Christmas has its own rituals and routines, some religious, some secular. And nothing is more important on the secular side than the Christmas TV schedule. Going back into the mists of time, Perry Como’s Christmas TV Specials often majored in snowy scenes, laid back tunes and decorative sweaters. Anybody hoping to enliven December 25 with a family quiz, and acquire some suitable questions, should definitely look no further than these iconic shows.
Christmas number ones are a bit of a pop institution, adding sales at what is the peak record buying time of year. And although most people’s memory of big festive number one hits includes nostalgic numbers like Cliff Richard’s 1988 hit Mistletoe and Wine (which spent four weeks in the charts thanks to downloads) and Slade’s slice of festive rock, Merry Xmas Everybody (1973), there have been classier offerings. Anybody compiling a quiz on the subject might want to buy a Christmas number 1 question on which top band had no fewer than four Yuletide hits. The answer is The Beatles with I Want to Hold Your Hand in 1963, I Feel Fine in 1964, Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out in 1965 and Hello Goodbye in 1967.
Paul McCartney was also involved with the British 2012 Christmas no 1, a re-release of a version of the Hollies’ hit He ain’t Heavy (he’s my brother), produced to raise funds for the families of the 96 Liverpool football fans killed in 1989 in the Hillsborough stadium disaster.
Halloween, celebrated round the world on October 31, is the dark side of a Christian festival, held on the eve of All Saint’s Day when the dead were traditionally honoured. According to scholars, it’s probably based on a pagan festival like Samhain and it’s ended up almost as commercial as Christmas. The name itself is a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, and that would make a decent question for a Halloween quiz.
Of course, nowadays Halloween means trick and treat gangs roaming suburbia (the sensible among us stock up on chocolate and sweets to avoid retribution from small ghouls and ghosties). You might think this a recent invention, growing alongside the boom in consumer culture, but in fact, historians reckon this American tradition has been going for over a century. That’s a nice piece of Halloween trivia suitable for a scary quiz. But you’d need some grislier material – and that’s where the movies come in.
In terms of influence on popular culture, this festival is massive. The eponymous 1978 movie, called simply Halloween, starred the daughter of one of Marilyn Monroe’s co-stars in Some Like it Hot. Who was she? Jamie Lee Curtis who played the bookish, innocent heroine Laura Strode in this, the first of a series of so called slasher movies. Perhaps even more significant was the identity of Curtis’ mother, Janet Leigh. In which Alfred Hitchcock film did she die in a manner that would forever make the shower a place of fear? Yes, Psycho. This film series is simply stuffed with Halloween-style trivia. Michael Myers, the stalker, apparently stabbed his sister to death when he was six and escapes when grown up to wreak cinematic havoc. But which big Hollywood star made his debut in the sixth installment, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers? It was Paul Rudd. The sinister goings on at the end of October have also cast their shadow over fiction. Which sci-fi writer penned the fantasy The Halloween Tree (1972) in which eight young trick or treaters discover a friend is at risk, cross time and space to save him, thereby learning the history of Halloween? Ray Bradbury, a nice answer to a nice Halloween quiz question.
Continuing on the Halloween trivia trail, which were the two most popular costumes chosen by adults on the West coast last year, according to the Los Angeles Times? Think warts, black pointy hats for number one and in the second spot, blood suckers. Yep, we all want to act out our inner witches and vampires.
The Question Co have an extensive library of Halloween Quiz Questions. Please get in touch to buy Halloween Trivia Questions.
FILM TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
The top quiz topics have to be sport, music and film. It’s a question of popularity. The big screen provides more than its fair share of trivia and serious film quiz questions, which is not surprising when you consider that the celluloid genre has been entertaining us since the Lumiere brothers first filmed workers leaving their factory in Lyons in 1895. Early blockbusters (the term came from the name for the 4,000 pound bombs used by the RAF in World War II) included Ben Hur, with its famous chariot race, Gone with The Wind and Quo Vadis, but a good film quiz question would be Which was the first New Hollywood blockbuster? And to the nearest million, how much did it gross? The answer is Stephen Spielberg’s original finny epic, Jaws (1975) which made an eye-watering $100,000,000. It also set the trend for summer release in the States, with directors aiming to launch their big films by July 4.
Some of the most commercially successful movies of all time are, like Jaws, disaster movies, feeding our schadenfreude. Anybody wanting to buy film quiz questions would have to acquire a section on the genre. If you had to answer a question on the most successful examples, you’d probably pick Titanic or Independence Day. In fact, Titanic (1997), directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo di Caprio and up and coming Kate Winslet, was the bigger commercial hit, taking over 600 million dollars at box office. Titanic trivia questions could include which scene, potentially the most embarrassing, was the first Rose and Jack filmed together? It’s the notorious nude art scene. And which cameo role did the director play? One of the men praying as the ship starts sinking.
The stars themselves form a happy hunting ground for anybody looking for teasers for a film quiz. There’s the cv approach, as in which massive 2001 hit starred Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers, who are heard but never seen? Shrek, naturally. Then there’s the left field, hobbies-of-the-stars approach. Zachary Quinto, for example, who has played Mr Spock since the 2009 movie that relaunched Star Trek, is musical and plays an instrument. Guitar? No, the banjo. And which star who has just been defying Gravity with Sandra Bullock had an aunt Rosemary who was a popular US singer. George Clooney. Another decent film quiz question about gorgeous George would be: in which European country does he have a lakeside holiday villa? Italy. But there was one star, who played magnificent heroines from Camille to Anna Karenina, who would never have wanted to feature in a film quiz, no matter how intriguing, as her most famous quote was “I want to be alone”. She was of course Greta Garbo.
Contact The Question Co to buy film quiz trivia. We have a huge selection of film trivia content.
Perfect music trivia questions are a kind of quizmaster’s holy grail as nearly everybody considers themselves a pop expert. But the best music questions you can buy balance basic knowledge with a bit of a surprise. Most people know which US bestselling blue collar singer is known as the Boss – Bruce Springsteen – but how many are aware it was coined by his employees in the early days? Springsteen told a radio station recently that “it wasn’t meant like Boss with a ca
We get a lot of enquiries from customers looking for trivia questions on religion which isn’t surprising as even today in the secular West, religious traditions remain important. This week the world celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s great “I have a dream” speech which outlined his vision of a rainbow nation where his four children “would be judged not by the color of their skin but the content of their character”. If you wanted a good question for a religious quiz, you could ask in which church was Dr Luther King a pastor? The answer is the American Baptist Church whose members were at the forefront of the civil rights movement.
British history provides a good hunting ground for anybody in the market for religious trivia questions, with Henry VIII’s divorce from Rome and Catherine of Aragon a particularly rich seam. So anybody putting together a decent quiz on religious matters could include one or two posers on this turbulent period. For example, which religious institutions that housed holy men were destroyed by Henry after he turned his back on the Catholic Church? The monasteries. And approximately how many were dissolved? At least 625.
More recently, a ‘new Labour’ English Prime Minister followed Henry’s religious switch, but in the other direction. Anyone hoping to buy religion questions for their online or pub quiz should consider asking his name. The answer’s Tony Blair, who switched from Church of England to Catholic in 2007, joining wife Cherie in her place of worship. But which of his controversial sisters in law converted to to Shia Islam after visiting a shrine to Fatima in 2010? It was Lauren Booth.
Religious titles are important and produce teasing religious quiz questions. Who is known respectfully as the “father of the Jews”? Abraham. And which British prince, not yet in charge, wants to alter his future Church of England job title “defender of the faith” to “defender of the faiths” with a nod to multi-culturalism? Why, Prince Charles.
Anybody buying religious quiz questions wants to include a few religious trivia queries. A good example would be which religion, that’s also been described as a cult, unites film stars Tom Cruise, John Travolta and the best barmaid in Cheers, Kirstie Alley. It’s Scientology and they’re all members. And for a final religious quiz teaser, which science fiction author dreamed up Scientology using self-help techniques and created his first church in New Jersey in 1953? It was L Ron Hubbard and the L stands for Lafayette.
The Question Co has a large database of religious quiz questions that is available to customers. If you have any religious trivia question requirements then get in touch.