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Paying homage to shows such as "Pardon the Interruption", "Around the Horn", "The Best Damn Sports Show Period", "Best Week Ever", and "The Soup", We Love to Interrupt is a weekly raw, frank, red-blooded, two-fisted, full-bodied look into the world of game shows. Comments are always welcomed here!

Hosted by Chico Alexander and Gordon Pepper, and featuring the editors/contributors to GSNN

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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

June 25, 2005

Travis: So much for classy.
Chico: You lose your briefs, you lose your case :)
Alex:  I have a new favorite show apparently.
Travis: Either way, someone's getting naked.
Chico: If you don't collect, you don't pay... wait... We're back with the Gordon, Jason, Travis, Chico, Joe, and Alex show, and now it's time for 20 Questions: The Game Show Congress edition.
Jason: WHOO-HOO.
Travis: **Phone Home Game Intro**
Chico: Okay, Paul. It's very simple. We ask you 20 questions, you answer them. Capisce?
Paul: Capisce
Gordon: Let's start. 1) - How did you come with the idea for the Game Show Congress?
Paul: As I have been involved with the trivia bowl for a very long time, I just noticed that people like Ed Toutant, Lori Bailey and Mark Glucksgern and a number of other people who have done well in trivia competitions and have also done well on game shows. I thought it would be interesting to try to understand what the relationship was or to understand the dynamic of how to do well on a game show. We set up a seminar on the Friday of the week on Trivia Bowl for a couple of hours. Steve Beverly came out and we had some panelists from people who had written for game shows. We had a session on writing and we had a session with some of the big winners and then we ended it with Q and A from the audience.
Chico: 2) Who was most instrumental in getting the GSC off and running?
Paul: I'd have to say a combination of Fred Westbrook and Steve Beverly. Fred because he has the connections of an agent and Steve because he's put in some time in promoting and attending every event and being in the know of things. Between the two guys, they have things that go beyond being just a fan and they have industry knowledge as to what is going on.
3) Paul, of all the things that have happened at the GSC over the last three years, what has been your favorite?
Paul: During GSC 2, when we went to Vegas, we were linked up with a tournament with TRASH. It was totally out of the blue when Mike Burger showed up with the Game Show Round, I was floored because I didn't know that this thing existed. There was a lot of recognition and applause for the amount of games that the program had, just old and no, and it was a sheer surprise to see it all of a sudden. It was truly amazing and we'll continue to have amazing moments, like when Betty White told Bob Barker about the rules of The Price is Right.
Jason:  4) What was it like growing up a game show fan?
Paul: I distinctly remember in about 1974 or 1975 playing hooky (though I was doing fine in school), so I'd say about once every two weeks I'd stay home. At that time, there were so many shows that it was like boom, boom, boom. There were no Ricki Lake or talk shows, and there were no VCRs, so that was my impudence as a child growing up.
Travis: Next question is kind of a long one.
Gordon: ok
Travis:  5) It seems as if, on my college campus at least, game shows are a taboo subject.  No one wants to admit they like them.  Why would that be?
Paul: On an emphasis on style over substance over the last decade and a half, and you have the MTV/Sound bite culture, and if you look at the way game show people are portrayed (geek, nerd, etc.), they may be nerds, but they may be your manager or boss later.
Gordon: 6) - If you won the lottery and if you were able to hold the event in a place of your choosing, people's travel agendas not-withstanding, where would you want to hold the convention and why?
Paul: I think holding any kind of convention in a resort area is good. Las Vegas is always a great place because they also come for the other attractions, and gambling is a great dichotomy, as they have celebrities for the WSOP, etc. I think people enjoy the cerebral part as well, and I think it would be interesting to have a convention in London because of the huge number of shows that come from England and the Netherlands, etc. to the U.S., and the new product as the American market seems to be reticent to introduce new shows. All that being said, southern California is great because of the proximity to the agents, hosts, legends, etc.
Chico: 7) When this event was first pitched, what was the average response from the public?
Paul: I think that there was a mix. Some people wondered if there would be a high geek factor. Other people wondered if it would be considered an industry following and wondered if they would be invited. Other people sad that it would be interesting to see, because they had friends, relatives, etc. who were on the shows. We've seen consistent growth on the numbers and we hope to be
upwards of 200 this year and upwards of 400, growing it by 80% each time, then it will continue to be successful.
Joe: 8) What else would you like to see happen at the GSC in the near future?
Paul: It would be nice to have either more demos and tryouts and I'd really like to boost the writing segments to encourage the fuel for new shows. In order to get new shows, we'd need enough cadre to support that and it could be a good forum for that kind of look. It would also be nice for the GSC to be a marketplace for these smaller networks to have a specialize game show to promote products, as both the history and travel channel have tried it. Game shows could help some of the smaller networks to connect with some of the smaller ventures of that type.
Jason:  9) Was there one moment in your life that cemented your status as "game show fan for all eternity?"
Paul: I think it was just more of a slow disease creeping on than a thunderclap. I think it was a combination of seeing lots of shows in the 1970's, participating in local events like Quiz Bowl, trivia bowl sort of stuff, maybe a lot of hoopla of Millionaire, Greed, Etc. that brought me over the edge to drive me to organize such an event.
Travis:  10) When you originally came up with the idea, did you realize that the events of last year were even possible?
Paul: I think I did. I think that too many times, people put their celebrities up on pedestals, but they think that those celebrities aren't approachable. I think while you have to observe certain protocols as more and more people get in. To the public eye, I think more people, especially in charitable events, do more things that you don't expect them to do. I have been at governmental
functions and you can go up and talk to them, and that's great. i think it's better when people know that they are going to talk about what they do then just being in the general public. I think that if they know that they are going to be in a benefit atmosphere that they would be more likely to talk, and that would be great.
Chico: Okay, halfway home. Gordon?
Gordon: #11 - What, in your opinions, are the three biggest 'must-see' events at this year's congress?
Paul: Certainly the career awards luncheon, where we will be having Monty Hall, Tom Kennedy, Jack Narz and Pat Carroll talking. I'm not sure on the other celebrity speakers yet. I think that the yearly awards segueway into Ruth Horowitz and Norm Blumenthal (Producer of the original Concentration) and certainly the Game Show Tournament which leads up to that Game Show Round, where we will try to get 4, maybe even 5 rounds in.
Chico: 12) Okay, we know that some of us liked to hit up the Bicycle Casino in the off-hours. What did you do when you weren't coordinating the action at the Congress?
Paul: There are some backstage folks in L.A. and I went out to breakfast with a lot of my friends, There are folks that I know that I got together with for drinks. Certainly, there were bs sessions to bounce ideas off people. Sometimes it leads to other event ideas, etc.
Joe: 13) What one person, above all others, would you like to see at the Congress?
Paul: That's a tough one. There're a lot of interesting contestants, hosts, other celebrities who I'd love to see there. It would be kind of fun to have somebody who was maybe a celebrated person in their own right who is a fan of game shows.
Jason:  Like a Hilary Swank
Chico: I'll take Hilary Swank.
Travis: Or Mila Kunis.
Chico: I'd come out there for Hilary Swank.
Joe: Ditto.
Paul: Some would say Jimmy Kimmel, but according to people that I know on Win Ben Stein's Money, he's not into it. If somebody like David Letterman  (who had a thing with Regis), and I know that Rosie O'Donnell has a thing with game shows. Maybe she, David or another top host would show up, then the congress would build upon itself because then people could say oh, I could see the famous people and go to the congress. So I'd love to see someone like that come by.
Jason:  Well, since Joe stole my question...:) 14) Is there one person in the game show world that you personally haven't met that you want to?
Paul: I haven't met Ken yet, so I'd like to meet him. It would also be interesting to meet Meredith Vieira or Alex Trebek and have a chat with them on the ideas of the industry and see what we could do. The most fascinating person I'd want to meet would have to be Chuck Harris. I think that Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was hilarious and I'd love to know more about him.
15) When you were at the game show conventions, of all 3 of them, what your favorite non-event happening and why?
Paul: It had to be GSC #2, when I was hanging on the Vegas Strip with Ed Toutant, Lori and Dave Bailey, Paul Paquet, Dan Rechter James DInan and other people. We were drinking, eating cocktails and enjoying the debauchery.
Chico: Debauchery! Now we come to the 5 questions that we ask everyone.  16) Past or present, your favorite game show emcee.
Paul: Bob Barker. With Alex Trebek as second.
Travis: Good call.
Chico: 17) Favorite game show to bring back if you're the EP.
Paul: Concentration, definitely. It's a great game and it's too bad that it's not on.
Chico: Cool... 18) What game would you see yourself hosting?
Paul: I see hosting a show that is based on travel or geography, maybe something like 'Where in the World', which would allow people to travel to places. Maybe something like the Amazing Race. Maybe something that would allow people all over the world to directly compete against each other. If it was a show that has already been created, then it would have to be Jeopardy.
Chico: 19) What game would you see yourself PLAYING?
Paul: I would have loved to have played Super Millionaire =). That being said, I'd want to be on a show where I could go for some big bucks. If it wasn't money based, I loved Win Ben Stein's Money. I can't wait to play win Gordon Pepper's points.
Gordon: Bring it on, Paulie.
Joe: :D
Chico: 20) The Create-a-Question. Basically, it's a chance to get anything off your chest that we haven't covered, so do your thing. Take your time... Speak your mind.
Paul: I'm meeting with the architect tomorrow for the initial design for the GSC Library Hall of Fame Museum, which we are trying to put together in Truth or Consequences, NM. We are going to try to blend it between Southwestern Style and a game show motif. We'd love to have a small theater and a large backstage to try to grab as many backstage sets as we can before they get trashed and digital version of old back stage sets before they crumble. We also want to get set pieces and other memorabilia. This would be an exclusive focus on game show and quiz events, Not only on television shows, but local versions as well.
Chico: If you need help with the digital versions, I have Poser 6 :)
Gordon: And finally, if you want to attend the event or learn more about it, the address is Thank you, Paul!
Jason: Thanks Paul.
Chico: Thanks, Paul!
Travis: Thanks Paul!
Joe: Thanks, Paul.
Jason: Thanks Paul. See you at the Con.
Gordon: That's 20 questions. When we come back, we are in court! (and hopefully, not from the FCC) stay tuned!

(Brought to you by Acme Dowels. When you have to make a model wheel, transfer a game show stunt down stage, or beat someone upside the head... accept no substitutes.)

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