Best Bar Game Minneapolis 2014 - The Match Game at the 331 Club
Ian Rans is the Twin Cities' own Mr. Showbiz, at least in the sense that his famed public access show Drinking With Ian and his gig hosting the now-dormant $50 Pyramid gave him the opportunity to play an irreverent, wiseass modernization of TV figures from years gone by. His DIY update of that goofball '70s-celeb fill-in-the-blank panel game show The Match Game is a natural fit for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that hosting it at a bar and encouraging participant tipsiness isn't too far off from the "cocktail party game show" vibe the likes of Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers gave off in the original. The format is tweaked a bit here: Local celebrities like Robyne Robinson or Gus Lynch act as the contestants, while the audience is actually the panel. But the risque jokes and double entendres fly just as freely as they did back in '74. Funnier than trivia, less rote than Bingo, and helmed by the best Gene Rayburn that Minneapolis can offer — the Match Game is the most fun you can have without taking your ________ off.