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Series / Street Smarts

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Game Show hosted by comedian Frank Nicotero which ran in syndication from 2000-05. In this show, contestants try to predict whether ordinary people on the street get certain trivia questions right or wrong. The game consisted of four prediction rounds.

Round 1: Who Knew It? (called Who Knew? in the pilot)

Three questions were asked to all three of the "Street Savants", and for each question, one (sometimes two) of the savants got the question right. Correctly predicting which one got it right awarded $100.

Round 2: Who Blew It? (called Pick the Idiot! in the pilot)

Similar to the first round, three questions were asked, except this time each question was only asked to two of the "savants" at a time (one of whom answered correctly) and the contestants have to pick who got it wrong. A correct prediction awarded $200, and this round introduced the "Dunce Cap" (see below).

Round 3: Pick Your Pony (seasons 1-3)/Brain (4/5)

Both players (starting with the one in the lead, or in the case of a tie, determined by a coin toss backstage) pick a different Savant and have to predict whether they got each of three questions right or wrong. A correct prediction awarded $300, and the Dunce Cap can be used regardless of whether it was used in Round 2 or not.

Final Round: The Wager Of Death

Both players secretly choose a Savant, predict whether they would be right or wrong on one final question, and then make a wager not to exceed their current total. Unlike Pick Your Pony/Brain, both contestants can pick the same savant in this round. A correct prediction adds the wager to their score while a wrong prediction deducts it. After this round, the player with more money keeps it (even if it's $1) while the losing player gets nothing.

This show provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Frank's interviewees would occasionally be invited as contestants; weeklong eps with such contestants were called Revenge Weeks.
  • Celebrity Edition: There were many eps with celebritiy contestants playing for charity during the show's run, with some such eps attached to theme weeks.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: It's basically "Jaywalking" as a Game Show.
  • Downer Ending: If both players end the game with $0, they both get nothing. It happens surprisingly often. Averted on shows featuring celebrities as contestants, as both would win $1000 each for their charities they played for.
  • Dunce Cap: See the Lifeline below.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first season of Street Smarts, contestants sat in chairs in the studio and gave answers to questions using a mechanical trilon (For Who Knew It?/Who Blew It?), a paddle with "Right/Wrong" on either side (for Pick Your Pony/Brain!), and wrote down their predictions and wager for The Wager Of Death. Starting in the second season, the contestants stood behind podiums and locked in answers and their final round wagers by pushing buttons in front of them.
    • In the unaired pilot, the contestants used the same flap displays in the Wager of Death thoroughout the game. In addition, the TV's used to display the scores were CRT models, and the first two rounds had different names, which can be seen above.
  • Flawless Victory: The highest possible score is $4,600, which aside from the obvious (making every prediction correct in every round and going All or Nothing on the Wager of Death) required winning both Dunce Cap questions.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: The two contestants would usually be one female playing against one male.
  • Golden Snitch: Much like Jeopardy!, the player in second place could win if the leader wagered enough on a bad prediction. Of course, this usually would only happen if the leader had no more than twice the second player's total.
  • Grand Finale: The final season had the winner be given the option of keeping the winnings or forfeiting them to return for The $100,000 Tournament. The last episode was the last two players competing for that grand prize.
  • Lifelines: Used in Rounds 2 and 3. Upon hearing a question they think the opponent is unable to answer, a contestant may buzz in and place a dunce cap on their opponent's head and force them to answer the question; hopefully, the player who was "dunced" (as it was sometimes called in-show) got it wrong, thus giving the player who buzzed in the bonus cash. However, if the person who got "dunced" got it right, they got the cash and the right to put the dunce cap on the "duncer's" head.
  • Selective Stupidity: The game show bases itself around this trope. Contestants are shown clips of people on the street being quizzed and must predict whether they'll be able to come up with the (usually pretty obvious) correct answers.
  • Tiebreaker Round: If there was a non-$0 tie, the players played a single question under modified "Dunce Cap" rules: when a player buzzed in, they could elect to play (but must answer based only on what they heard to that point) or pass to the other player (but let them hear the entire question before answering). Get it right and you win, get it wrong and you're out. Averted in Celebrity Episodes, where if there's a tie, both celebrities win the money for their charities.
  • Vox Pops: The entire premise is built on determining the outcome of these.