Beat The Geeks was a Game Show that ran for two seasons on Comedy Central from 2001 to 2002. It was a basic "Test Your Knowledge" game with a twist: The contestants would be competing against "The Geeks," a group of people who specialize in pop culture trivia fields: A Movie Geek, a Music Geek, a TV Geek, and a Special Guest Geek who would be an expert in a various field.
Round 1: The Toss-Up Round
In Season One, in the first round, four five point toss up questions would be asked. The first contestant to buzz in and answer correctly got the points. The Geeks do not participate in this round beyond adding commentary or giving the answers if the contestants can not. There is one question for each of the Geeks categories. After all four five point questions are asked, four more questions, worth ten point apieces, are asked, again, one for each Geek category. After these questions are asked, the player with the lowest score is eliminated. In the case of a tie for the lowest score, a numerical question is asked, and the tie is determined by which player gets the closest without going over.
In Season Two, the format changed. There were four pairs of questions, one for each Geek. The first question, worth ten points, was a toss-up question for all the contestants. Whoever buzzed in and got it right would then go head to head with the respective Geek for a chance to win ten more points (but they could lose five if they got the second question wrong, or the geek buzzed in first and got it right.)
Round 2: Challenging The Geeks
The two remaining contestants would then start competing against the Geeks themselves in this round. Each player had one opportunity to challenge a Geek to try and take his/her medal. In the first half, the player in the lead would challenge first, and winning the challenge was worth 20 points. (There was also a ten-point bonus for the Special Guest Geek.) To level the playing field, the contestants received relatively easy questions, while the Geeks received "impossibly difficult" ones. If the contestant got an answer wrong, his opponent could "steal" it for 10 points. For every question a contestant correctly answered, the Geek would have to defend his/her medal by answering a harder, "Geek level" question. If the Geek got it wrong, s/he would surrender his/her medal, and the contestant could wear it for the rest of the game.
If the Geek manages to successfully defend his medal twice, the challenge would be decided with a "Fifteen Second Geek-Off." The host would name a category, and the contestant would have to name as many items in that category as s/he could think of in 15 seconds. The Geek would then have to do the same thing with a harder category. If the Geek couldn't come up with more answers (ties favor the contestant), the Geek would lose the challenge. If the Geek beat the Contestant in the Geek-Off, he would retain his medal and the contestant would get nothing.
In Season 2, the Geek must correctly answer a question the contestant misses to win the challenge, and vice versa. There were no "steals". If both the Geek and the contestant miss the same question, or four questions are answered correctly, it goes to the Geek-Off. The bonus for defeating the Guest Geek is 20 points instead of 10.
The second half is played the same way as the first, except for Double the Points, and the trailing player goes first. The Guest Geek bonus is not affected.
Round 3: The Geek-Qualizer
After the Challenge Round, the game is decided by the Geek-Qualizer. The trailing player goes first, and the host names a series of titles, people, places, and things, to which the contestant must respond if each one is best associated with movies, TV, or music. A correct answer is worth ten points. Answering incorrectly or not answering for more than two seconds ends the Geek-Qualizer for that contestant. After the Geek-Qualizer, the player with the lower score is eliminated (ties are handled the same way they are in Round 1), with the remaining player going on to...
Bonus Round: The Geek-To-Geek Showdown
In the final round, the winning contestant can choose any of the four Geeks to challenge in the Geek-to-Geek Showdown. The contestant and the Geek take turns answering questions in the Geek's field, with the contestant going first. The contestant can choose to play a 1 (easy), 2 (harder), or 3 (hardest) point question, and the Geek may not choose a question of lower value than the contestant. The winner is the first to 7 points; if the contestant wins, he/she receives a $5,000 prize package and gets to wear a giant light-up medal as all four Geeks bow down to him/her.
Game Show Tropes In Use:
- All or Nothing: Win the Geek-To-Geek Showdown and you get a prize package worth over $5000. Lose and get nothing.
- Big Win Sirens: Subverted; the stock sirens heard on several 1980's NBC game shows were sounded if the Geek beat you in the Geek-to-Geek Showdown.
- Bonus Round: The Geek-To-Geek Showdown
- Consolation Prize & Elimination Catchphrase: "We have some lovely parting gifts for you, but please exit the Geek Arena now."
- Golden Snitch: The Geek-Qualizer, which is potentially worth as many points as a single player can earn in the first two rounds (150 in Season 1, 160 in Season 2). Downplayed in that the questions are only worth 10 points each, and getting an answer wrong or not answering immediately terminated the round.
- The Announcer & Lovely Assistant: Tiffany Bolton
- Game Show Host: J. Keith van Straaten in Season 1, Blaine Capatch in Season 2.
- The Geeks
- Marc Edward Heuck: The Movie Geek
- Andy Zax (Most of Seasons 1 & 2), Michael Jolly (Part of Season 1), Michael Farmer (Part of Season 2): The Music Geek.
- Paul Goebel: The TV Geek
- A long list of Special Guest Geeks (including but not limited to: The Simpsons Geek, the Michael Jackson Geek, the Star Trek Geek.)
- Studio Audience
- Speed Round: The Fifteen Second Geek-Off and the Geek-Qualizer play as one.
- Rules Spiel: The host always describes, in full, how each round in played.
Other Tropes In Use
- Berserk Button: If a question about the Eagles was asked to the Music Geek (Andy Zax), he would make a quick remark that he hates the Eagles, and then just surrender his medal.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: While all the Geeks wore the same outfit, their medals had different colored ribbons representing their category. The Movie Geek wore red, the Music Geek, blue, the TV Geek, green, and the Special Guest Geek, yellow. In season two, the geeks were given color-coded robes that matched the medals.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: One contest challenged the Movie Geek and reached the Geek-Off. His category was Movies that were made in color and the contestant listed horror movies franchises by only their numbers: Friday the 13th Part 1, 2, 3... Once he got buzzed for an incorrect answer, he would start again with another title: Halloween Part 1, 2, 3... He got a record 19 points. The Geeks category was Movies originally made in black and white and remade in color. He gave a few answers then pulled off his medal saying screw ***!
- Smooch of Victory If a male contestant defeated a geek in the second round she would usually place the medal around his neck and kiss his cheek.
- Tiffany did not kiss the contestant that won in the Easy-Mode Mockery Geek-Off described above.
- We Have Reserves: Subverted. The geeks are warned that if they give any indication that they are no longer the geek they were thought to be, they may be replaced. As it turns out, other than the rotation of Special Guest Geeks and a few episodes with a different Music geek, no geeks were replaced throughout the series.