Best Non-Regis Philbin Trivia Game

"Trivia Night" at the Bitter End Bar & Grill

It gets zany on Tuesday nights at this English-Irish sports pub on Clement Street, tucked between dim sum restaurants and vegetable markets in San Francisco's new Chinatown. A brash, middle-aged barmaid with a biting cockney accent and a doddering old man in a sailor's hat whom everyone knows as Capt. Liam host the weekly trivia showdown. It begins at 9 p.m., but all the tables are filled long before as a young crowd of know-it-alls vie for Capt. Liam's cash giveaways and T-shirt prizes. There are drink specials, plus inexpensive, down-home pub fare like fish and chips and shepherd's pie. Regulars fill their stomachs to better fuel their brains for the rounds of trivia to come: current events, geography, history, sports, music, and pictures. In the music round, clips of songs are played, and contestants must name the title, songwriter, and artist. In the picture round, players must identify cut-up pictures of celebrities: Is that the chin of Russell Crowe? Patrons organize into teams, and the one with the best group name gets a special nod from Capt. Liam, who arbitrarily picks the winner based on his own devilish sense of humor. A list of some of the most creative -- usually macabre -- group names over the years hangs on a wall of fame near the bar. The team names must parody a news event of the week. Some favorites: "Wake Me Up Before You Blow, Blow" (a reference to singer George Michael's arrest in a public restroom), "Kentucky Fried Children" (the Kentucky school shootings), and "Take-Out Chinese" (the Chinese embassy bombing in Belgrade). No one said trivia night had to be politically correct, or even tasteful.

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