Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Criticwatch - When 50/50 is better than "Ask the Expert"

Ben Lyons: Can I use a lifeline? I'd like to phone a friend.

Meredith Viera: Um, you are the lifeline.

The above dialogue is another one of my made up Ben Lyons parody scenarios and, of course, never happened. If it sounds familiar, you are probably thinking of the SNL skit with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Katie Couric.

But you may also be thinking of yesterday's episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, starring Katie Couric's Today show replacement (Meredith Viera) and featuring the Sarah Palin of film criticism (Ben Lyons).

After Monday's performance, in which the Bens could not come up with the correct answer, you would think they had nowhere to go but up. As always with overestimating Ben Lyons, you would be wrong.

Erick Childress from Criticwatch breaks it down:

Q: “What would be the title of the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise if the characters’ last names replaced their first names?”

A: Dickinson & Sawyer
B: Anderson & McBride
C: Slocumb & Lennox
D: Harlan & Biddle

This time it was just under seven seconds before one of them spoke up and the conversation went like this:

MANK: I feel like, uh, that, uh, the, uh, wha, what, what rings a very strong, uh, tone to me is Harlan. Um, and uh, uh, but uh, like I said it’s a strong feeling but it is not an overwhelming feeling.

LYONS: I know we can get rid of “A”. I feel confident in that. We can get that out of there.

MANK: It wasn’t Angie Dickinson and Diane Sawyer? No I suppose not. Um, uh, I, uh, man…(turns to Lyons) Uh, you have any, you’re not, uh…?

[Erik continues . . .]
So while we ponder the grade that probably eluded Lyons over the years and whether or not Mankiewicz has a relative somewhere over at AIG, there sits Anthony Dickey [the contestant] deciding to “trust them” and go with “D”. “It sounds familiar, and if not I’ve got no one to blame but me and them,” says Dickey pointing a finger at the Ben’s video monitor. Meredith’s face turns to that familiar “oh no” scrunch as the answer is revealed to be:


The photo at the top is the unfortunate contestant who took their bad advice (he chose D instead of A), disappointed but still laughing his ass off at a humiliated Ben Lyons.

Oh yeah, and Erik rips up At the Movies as well, click here to read the rest of his review.


Anonymous said...

Ben Lyons should be on Celebrity Millionaire. He should get all movie trivia questions and be given at least five rounds before being booted. This would settle the question of how much he knows about film once and for all. And we could laugh and laugh at him, if he really knows as much (as little, that is) as he has displayed there. Since we no longer have public flogging to humiliate, this would be the next best thing.

Anonymous said...

Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper would have known this. Either one or the other would have. If they even would have lowered themselves to an apperance like that.

Anonymous said...

Here's a blog post from Roeper about the new show:

Scott said...

Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I guess you know everything there is about movies, don't you Scott? If you were on that show I guess you'd get all the questions right. Yeah right, your're no better than Ben Lyons.