As a standup comedian for over a decade, the energy and laughs of the crowd are what feeds me to stay on stage and keep telling jokes. I'm at a point in my career where I'm doing the least amount of standup that I've ever done since I started in 2006, but all that "stage" time is replaced with trivia time, as I'm hosting a new place at least 5 out of 7 nights of the week, if not all 7 at certain times.
I was thinking about the equivalents of what makes it fun for me to keep hosting, and all the things players can do to make it more fun for themselves, so here's a quick list of the top five ways to make your local trivia with me rock.
1. ASSEMBLE YOUR SQUAD. The first step to having an excellent time playing trivia is to find a group of people who like to drink beers and answer pop culture questions. My trivia is designed for everybody, young and old, so I always urge players to have a few of each age range on their teams. The perfect group would be 2 people in their 20s, 2 in their 40s, and 2 in their 60s, if you had that many different aged friends or at your disposal. And make sure to come up with a fun team name! It might get you cool points with strangers.
2. KNOW YOUR ROLE.
You also want to obviously have some people that definitely know some stuff most importantly, so make sure you've got all your bases covered. While I do find ways to mix in history, art, geography, and the more academic angles, most of my stuff is like the pink pie in Trivial Pursuit, so try and have an expert on movies, TV, music, video games, comic books, and the fun stuff. HINT: always check my website at the start of each week (Sunday) to see a sample question, the rounds for the week, and other ways to earn bonus points!
3. HAVE A BEER!
Of all the places I've hosted trivia (bars, backyards, bar mitzvahs, baby showers, just to name the "B" locations), breweries have to be some of my favorite type of people gathered. A nice strong craft beer will ease you into the first round nicely, and by the end of 2 hours, you should feel nice and toasty and full of mind-growth from all the cool stuff you've learned while playing trivia. If you're at a cocktail lounge, any alcohol should help add to the fun (or even some cannabis if you're at one of my weed-friendly dispensaries or venues in LA) so make sure to find the perfect pairing.
4. MAKE SOME NEW FRIENDS.
One of my favorite things about facilitating a weekly event at numerous places is the ability for me to make new relationships on any given week. New friends, new vendors, new partners, and new stories are all popping up week after week in my circles. Heck, nearly every friend I've made in LA that I make an effort to hang out with started at a trivia night between 2012 and now. It's not just for me though; players congregate and chat in between rounds over who knew what and this can sometimes lead to great bonds. I've had couples start dating from taunting each other on opposite teams, two teams form one mega team over weeks of camaraderie, and I've even officiated a few weddings that stemmed from hosting trivia. Make sure to lean over to that table nearby and chat them up-you never know what fun it can lead to.
5. THE MORE THE MERRIER.
The best thing that can happen to a trivia night is constantly refreshing of teams new and old. Some people make a trivia night their weekly night out, which is always encouraged, but lives change and sometimes teams shrink or grow based on availability. Help spread the word! My favorite thing to see is a huge group of 10-20 people that come in and split into 3-4 teams and compete against each other along with the rest of the teams in the venue. This always leads to competitive games, and when we have 10+teams it's a treat for everybody. Bring mom, bring dad, bring grandma! Family teams always rock and it's so much fun to see exactly what a father-daughter might bond over in the Star Wars universe.
If you're brand new to playing trivia, you can ease yourself into the game by checking out my weekly podcast of the same name! Trivia with Budds is found wherever podcasts are found, and you can subscribe for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.