Being selected to host Last Call’s biggest day of the year is a BIG deal. I had a chance to get to know John a little better myself this week…
Me: Why Last Call?
John: Last Call? More like “Blast Call,” because every time I get to host, I have a blast (and hopefully my teams do, too)! I love hosting for Last Call because it lets me be equal parts disc jockey, trivia guru, and stand-up comedian. And I even get paid! Although, it’s so much fun, I would probably do it for free!* I’ve wanted to be a game show host all my life (even while I was busy being an itinerant actor, a fundraiser, an improviser, a freelance writer, and a picker at an Amazon.com warehouse), so this role suits me quite well! I’m looking forward to bringing humor and verve to Ludimentis this year!
*I will not actually do it for free.
Me: What’s your favorite Last Call show to host? Feud? Tunes? Trivia?
John: Although Feud is a fun, fast-paced (and apparently alliterative) format, I’m a Trivia junkie, so that’s my favorite. It’s particularly spectacular when you host and therefore know all the answers!
Me: What question types/categories do you love/always get right?
John: Geography and theatre are my best subjects, with things like history and literature close behind. On the flip side, any subject where I need to remember some celebrity’s name (sports, TV, or movies, usually) is going to be a bust for me.
Me: What’s the best *wrong* answer a team has given you? (Or even just a few funny ones, if you remember.)
John: To the question last week, “Named after the individual who discovered it in 1732, what auxiliary olfactory organ, scientifically known as the vomeronasal organ, is found in many animals?” I appreciated the answer, “Donald Trunk.”
Also, one time there was the question about which Jack in a playing card deck is the only one to face a different direction than his queen. We had about 10 teams playing, each with a one-in-four chance to get it right, and NOBODY guessed the correct answer, which was Clubs.
Me: What are some of your favorite/funniest/filthiest team names?
John: Team I’m Bangin’ The Host was one that was particularly funny, since they were in the lead almost the entire game…and were all dudes. Every time I said their name, I had to add, “That’s not why they’re in the lead…and please don’t tell my wife.”
Team Shaving Ryan’s Privates was also fun on many levels. Not like that. Please don’t tell my wife.
Me: Do you try to tailor your setlist to the questions?
John: Always. I think it makes the game more fun. You’ll see a lot of that this weekend. It’s especially fun when I can’t think of an obvious match and have to start thinking laterally. Of course, then I sometimes forget why I picked the song in the first place.
Me: Do you have favorite songs to include or theme music that you start with every week?
John: I always start with a short piece of free music called “Six Seconds to Die” by Alex Ian Mac. Electric guitar, very energetic.
Me: What are some ways a team can get on your bad side? Also, what do successful teams do well?
John: I don’t really have a “bad side,” so to speak. I’ve wanted to be a game show host all my life: how can I be cranky while I’m living my lifelong dream? That said, trying to have a conversation with me while I’m plugging in answers is not gonna be productive for either one of us.
Me: Don’t you hate it when a team folds their answer sheets into something the size of an aspirin with a thousand folds in it, and it takes half a song to unfold it so you can see what their answer is?
John: That…has never happened to me. But it probably will, now that you’ve given them the idea. Thanks. Thanks for that.
Me: Any favorite/funny stories from hosting? Mispronouncing a key word in a question? Slamming down hecklers?
John: Well, you know that sometimes Last Call sends out anonymous “Secret Shoppers” to check on hosts to see how they’re doing? They sent one to check on me…at my very first hosting gig ever. I’m glad it was anonymous or I would have been even more nervous than I already was!
One thing I like doing is to read a question (the second time through) with an accent that fits the question. For example, reading a question about Tolstoy with a Russian accent. I once even got applause! See? My theatre degree wasn’t totally useless after all!
Me: And, as is tradition…what is your all-time favorite trivia question?
I like trivia questions that make you think about things you feel like you should have known all along. The one last week about Levi Strauss’s 1873 addition to denim pants (answer: copper rivets) was a good example: I never knew that was what made jeans, well, jeans!
If we count non-Last Call trivia questions, “What are the 8 vegetables in V-8?” will always be my favorite. And yes, I can name them all.
JOHN “THE RINGMASTER” BROMELS IS YOUR LUDIMENTIS 2016 HOST!
You can find John weekly at the following venues: Tuesdays at Kitty’s (double header of Trivia and Feud) and Wednesdays at Rock Bar at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati.
Your scorers for LUDI16:
Billy Fulton (Louisville) – Thursdays at Highlands Tap Room
Marge Magill (Louisville) – Wednesdays at Buffalo Wild Wings Highlands and Thursdays at Brownie’s Hurstbourne
Savita Kharbas (Cincinnati) – Sundays at Fries Cafe (starting 5/1), Tuesdays at Bras Tap, and Wednesdays at Blind Pig
Louie Torres (Cincinnati) – Tuesdays at Lachey’s, Thursdays at Clifton Heights Tavern, and Saturdays at Murphy’s Pub