Contestants compete for prizes at The Wiggle Room. (Jack Neal / McGill Tribune).

Weird Ass Game Show more normal than advertised

a/Arts & Entertainment/Theatre by

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I stepped into the Wiggle Room for the first time. Then again, what can one really expect when they show up for something called “The Weird Ass Game Show?” It seemed like no one really knew what it was, but with the spirit of Halloween buzzing in my chest, I stepped into the unknown and braced myself for a night of weirdness.

It turns out it was a lot less weird than I thought.

Advertised as a mixture of ’80s American quiz and contemporary Japanese game shows, the format of The Weird Ass Game Show has three ordinary contestants pair up with three slightly more famous “celebrities”—I recognized one of them as a stand-up comedian who ran open mic nights at Comedy Works. Each team then competes against one another in three rounds of games, and the team with the most points at the end wins a fabulous prize.

The biggest problem The Weird Ass Game Show suffers from is the previously mentioned lack of weirdness. That’s not to say that games are anything as mundane as simple trivia questions, but after browsing Youtube and being exposed to the absolute insanity that is Japanese television, comparing oneself to that level of ludicrousness is a bold claim to make—a claim that the Weird Ass Game Show doesn’t live up to.

While the games themselves aren’t bad, they typically looked like the kind of thing that a group of quirky friends would do on any given Friday night. Such games included a 50/50 jellybean eating contest with Harry Potter-esque flavors such as orange or vomit, and a mystery cocktail round where contestants had to guess ingredients with nothing but taste. One standout game that immediately livened things up was when Zelda, the lovely co-host, did an interpretive tap-dance of a current event that the contestants were tasked with guessing. Otherwise, while initially amusing, most of these dragged on for a little longer than they probably should have.

The contestants themselves also presented a problem for the show. While their banter was initially fun to watch, their easily distractible personalities quickly became less cute and more grating as we approached the second hour mark. And there lay the issue with the show: Had the games been a little crazier, or the players a little more focused, then the length wouldn’t have been felt as much. As it stood, by the end of the first hour, I found myself glancing at my watch, wondering how much more was left.

This being said, kudos must be given to the host of the show, who managed to imbue the proceedings with enough energy to keep things consistently entertaining—and it didn’t hurt that he liberally handed out free drinks to the audience. Additionally, the atmosphere of the Wiggle Room alone almost made it worth the price of admission, emanating a wonderful mix of old school design and quirkiness combined with modern burlesque theatre. Ultimately, while the show is a little overly long and could use a little more weirdness, a low-ticket price and atmospheric venue could make The Weird Ass Game Show a fun distraction with a group of friends. Otherwise, you’d best give this game show a pass.

The Weird Ass Game Show takes place at 8 p.m. on Thursday nights at The Wiggle Room (3874 Saint-Laurent). Admission is $10.