North Texas Daily

Dentonites engage in trivial pursuits at local bars

Dentonites engage in trivial pursuits at local bars

July 13
11:10 2012

Ashley-Crystal Firstley / Intern

Rappers whose names start with “Ice,” stars from the movie “Top Gun,” Tom Landry’s coaching record and Madonna’s 1980s discography are not subjects most students get tested on.

But for many UNT students and Denton residents, a working knowledge of topics as disparate as pop culture, U.S. history and Greek mythology is critical to victory in the live trivia contests held almost every night at different locations in Denton.

The organization Challenge Entertainment provides the quizmasters, who, armed with laptops, pencils, a microphone and lots of questions, challenge competing teams at local bars and restaurants such as Cool Beans Bar and Grill and BoomerJack’s Wings.

Graphic by Andrew Tellez

General studies senior and Cool Beans employee Nash Motley said trivia night at the bar, held every Tuesday night, usually results in a packed house.

The most important rule of trivia: No cell phones. A team may not know what item was used to kill Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky – an ice pick – or the name of Eddie Murphy’s 1983 standup comedy special – “Delirious” – but any smart phone connected to the Internet can find out.

“We have people who get serious but they get serious in a fun way,” said Kim Clements, co-owner of The Labb Sports Bar and Lounge, which hosts trivia on Wednesday nights.

There is no size limit for teams trying to break a mental sweat. Groups of three or four stoic, thoughtful trivia scholars face off against raucous hordes with 10 to 20 members.

Team names tend to be explicit, easy to chant, laden with pop culture references or some combination of the three.

Drawing and painting junior Elizabeth McDonald has been playing with the same team for several months. McDonald said the group, whose team name implores a well-known film director to chow down on a specific part of the human anatomy, has taken first place and $50 in-house cash at II Charlies’ Bar and Grill’s Thursday night contest about five times.

She said the six to eight players on her team each specialized in a subject. McDonald said she is well-versed in modern pop culture, while others pick up the slack in categories such as science and history. They play at the same location every week, which McDonald said allowed them to get to know the competition.

“When it comes down to it, it’s where you play and not how many places you play at,” she said.
For a full listing of where and when to play live trivia in Denton, visit

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