By Andrew Andrews
Game Show? More like Game Shows! Imagine what might happen if Monty Hall showed up at your favorite bar on trivia night, grabbed the microphone after the first round and refused to give it back. And imagine if he forced everyone in the audience (using whatever means necessary) to participate in the festivities. And imagine that, even if you don’t come close to winning, you still have a great time.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Game Show. Recently moved from the Annoyance Theater in Williamsburg to Three’s Brewing in Gowanus, host Michael Bertrando, “sidekick” David del Rosario and “spokesmodel” Emma Krulik engage, entertain and judge the audience-slash-contestants in eleven rounds of competition, ultimately declaring one team the winner before pitting its own members against each other for a final round.
The first round was rather benign: a set of seven trivia questions to lure you into the game and provide a false sense of security. In the second round, “the best person” from each team was sent to the stage for a mystery task, which turned out to be a chugging contest (with cans of Threes’ Vliet provided to the competitors). In round three, we were presented with about two dozen names and instructed to choose the six that are actual strains of weed. Round four awarded points to the first team or teams that could produce a condom from their possessions, and the next round offered the same to any team member willing to show their user profile on a number of hookup apps. After various rounds, Bertrando would slip into Let’s Make a Deal mode, offering a secret prize to a member of the leading team if they were willing to sacrifice some of their team’s points. Not surprisingly, nobody accepted, despite enticement that the prize “might be a new Lexus!”
About half way through the show, it was obvious that our team was not going to be the winner. Still, we stuck around through the eight-minute and ninety-one second intermission to see what might happen next. In round seven, del Rosario and Krulik acted out a scene from a movie, pausing every few lines to see if anyone in the audience could guess the title (the answer: Get Out). In round eight—titled Foreign Words and Phrases, contestant teams were challenged to guess whether a number of phrases in various foreign languages translated to Rim Job, Blow Job or Hand Job in English. If you think it sounds like this game show isn’t suited for daytime television (or even late night, for that matter) then we’ll spare you the details of the visuals that accompanied this segment!
Getting close to the end with ten teams in the game, round nine pitted one member from the team with the most points against one member from the team with the least points to see who could “buzz in” first with the name of a state—any state in the U.S.A. In perhaps the biggest upset of the evening, the losing team knocked the winning team completely out of the competition at this point with the obvious answer: New York! Four more brackets later, we were down to five teams, but the point spread was already pretty severe when each team had to guess, without going over, how many rounds del Rosario (who had claimed to consume six beers by this point) could successfully complete in the 80’s electronic game Simon. By the end of this round, team Opplaud was clearly out of the running, but we stuck around anyway through a bonus round of The Easter Game, during which ribald photographs are flashed on the screen for a brief time before the audience is challenged to answer a question such as “how many carrots was the woman holding?” Again: we don’t think you’ll be seeing this game show on daytime television any time soon!
In the finals, one contestant from each of the top two teams competed to guess the most correct answers in a version of Name That Tune, with music provided by guest guitarist David Bowers. Now, if this was a normal game show, when Sonya from team Tornado toppled Melody from team Catheter, we would have declared a winner and called it a night. But no, boys and girls, in this game show, everyone from the winning team was beckoned to the stage to continue naming tunes—but this time, competing against each other for a fabulous prize that might have been a Lexus, but turned out to be swag from Threes Brewing and other seemingly-random tokens that very well might have been found lying around backstage.
It’s been said again and again that life is a journey, not a destination, and the object of Game Show isn’t necessarily to win, but to have fun along the way. And fun there certainly was, to be had by all involved. So if you’re looking for a night out that’s for participators rather than spectators—and you’re at least 21 years of age—head to Threes Brewing on May 5th for a more interesting way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. And yes, there will be plenty of beer!5
Andrew Andrews attended Game Show at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn on Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 8:00pm to write this review.