiftwater, Pa. as part of "The Second Annual Pocono's Miles of Smiles Scavenger Hunt and Road Rally. In the late 80's it was performed not just in clubs like the Finish Line in Audubon, NJ, but at family gatherings and social functions. A mainstay of The Washington Township Lake festivities every Labor Day, 4th of July and Memorial Day and was utilized in Collingswood New jersey promotional events in 1987-1989 as well as a Taste of South Jersey. These show were hosted my Radio personality, Disc Jockey entertainer and Professional Magician Michael St. James. In 2000 St. James modified the game from straight trivia to an active trivia game show at Top Dog in Cherry Hill performing two happy hour shows every week on the Deck as well as "QuizzMo" The Sporting Chance Edition during the MNF season.
The restyled format and modified game were brought over to Wildwood, NJ, where Pat Hines started running it and eventually exported it to Philadelphia. Hines brought the first "Quizzo" to Philadelphia in 1993 at The New Deck Tavern in University City. In 1995, the second "Quizzo" in Philadelphia began at Fergie's Pub, which was run by Hines as well. Shortly thereafter, several Quizzo style games began to spread out through the Philadelphia / South Jersey region leading to expanded popularity in many Delaware Valley and Jersey Shore establishments.
The rules vary at nearly every venue that runs a "Quizzo night". The original American Quizzo that was held at the New Deck Tavern in Philadelphia saw teams of 1 to 6 players. There were 3 rounds of 10 question on various subjects. These question were asked verbally. One round, a bonus round known as 'the speed round' consisted of a sheet with ten questions on it that teams would have a short time span to fill out and return. One strategy that existed was for each team to "joker" (or "double") one round. By doubling a round, every team would have one opportunity to double the score of any of the three regulation rounds before turning in their answer sheet.
Rules from other Quizzos have different amounts of question per round as well as themes and bonus points made available.
There are many types of establishments which host Quizzos, using a variety of different rules and point calculations. Some of these variations include:
- At the BayView Restaurant and Bar in Wildwood Crest Michael St. James "The Magic Man With The Games" hosts the Original QuizzMo which is a blend of Music, Magic and Mindgames that includes active rounds for all the senses that include smell and taste-a-rounds, a sound round, color picture rounds, video rounds as well as incorporating Nostalgic Toys and Games like Rockem Sockem Robots, Miniature Golf, remote Controlled Toys and Pie Eating Contests to get everyone involved in the action. As well as the regular prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, there is also the popular "Booby Box", an at large prize awarded to a team a the end of the game via a drawing that can be as goofy as a Bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 or as great as a Dos Equis beach cruiser. Rounds are thematic. QuizzMo is also played at Shenanigans in Hazleton, Nick's Lake House in Lake Harmony and KC's in Stroudsburg, Pa.
- At the Locust Bar, quizmaster Kevin Oliver has an optional 11th bonus question in each of the three rounds. The question is worth five points if answered correctly, and minus three points if answered incorrectly. If the bonus question is left unanswered, no points are added or subtracted. He also provides a shout-out section after the game for any non-winning players where correct answers are rewarded with sets of "fine quality beer promotional merchandise, or bar crap".
- At Valanni Restaurant in Philadelphia, Kinky Quizzo is played in which winners are rewarded with sex toys.
- Johnny Goodtimes, who hosts six quizzos a week in Center City and who was named Philly's Best Quizzo by Philadelphia Magazine in 2006, does not include joker rounds. Instead, the difficulty of the questions and the point values go up each round.
- Another of Philadelphia's quizmasters, Irish John, runs a game of three rounds with one "joker" round.
- In Brigantine, New Jersey the similar "music/movie" round at Steak 38/Mickey's Raw Bar features clips from older and more recent films as well as themed song rounds.
- At many Quizzo locations along the Philadelphia suburban Main Line corridor, the game features a spinning wheel between rounds that allows teams to acquire bonus points or drink prizes. Additionally, this game features a "picture" round, during which teams are asked to place names to pictures of famous faces.
- The game at Schileen's Pub in Westville, NJ includes a 50/50 raffle, where the winning ticket holder gets half the money from that night, but is also asked one question in order to win all the money that has accumulated over the weeks of wrong answers.
- The Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philadelphia, PA has a Humor Round, in which participants can opt to answer questions with funny responses in hopes of getting bonus points.
- McCrossen's moved to a Tournament-only format beginning in the summer of 2007, which is held on a schedule and offers enhanced prizes for regular players.
- Harry Caines, a native Philadelphian and alumnus of the New Deck quizzo, started hosting the game (with the traditional format) at the White Owl Tavern in Logan, Utah. Three lunch prizes are awarded because it is illegal to award beer in a contest in the state of Utah.
- Philadelphia bar The Khyber occasionally hosts a Quizzo based entirely around the Fox animated sitcom The Simpsons. Its format varies but generally includes rounds involving identifying pictures of minor characters, attributing quotations, and answering questions about obscure events and objects depicted on the program. The winning team of this particular Quizzo receives the pool of money paid by all contestants. For a while they also held Quizzo nights based entirely around the NBC sitcom Seinfeld, but this has since been phased out.
- At the Pour House in Washington DC on Tuesdays, with host Neal Racioppo, several innovations make it the most popular quiz game in DC. Two games a night, three rounds each. Middle round of each game is the speed round. Also, there's a halftime show between the two rounds, in which Neal uses a list of some kind (greatest home run hitters, academy award winning actresses of the last 30 years, etc) and each team has to shout out an answer as Neal calls out their team. They also post photos of the winners each week to their blog:
- In Williamsport, Pennsylvania Quizzo consists of four rounds with ten questions each. Two double point options are given per game. These doubles are available for five questions in a given round.
- Downey's at Front and South St. host quizzo every Tuesday at 10pm. There are four rounds consisting of at least one general trivia, one picture round, and a current event round. Downey's also gives out one of the best prizes in Philadelphia. ($50 for first place and $25 to second place)
- Iron Hil Brewery in Media, PA and Wilmington, DE feature Quizzo on Monday and Tuesday nights done by Quizmaster Kevin Windsor. There are 4 general trivia rounds, one categorical round, and a bonus picture round completed during each Quizzo session. For both locations, each player puts in one dollar and the first place prize receives all of the cash. Winners of each round receives a free round of drafts for their team.
Many places around the country that run Quizzo can be found listed at myQuizzo.com - a site dedicated to providing resources for and bringing together Quizzo lovers. In 2005, the National Trivia Association was formed to launch a nationwide version of Quizzo with a common set of rules, questions, and centralized payment for quizmasters. Most Philadelphia-area quizzes pre-date the NTA, which does not own the rights to the word Quizzo, and are not affiliated with that group. Franchised NTA presents Quizzo! games have expanded into Illinois, Oregon, California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.