What was the name of the butler in “The Addams Family”?
What about the state labeled on a bottle of Tabasco sauce?
Or how about the team that drafted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?
These are some questions you’ll find across South Jersey bars and restaurants throughout the week, as friends and family make time for a bar trivia game called Quizzo.
Quizzo, which started in the ’90s in Philadelphia, combines general knowledge, sports, history, geography and entertainment all into one. The game traditionally lasts for several rounds, with multiple questions in each round.
On a Tuesday night at Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House in Atlantic City, Quizzo night means regulars are starting to surround the bar and dining room as pencils and paper are passed out.
Drew Weilgus, director of Quizzo Live Team Trivia, is the DJ for the night at Vagabond and hosts multiple nights in the area. He sees familiar faces flock to certain South Jersey bars each week.
“It becomes very much like a bowling league,” said Weilgus, of Northfield.
Small talk is unnecessary once the game starts, which Weilgus said has helped with the game’s success.
“This is something where we give you the topics of conversation for two hours. You don’t have to worry about the politics of your work place or this or that. You’re fighting with friends over what kind of car Knight Rider drove,” he said.
A raucous crowd simmers down when Weilgus begins and teams listen up. One of those teams is headed by Margate’s Matt Rogers. He and his friends come every week for the event and said they probably wouldn’t head to a bar on a Tuesday night if it wasn’t for trivia.
“It’s a good night in the middle of the week to come out with friends and coworkers and guys who’ve retired to all keep in touch. It’s an excuse to get out of the house during the winter time,” said Rogers, 33.
Vagabond manager Kevin Wiener said competing bars often will hold Quizzo on separate nights.
“You go online in the area to see who’s doing it and when they’re doing it. If someone is doing it down the road, then you don’t want to do it then. And you kind of notice it kind of spreads out from bar-to-bar around here,” Weiner said.
At the Dubliner Irish Pub and Grill in Galloway Township, a night of Quizzo is a send off for one particular family.
Craig Mendillo, his parents and siblings are sitting a few tables away from the Quizzo host, mulling over their answer involving the large diamond known as the Great Star of Africa while sneaking in bites of fries between questions.
Mendillo would be leaving in a few days for military service and wants to spend one of his final nights doing what the family loves. At least a couple of the family members try to make it to a Quizzo night each week, sometimes at the Dubliner, sometimes at another bar.
“We come here to play pretty frequently as well as other places,” said Mendillo, 22, of Galloway.
The family had come close in previous tries and wanted to bring home a win before Mendillo left.
Across the room, you can hear T.J. Jannsch yelling after hearing his correct answer. He and his wife, Heidi, are out with some friends for the night. They traveled down from New Gretna and this is the third time they’ve played Quizzo They plan to keep coming.
“We get to get away from the kids, have a few drinks, and it’s just a good time,” Heidi Jannsch said.
“I just act like I know everything,” T.J. Jannsch chimes in before yelling “got it!” with his fist in the air.
Peter Dolcy is deejaying for the night. It’s a lot like his day job as a school teacher.
“In all honesty, classroom management plays a lot into being a host for the show. Keeping them active, having fun and not having people realize that what else is Quizzo but a test,” he said.
The night is wrapping up and final scores are announced. The Jannsches don’t qualify for the top three but Mendillo and his family win second place — a $15 gift card to the Dubliner.
That small cash prize isn’t nearly as nice as a night out with the family.
“Three of us may go out every week, but all of us (playing together) only gets to happen a couple times a year, because we can’t all get out the same place at same time very often,” he said.
Oh yeah, the answers? Lurch, Louisiana and the Milwaukee Bucks.