Talk-show host, MC, and barroom ringmaster Ian Rans is putting a new spin on the ubiquitous bar trivia with his riff on the classic game show The $10,000 Pyramid. The original series, which aired for a decade and a half, pitted two contestants against one another in a challenge to guess words and category names based on clues provided by a celebrity partner. (Think of the game Taboo but with B-list TV stars.) Rans's version of the show, which gives two rounds of two contestants a chance to win a $50 bar tab, has been a hit with players and the spectators alike, he says. Participants are chosen from the audience (to sign up early, send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org) to team up with Twin Cities celebrities—local notables appearing thus far have included former Von Bondies rocker and current Pink Mink bandleader Christy Hunt, burlesque dancer Ophelia Flame, comedians Patrick Bauer and Chris Maddock of the Minneapolis Comedy Death Squad, and piano madman Mark Mallman. "It's a dark, more sardonic version of The $10,000 Pyramid," Rans says. "[Recently] I think the best round was 'Things You Don't Want to Find in Porn.'" What would Dick Clark say?
Mondays, 9 p.m., 2011