Film and TV

Video: Geek Bowl gets celebrity help in Austin, returns to Denver in 2016

It's not like Geeks Who Drink, the Denver-based, bar-style trivia juggernaut that got its start here in 2005, needs much celebrity power: Over the past eight years, it's stretched to more than twenty states, and thousands of people turn out to test their nerdy knowledge each week at hundreds of watering holes. But the tournament's ultimate annual smackdown, the Geek Bowl, got some assistance from a few stars anyway.

Comedian Doug Stanhope, actress Katee Sackhoff, entertainer Andrew W.K., crossword puzzle king Will Shortz, sex columnist Dan Savage, ex-Trekkie Wil Wheaton, NPR personality Peter Sagal and Colorado's own celebrity chef, Hosea Rosenberg, all filmed trivia spots for round seven of Geek Bowl VII, which took place earlier this month at the Austin Music Hall in Texas.

Here's a clip.

The question that focused on Rosenberg, who won season five of Top Chef, was this: "Hosea's winning dish included what French/Cajun condiment that's often served with French fries?" The answer -- as if you didn't already know -- is rémoulade.

This was the first year that the Geek Bowl included celebrities, and Geeks Who Drink founder John Dicker liked the result. "It was a weird sort of hodgepodge," he says of the choices. Some of the stars appeared because they had connections to various quizmasters around the country, while others simply agreed when they were asked to participate. "Wil Wheaton and Andrew W.K. were just awesome," Dicker adds.

The Geek Bowl got its start in Denver, but moved to Austin this year because the dates didn't work at Dicker's chosen venue here, the Fillmore Auditorium. "This year, Austin made the most sense because it's warmer in the winter, and Austin is a destination city," he explains. "We also have a big presence in Texas, in Dallas/Fort Worth and in Houston. In fact, Texas is a bigger state for us now than Colorado."

In fact, Austin's mayor, Lee Leffingwell, welcomed the Geek Bowl with an awesome twang-in-cheek proclamation (see the video below).

But home is where the geeky heart is, and the Geek Bowl is likely to return to Denver in 2016, after one more year in Austin and a possible bout in Seattle.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes