Q&A, Prescott bar-style
Live trivia games are gaining in popularity in Prescott's bar scene, with at least four games at four different locations now.
Each game features a host who asks teams questions. They generally have only two rules: contestants can't use the Internet to answer questions, and they can't yell out the answers.
Winning teams get some kind of prize, and the saloons generally offer drink discounts.
Questions usually are quite varied, although sometimes they take on a holiday or other theme.
The longest-running current trivia game has been going since April of 2009 at the Bird Cage on Whiskey Row, although its roots trace back even longer to Lyzzard's Lounge on Cortez, where trivia began more than a decade ago.
"It's something fun to do that's not your typical bar scene," said Debby Orlando, who plays at the Cage. "You can get together with friends and have a good time."
The trivia game starts at 7:15 p.m. on Mondays at the Cage.
"It's a fun night out, it's a nice little microcosm of local people, and you're not just sitting at a bar, you're interacting with people," said Daniel Leavitt, the trivia master at the Bird Cage since January. His predecessor Hoyt Johnson now is a regular contestant, and sometimes Pudge & Asti's trivia master Dave "Stretch" McCormack stops by to play, too.
Leavitt has a history of public speaking as a band promoter and emcee, and he also has a long history of enjoying trivia questions with family and friends.
"We'll just go back and forth trying to stump each other," Leavitt said. "It's just been an ongoing obsession."
Trivia masters come up with questions from a variety of sources. Leavitt was watching "Back to the Future III" when he thought of asking contestants the name of the band playing in the town square (Answer: ZZ Top). McCormack bought a bunch of Trivial Pursuit games for a buck at local thrift stores.
Teams have some wacky names, from the Retired Porn Stars to the Undesirables to Joe Pa's Shower Camp.
"Some are not suitable for print," said McCormack, who heads up trivia at Pudge & Asti's on 6th Street at 7 p.m. every Tuesday. Pudge's calls its event "Tacos & Trivia" because it takes place on the same night as discount tacos.
When he's revealing the answers, one of the most common phrases McCormack hears is "I told you so!" because someone's teammates disagreed about the correct answer.
Lyzzard's recently restarted its trivia night too, choosing 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Bartender Alan Holt leads the game.
After periodic stops and starts, Celtic Crossings at the Gateway Mall has been going steadily with 7 p.m. Wednesdays for a few months now, featuring establishment owner Maggie Lamper.
A lot of regulars play, and they get to know each other better every week, Lamper said. Like McCormack, she sometimes chooses a theme for the night.
"I just keep changing it up every week, and every week it gets more fun," Lamper said.
One week trivia took place after a whiskey tasting event and the teams were especially lively.
"Nobody cared what the answers were, they were just having a good time," Lamper said.