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Working The 'Beat'

An EW Reporter Documents His Trivial Pursuit of Glory on ‘Beat the Geeks’

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Dorks rejoice! Comedy Central’s game show Beat the Geeks, where regular Joes square off against professional pop-culture savants, returns July 8. EW sent this camera-shy reporter to Los Angeles to go undercover as a contestant (my episode airs Sept. 16). Did I rise to the challenge? You be the judge.

— ROUND ONE Extreme close-up of yours truly and the big zit on my nose. My two opponents, script reader Erin and script consultant Gabrielle, tremble. New host Blaine Capatch, best described as a Muppet version of Ric Ocasek, asks, ”’I’m Outstanding’ is the title of a rap single by what L.A. Laker?” Nervous as hell, I say something that sounds like ”Chuckie O’Knee.” They count it as ”Shaquille O’Neal” anyhow. I wheeze in relief.

— ROUND TWO Erin is off to a blistering lead after trouncing Movie Geek Marc Edward Heuck. I confidently challenge Paul Goebel, the plus-size TV Geek, and we end up in a tiebreaking Geek-Off. I must list as many Will & Grace characters as I can in 15 seconds. Freezing like Cindy Brady on a quiz show, I manage to name only the two title characters. Goebel blanks on Queer as Folk actors, and I win his medal. Whew! Score: 45-30.

— ROUND THREE I challenge Friends Geek Karla De Trinidad, who subsequently sasses me: ”In the words of Chandler, could you be any more stupid?” In another Geek-Off, my category is famous chefs, and honest to God, the first name I think of is Paul Prudhomme. Still, Karla out-geeks me, rattling off four dishes that Monica prepared on Friends. Then, after Erin whups longhaired Music Geek Andy Zax, the score is 85-30. As Julia Child might say, my goose is cooked. In the Geekqualizer round, we must ID titles as music, movies, or TV. When Capatch says Joe Dirt, I think he said ”Joe Durst,” who must be Fred Durst’s brother, right? I offer up ”music,” and then begin emotionally preparing for this flub to air on national television. I exit stage right to polite applause and much-deserved mockery from Capatch.

— ROUND FOUR Erin decimates the Movie Geek. My lame parting gift is a free month of rentals from Netflix. Maybe I’ll use them to subject myself repeatedly to a certain David Spade movie as penance.

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