Meet Your Quizmaster
Every first and third Friday of the month. Interviews by Dallas's foreleast quizmaster, Jason Guynes!
Take a peek behind the host with our in depth interview series with the men and women who help run Geeks Who Drink each and every week! Click Here to see a list of who we've already interviewed!
After seeing his “stage presence” at Geek Bowl VII, I just had to sit Raleigh’s own Alex Hofford down for the most recent installment of Meet Your Quizmaster.
So, Alex, how long have you been with us?
Since July of last year, so about 8 months now
You're so young..so new..it's sweet.
I prefer "nubile," but yeah
You're in a new market, right? How did you find out about us?
I heard about GWD through the grapevine at a comedy club I used to perform at. Someone had info about auditions, and I figured why the hell not!
Everyone has a different audition story, tell me about your audition process.
We were in the back room at Natty's and there were a couple of other people there from the comedy club auditioning, too. I was the first person to go during the first set of auditions, so obviously, I killed it and everyone else wasted their time. It was fun. The questions we auditioned with were pretty cool, and from what I learned about GWD, I knew it was something to get on board with immediately.
We are kind of rad. Did we tell you immediately or did we play hard to get and make you wait?
I'm pretty sure I found out the day afterward
Did you go out and buy an escalade?
I got an H3. Because FUCK the environment.
I like your style. You said you found out about us at a comedy club. Do you do a little stand up?
I do improv and stand-up. Been doing it for about a year and a half now, and haven't looked back. Quick shout-out to DSI Comedy in Carrboro, NC.
Do you have a day job or does stand up and Geeks pay the bills?
Comedy/GWD is my Batman, and I'm an account manager for a software company for my Bruce Wayne. I wish comedy and GWD paid all of my bills
How did you end up doing improv and comedy?
It's something I've always been interested in and had a knack for, and all it took was breaking up with my ex-gf to give me the motivation to sign up for classes. Figured I had a bunch of spare time, why not use it for something I could potentially enjoy.
Is she your hate muse?
I guess she'd have to be. I don't think I'd be doing what I'm doing if it weren't for the demise of a relationship. Which sucks because I can never tell her "THANKS FOR NOTHING" because I got something out of it
What's your favorite thing about being a Quizmaster? Aside from the opportunity to get to meet me, of course.
Other than Geek Bowl (which was the greatest thing ever), I enjoy being a more entertaining quiz in Raleigh than anywhere else. People will attest to other quizzes being sub-par compared to GWD. Coupling that with my comedy background, and it ends up being a free comedy show that you have a chance to win money at. Win-win! It's quiz first and foremost, don't get me wrong. But my quizzers are rife with comedic material in their answers
That's one of my favorite things about the quiz. I've been at one of my venues long enough that we have "inside" jokes together.
Exactly! One team puts a Scantron bubble sheet on their answer sheet for multiple choice rounds, and I lament every time they do it. But they stick to the joke, and I can't hate them for that
I have a team whose fall back answer is always Eddie Murphy because I gave them shit a year ago. Any question about a black person...Eddie Murphy. SNL...Eddie Murphy. Rap artist...You get the bit.
Thats priceless. I talk about this band called Bad Rabbits all the time at the quiz, and that's become one group's fall back answer for music rounds. Oh, that and "U2 Fucking Sucks" pops up ever since we had a round dedicated to their songs.
We don’t talk about that round here.
Dear lord. Never. Again.
If there were pitchforks around, my bar would have stormed the castle
But it's just a testament to how well-written our questions/rounds are. Also, I would have paid for the pitchforks with my tab.
So, do you have a schtick when you host? Anything you do for EVERY quiz? Songs you play?
I have been known to serenade my quizzers with Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' About You" from time to time. I don't really have a schtick other than being the greatest quiz host Raleigh has ever seen.
Aren't you the ONLY quiz host Raleigh has ever seen?
Technically no, but all other trivia nights bow to me in Raleigh.
So, you mentioned Geek Bowl, and it is one of the many things that sets us apart from other companies. Tell me about your impression of your first time.
It was everything everyone said it would be. Meeting and hanging out with all of my fellow QMs was AWESOME. The quiz was entertaining as hell, and I swore to myself I would get a team to represent Raleighwood out there next year.
I have discovered that it is hard to explain the magnitude of Geek Bowl to people that have never experienced it. You were one of the few I got to see on stage. And you wore something...ummm...interesting. How was presenting?
Getting to present Round 6 answers on stage and being as new as I am was a great experience. Jason (the other guy reading answers) had asked me if we wanted to dress up a certain way or do a bit when we went out there. I said I didn't have any ideas, but he had a sack of random costumes and wigs he said he'd bring with him. I floated an idea about wearing a luchador mask I had (I collect them), but I didn't bring it. When we got to Austin, he was bummed I didn't bring the mask, and I said why not go buy a new one. So I bought one that matched a green tuxedo shirt he had in his bag, and then found the wig in the bag to put on top of the mask. As one of my friends so eloquently put it, I looked like Rey Mysterio: The Vegas Years
It was truly something to behold. I felt like I let everyone down by just being a princess in my tiara.
ESPECIALLY with me on stage. I mean, you did have to follow us. Not an easy feat. Another reason why everyone should come to GB - Never know what you're going to see.
Last year I wore my "Phuck Filly" shirt...which was a hit, but you can't do that two years in a row.
Why not? It's not like Philly turned into non-shitty people? They suck annually.
This is true, but there was already a picture of me in the shirt in the opening number.
So, do you think your comedy/improv experience helps with being a host?
Oh absolutely. If anything, hosting GWD has helped me with my comedy. I get to try out new jokes weekly (all off the top of the dome), and it's a 2-hour crowd work session...And I get paid for it.
Alright, do you consider yourself more Geek or Drink?
If you would have asked me before GB, I would have said Geek.
Actually, I'll stick with that: Geek
Are you lying? We'll know if you're lying.
The only difference is now I am really articulate about Game of Thrones when I'm drunk.
So, what do you geek out for? Besides GoT.
I'm a big music nerd, always checking out new bands/concerts and I'm a big comedy sponge, I like soaking in all of the comedy I can. Oh, and I still have an active WoW account. Don't even get me started on how disappointing Diablo 3 was
I am not even going to attempt to talk to you about WoW and Diablo 3. I don't know what those things are.
Probably for the better for the both of us
However, I will ask you what your top 3 concerts and your top 3 comedians are.
Concerts - 1) Black Star 2) Prince 3) Radiohead
Comedians - 1) Anthony Jeselnik 2) Hannibal Buress 3) Louis C.K.
I've just recently discovered Hannibal Buress and I love him.
I saw him in Raleigh a couple weeks before GB, and he ended his set with the Gibberish Rap, and ballerinas came out on stage.
Comedy + Ballerinas = GOLD
Someone actually caught it on camera at the show I was at. You can even see my head in the lower lefthand corner.
If you could see anyone you haven't seen, who would it be?
Concert I would like to see? Bloc Party is a band I've loved forever and never seen live.
So, we do a little thing called QFAC do you have a charity you'd like to host a quiz for?
I hosted one for Mercy For America's Children back in December, which is an organization to raise money for children in foster care. I would like to do something for the military, perhaps Toys For Tots. Cancer is always good.
I mean, a good charity to do stuff for; cancer itself sucks.
What about a dream private event?
I would love to do a private event for the Carolina Hurricanes or for the lovely ladies at The Men's Club. I figure they work so hard at night, they should treat themselves to a nice quiz.
How has geeks changed your life
Geeks has changed my life in many ways, but the most notable is using it as a tool to hone my comedy skills. And getting to do things like QFAC is a great way to help out the community.
Do you have any advice for new QM's and/or quizzers?
New QM/quizzer advice? Embrace your inner geek. Own it. And don't be afraid to throw down some beers and dance.
That’s not just good quiz advice, that’s good life advice. You can catch Alex at Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. on Tuesdays at 7:30pm. Look for the guy in the luchador mask.