Big fun, getting bigger
By Jim Walker
Whether you visit your local pub specifically because it’s trivia night, or take your deep conversations elsewhere on such evenings, most likely you know that pub trivia is big in the SCV. For the few not initiated, pub trivia usually takes over a bar or section of a bar one evening each week for a couple hours. During this time the trivia host sets up with microphone, viewscreen and other materials to conduct team trivia competitions for prizes. These competitions can utilize old-school paper answers or digital answers via smartphone, or a combination of both. Ryan Budds, of Trivia with Budds, which currently runs trivia on Wednesdays at Pocock Brewing Company, said, “We do it the old-fashioned way, with paper and pen, except for our Lightning Round, during which people use their cell phones. We do five rounds, each with a different theme, such as 1980s movies, or classic cars.
“We’ve been at Pocock for going on seven years! It’s my longest-running location in the LA area. I’m currently at about 25 venues in SoCal and NE Tennessee, where I now live. I always try and make sure the trivia rounds are current, leaning mostly into pop culture and trying to attract players in the 20 to 50 age range. My business is about nostalgia as much as it is about knowledge – and, being a 1985 baby, I grew up with a lot of the fondest of movies, TV shows, video games, comic books, and trends of the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, so I pride myself on celebrating those eras.”
Budds, a one-man entertainment conglomerate, who does just about everything (visit www.triviawithbudds.com), personally hosts pub trivia in Tennessee, but his local host at Pocock is now Fred Garibay. “Freddy was a player for years – my best replacement hosts are players – and he has a following of friends,” Budds said.
Garibay said, “Before I was a trivia host, I was actually an avid player. I had a group of friends who would join me for trivia night at Pocock. After the last host moved out of state, Geoff and Todd asked if I wanted to take over as host. I had seen Ryan and other hosts run a show, so I was familiar with how it worked. I was a little hesitant, but decided to give it shot. Honestly, it was a great decision. I love seeing my regular teams week after week and making new friends. The fact that they don’t get tired of my cheesy brand of entertainment is a welcome boost for my ego, too. Turning a hobby into a side hustle makes it seem like it’s not a job that I get paid for. It’s truly a labor of love.”
Todd Tisdell, who co-owns Pocock Brewing with Geoff Pocock, said, “We are probably one of the oldest (venues) continuously running trivia in Santa Clarita. It has grown in popularity. The fans come and play it and have a blast. Everyone is a friend of Freddy and a fan of Budds. It’s a great night, a tradition at Pocock and in Santa Clarita. Come early, though. It can be standing room only.”
King Trivia (https://kingtrivia.com/where-to-play) operates in hundreds of venues across the US, and in more than 60 in the greater L.A. area. It hosts trivia in the Santa Clarita Valley, at The Lucky Luke Brewing Company. Team quiz results are kept at the website for each participating pub, each week, as well as national rankings and local rankings, if appropriate.
Local Pubs with Trivia Nights
Confirm trivia nights before you go. They can be affected by various things, such as major sporting events on television.
Lucky Luke Brewing, Mondays at 7:00 p.m. – www.luckylukebrewing.com
Pocock Brewing Company, Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. – www.pocockbrewing.com
Schooners, Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. – www.schoonerssantaclarita.com