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Douglas Spencer

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Panel games [Jan. 8th, 2010|09:39 pm]
Douglas Spencer
Here in the UK, particularly on BBC2 Television or on BBC Radio 4, we have cosy little panel games where no-one particularly cares who wins, and the object of the exercise is just for the panel (and audience) to have a good time. I'm thinking particularly of games like "Have I Got News For You", "Argumental", or "QI".

Here at Spencer Towers we're wondering if there's anything similar coming out of the USA. The nearest equivalent we can think of is "Whose Line Is It Anyway" which made it to both sides of the Atlantic. Are there others?

[User Picture]From: mary919
2010-01-08 10:08 pm (UTC)
I watch "8 Out of 10 Cats" on youtube and love it and I'd have to say no. "Whose Line Is It Anyway" tried for awhile but I think even that was too clearly improv by talented performers. I've wondered about this too-- why it works over there and not so much so over here.

Even watching both "Big Brother" series (yes, I know, sacriledge) I think the difference is amazing really. The UK contestants have extended deep and/or hilarious chats over tea while the US contestants are fighting and plotting. But THEN, the UK contestants have the most ridiculous drawn out childish arguments ("You shut up!" "Don't tell me to shut up!" "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" "Don't EVER tell me to shut up!!") and then get over it and love each other again. The US contestants never forget and never forgive.

I don't know what it all means and I know very few people find it interesting :) :) but I do! And I wish we had more games like you.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-01-08 11:25 pm (UTC)
I fucking hate the ones where they score points but at the end they don't tell you who won like bloody Knickerless Parsons on "Just a Minute" saying "and slightly ahead of Josie Lawrence was Paul Merton". Can they not count or what??? Removing all the competition from competitions, they'll be banning schools sports day next in case little Alfie cries and then All Shall Have Prizes, the bloody lefty pinko Commie bastards.
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[User Picture]From: stevegreen
2010-01-09 02:47 am (UTC)
Just a Minute is one of the few quizzes where some folks do care about winning. Check out any of Paul Merton's clashes with Clement Freud.
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[User Picture]From: not_vacillating
2010-01-09 07:38 am (UTC)
So much so that my family named that thing where you challenge with two seconds left and get the points even though someone else did most of the work 'a Paul Merton'. We weren't sure it would be widely applicable, but it turns out that Alan Davies has been doing something related recently on QI, and that it's also metaphorically relevant to certain kinds of lane-changing behaviour on motorways.
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[User Picture]From: stevegreen
2010-01-10 08:33 pm (UTC)
It was certainly the case that whenever purplecthulhu and I "pulled a Merton" when last year's worldcon ran its own Just a Minute (Paul Cornell was in the chair), the US/Canadian audience was quite aghast. They seemed to imagine Brits were jolly good sports. Bugger that for a lark: Dave and I were both out to win.
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[User Picture]From: katiemariie
2010-01-09 12:23 am (UTC)
We don't really have any over here anymore but there were a few that were quite popular during the seventies and eighties. The premise of most of them was two contestants bet on the answers of various C-list celebrities. The celebrities answer humorously and banter throughout. They'd shoot about four episodes a day and the celebrity panel would just get progressively drunker as the day wore on. There was a bit more of an emphasis on supplying good answers on the part of the panel as there was a significant cash prize for the winning contestant. The big ones were Match Game, Hollywood Squares, and What's my Line?
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[User Picture]From: alexmc
2010-01-09 11:50 am (UTC)
Mock the Week - except it is British. Oops.
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[User Picture]From: jon_a_five
2010-01-09 03:45 pm (UTC)
When I worked in the States in 2005 the US version of Whose line is it Anyway was on a lot and each week the host, Drew Carey, had to explain at the beginning of the show that the scoring system was just for fun!

One time Greg Proops swapped with him to be the host and immediatly announced that if you didn't understand the scoring system you should write to CBS and they'll explain it to you. At which Drew Carey doubled over laughing.
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[User Picture]From: ingaborg
2010-01-10 12:08 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't count "Whose Line is it Anyway" because the only episodes I ever watched, were not at all funny. So it isn't a comedy quiz!

"Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" is a good USA show - a news-based quiz, humourous, intelligent, and not very bothered about the score. Past episode available, I particularly recommend the one with Leonard Nimoy.

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