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The growing cult of Classic Simpsons Trivia in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / July 13, 2011

Simpsons TorontoThese are my people. They emerge the second Tuesday of every month, still blurry-eyed from the murk of their parents' suburban basement, and make their way to the Gladstone Hotel where--finally--they are among their peers.

These individuals can easily list the best places to get a business hammock in Cypress Creek, and why Mary Ann's Hammocks stands out from the rest. They know the key to getting out of jury duty, the name of the gambling monster that enslaves Marge Simpson, and they all seem to share an unbridled fascination with Chief Wiggum's forbidden closet of mystery.

Ridiculed by the outside world for putting their retainers in the dishwasher and debating the merits of Captain Picard versus Kirk, these men and women find their niche at the Gladstone, surrounded by new friends in the Melody and Art bars. Here, we all understand that television--specifically the Simpsons seasons one to 11--is a teacher, mother, secret lover.

The first rule of WOO HOO! Trivia is get there early. While the night doesn't officially kick off until 8 p.m., group representatives are sometimes spotted as early as five, trolling the bar in hopes of snagging a spot near the screen or a coveted booth. Latecomers must stand. The evening consists of two rounds of 20 questions and a final 10-question lighting round, and each round is punctuated by the showing of a classic Simpsons episode.

And it is during these communal viewings that one realizes he or she is truly among the elite of Simpsons fandom. Only at WOO HOO! Trivia can you find a room of strangers who will sing along to "Hail to thee Kamp Krusty," and recite in unison the most obscure of Simpsons quotes. Dorks unabashedly parade around the bar wearing "Down With Homework" t-shirts, and high-fives and fist pumps are shared freely all around.

But during trivia time--it's all business. Smartphones are tucked away, teammates huddle in packs, and answers are scribbled down with cautious cover. Expert questions are read by WOO HOO! organizers Andrew Ennals and Amanda Factor, who are sometimes subjected to boos (or boo-urns) when the crowd disagrees with their rulings on responses. But with questions this tough, you've gotta be right on. What does Milhouse like on his toast? How does Lionel Hutz want to be paid for his babysitting services? What was the lowest tax increase in Springfield history?

Though amid the seriousness there's lots of collective glee, especially just before the second round, when Amanda and Andrew read out the team names. There's "The Globex Corporation," "Stupid Lisa Garbage Face," "Curtis E. Bear" and "Hail Ants" (yes, those jerks who always seem to nab a front booth), and the crowd eats up the familiar list with insatiable delight. And then, of course, it's on to round two.

The winners of the night revel in more than just glory. They are awarded a box of Lard Lad donuts and the promise of a reserved table on stage at the next WOO HOO! event. But for me--and I'm sure my compatriots would agree--Simpsons Trivia is, and always will be, about the esteem and pride that comes with placing among the evening's top 10. Alas, I have yet to achieve such a triumph, but I am coming to terms with the infeasibles in my life, recognizing this hurdle as just one among many. Indeed, I've realized that life is just one crushing defeat after another, until you just wish Flanders was dead.

Discussion

38 Comments

Laurent / July 13, 2011 at 10:25 am
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This is a perfectly cromulent article.
Robyn's lover / July 13, 2011 at 10:32 am
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very well written joey-joe-joe shabadoo!
Pete / July 13, 2011 at 10:38 am
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that's the worst name I've ever heard!
Sam / July 13, 2011 at 10:43 am
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I've had it with this trivia contest Robyn, the low test scores, table after table of ugly, ugly children...
JoeParez / July 13, 2011 at 10:44 am
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What? What am I looking at? I'm gonna stop looking soon, what? is that it?

Hey Moe, can I look too?

Sure, but it'll cost ya!

My wallet's in the car!

He's so stupid. And now, back to the wall. *blank stare*



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I seriously have to go to one of these!
Robert / July 13, 2011 at 10:48 am
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I know one of the organizers! Do I get bacon?
EmVeEs / July 13, 2011 at 11:03 am
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STUPID FLANDERS!
mike in parkdale / July 13, 2011 at 11:18 am
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best.trivia.ever.
Shaun / July 13, 2011 at 11:32 am
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I'm insulted that you didn't come to the winner's table to grab a streeter
Cbab / July 13, 2011 at 11:32 am
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Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
ThisKid replying to a comment from Laurent / July 13, 2011 at 11:53 am
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You made me laugh out loud with that comment. Well played.
Derek / July 13, 2011 at 11:53 am
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You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to Clown College. Can we expect the Gladstone to start serving Skittlebrau? If so, im in.
mike in parkdale replying to a comment from Derek / July 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm
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“Such a beer does not exist, sir. I think you must have dreamed it.”

“Oh. Well, then just give me a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.”
Eric / July 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm
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A solar eclipse, the cosmic ballet goes on...
http://simpsonian.tumblr.com/
Mike replying to a comment from Laurent / July 13, 2011 at 01:09 pm
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This article went well with a mug of Bevering, taken grey with creamium.
Jerb22 / July 13, 2011 at 01:26 pm
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Really? Only seasons 1-11? Of course the golden years, but there are still gems amongst the following decade, no?
TheRealJohnson replying to a comment from Laurent / July 13, 2011 at 01:30 pm
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meh
Jif / July 13, 2011 at 01:37 pm
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Wot? Article is posted after event.

We need an article that moves forwards, not backwards! Upwards not downwards and always twirling, TWIRLING!!!!
JoeParez replying to a comment from Jif / July 13, 2011 at 01:48 pm
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END COMMUNICATION.

I.
AM.
CLIN-TON.
stewart / July 13, 2011 at 01:53 pm
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The froghurt is also cursed.
lucas replying to a comment from Jerb22 / July 13, 2011 at 01:56 pm
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the gems are few and far between and although some are definitely funny, they're not funny in the same way as eps from S1-11. keeping it between those seasons is the smartest move woo hoo trivia made.
Tania / July 13, 2011 at 02:19 pm
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The internet???? Is that thing still around???
Evan / July 13, 2011 at 02:37 pm
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You start tomorrow...Bring three rags
DD replying to a comment from Eric / July 13, 2011 at 02:39 pm
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Anyone wanna switch seats?
mztania / July 13, 2011 at 02:49 pm
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Maybe it's the beer talking Marge but you got a butt that won't quit.
they got those big chewy pretzels here merJanthfgrr five dollars??!!!?
get outta here
Yes replying to a comment from Tania / July 13, 2011 at 03:09 pm
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its the inter-netting of these pants
Yes / July 13, 2011 at 03:10 pm
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its the inter-netting of these pants.
mike in parkdale / July 13, 2011 at 03:20 pm
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I think I just logged on to my internet
Slash182 replying to a comment from Tania / July 13, 2011 at 03:52 pm
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Ooohh. They have the internet on computers now
Bart+Milhouse / July 13, 2011 at 03:52 pm
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sisters are doin' it for themselves.
Slash182 replying to a comment from Tania / July 13, 2011 at 03:53 pm
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Ooohhh. They have the Internet on computers now
jinxx008 / July 13, 2011 at 04:04 pm
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Intercourse?
ThisKid replying to a comment from Jif / July 13, 2011 at 04:40 pm
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Haha, that for some reason reminded me of the Rubiks Cube scenario: "Turn the middle side topwise. TOPWISE"
Yes / July 13, 2011 at 05:07 pm
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DIDDY-MOW! DIDDY-MOW! what part of DIDDY-MOW dont you understand?
Al replying to a comment from EmVeEs / July 13, 2011 at 05:49 pm
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stupid SEXY flanders!
JoeyJoeJoe / July 14, 2011 at 01:00 am
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A bunch of nerds playing Simpsons Trivia, where's Comic Book Guy!??

"Okay, here we are, alt dot nerd dot obsessive"
Micro / July 14, 2011 at 10:50 am
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"Hey Apu. You got those potato chips that give you diarrhea? I need to do a little spring cleaning"

To be honest I would imagine that I would get smoked at this but it would still be something that would embiggen my spirit. Most def interested in checking this out.
JoeParez / July 14, 2011 at 03:38 pm
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We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. "Give me five bees for a quarter," you'd say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

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