A mix of irreverent trivia questions, a heavy dose of pop culture and a sharp-as-a-tack audience of Hill wonks have made Quizzo my favorite weekly quiz night in D.C. since September 2001, but founder, quizmaster and former "Jeopardy!" contestant Neal Racioppo announced in an e-mail today that he's stepping down from hosting duties after "one final granddaddy going away party Quizzo to end all Quizzos" on January 29. "I'm just burnt out, really, plain and simple," Racioppo told me today. "It's something I've been thinking about for a while."
The Pour House's management hasn't decided if the Tuesday night game will continue after Racioppo leaves to focus on his full-time job as Promotions and Marketing Manager for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, so these may be your final chances to play. For the final events, Racioppo says, the bar will be "upping the prizes." Something tells me the notoriously crowded bar may be even more packed than usual, so arrive at least an hour ahead if you want to try to grab a barstool.
Looking for other places to test your smarts around town? Here are a half-dozen of our favorites:
Bedrock Billiards (Sundays): Five themed rounds that could include everything from U.S. presidents to cooking to "Name That D.C. Bar."
Fado (Mondays): Seven rounds of general knowledge queries, heavy on history and pop culture, often with a British or Irish slant.
The Wonderland Ballroom (Mondays): Hipsters battle to answer 100 questions (t10 rounds of 10 questions each) covering everything from D.C. history to science fiction. The top prize is a $100 bar tab.
Jimmy's Old Town Tavern (Tuesdays): JOTTeopardy is modeled on the famous game show, board and all, and hosted by the engaging Jimmy Cirrito, who's certainly more fun than Alex Trebek. Participants are winnowed by a series of "fill in the blank" rounds before the top three contestants go on to play for bar tabs and prizes.
Ireland's Four Fields (Wednesdays): More like a high school pop quiz, this night features a handout instead of a host calling out questions. That doesn't make it any easier: You have to fill in the answers to up to 90 questions in 90 minutes to win.
Nellie's Sports Bar (Wednesdays): Smart Ass Trivia has relocated from the now-closed Dakota Cowgirl. There's a new four-round format, but there are two games a night and the audio-visual round is intact.
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