Monday, January 26, 2009

The Question Man




One of my favorite comedians was Steve Allen. Extremely quick-witted, with a wonderful sense of the absurd, he was the first host of “The Tonight Show”, and had his own starring vehicles on the networks and in syndication.

One of the bits he performed on a regular basis was called “The Question Man”. Patterned after the type of show wherein an expert on a subject would be given questions to answer, Allen reversed the formula to great comic effect. Instead of being given a question and supplying the answer, Allen would be given an answer and then supply the question. For instance, this:

A: Windowpane.

Q: What do you get if someone hits you over the head with a window?


Some of you will recognize that the routine was later re-worked by Johnny Carson. As Carnac The Magnificent, he would come on stage dressed as a mystic seer. Ed McMahon would hand Carnac a sealed envelope containing a question. Carnac would hold the envelope to his forehead, divine the answer to the question inside, and then announce it to the audience.

"Popcorn."

Carnac would then rip the envelope open with a flourish and read the question inside.

"What are you likely to become if you’re corn and you forget to wear a condom while having sex?"

(To be clear, I made up the foregoing examples. I think they’re pretty good, but I don’t want the estates of Carson and Allen suing me for defamation if they don’t think so.)

What is this leading up to? Simple. I’d like to give myself a writing challenge, and I want you to help me. Tomorrow, I’ll be The Question Man (or, if you wish, Suldog The Magnificent) and I’ll provide you with questions to fit your answers. Your job is to give me some answers.

In the comments section, please leave me one answer each. I will be back tomorrow with the best questions I can come up with to match your answers. All answers given by 5pm Eastern in the United States will receive a question. I ask only that you limit your answers to the English language and no more than three or four words. For instance...

A: A Shoe

Q: To what article of clothing might you say "Gesundheit!"

or

A: A Pair Of Shoes

Q: What do you call a person who babysits shoes?

But not...

A: Soon, with more better stuff.

Q: Considering every question is likely to be a very bad pun, what is just about the stupidest promise I could make?


32 comments:

Karl said...

Good Morning Suldog,

I enjoyed your answers for Laney's questions.

Ok, my answer: 42 squared

Betty said...

I came over from It Matters to Me and I'm glad I did! I read your profile and, trust me, you are the ONLY other person I've ever heard to have read The Rape of the A*P*E! I loved that book; no one seems to know about it (yeah, okay, so I'm OLD and it's probably long out of print). Allen was a master...I still miss him!

My answer: Calfrope

Angie Ledbetter said...

A. Andouille

Got 2 Trot Librarian said...

A: mozzarella

lime said...

A: girdle

Sharfa said...

A: double d-cups

Moannie said...

Hallo Suldog.

A.Relativity

T said...

A. Hipocrite

Hey Suldog, you make me smile:)

Buck said...

A. Obama

(Someone was gonna do it, might as well be me)

Carolina said...

Hi Suldog,

A. My pink tutu!

PG said...

choose any/all/none of these...

ARod
Joe Torre
Arizona Cardinals
The City of Boston
Annoyingly Boring

good luck

Anali said...

What a cool idea! Okay, my answer is: flower bed.

Am I going to regret this? : )

Jazz said...

A: Wattle

connie/mom said...

I opened up the dictionary and picked the first word my eyes settled on.

my answer: fogey

Looking forward with great relish (or mayonnaise, if you prefer) to your answers.

Nana Net said...

Ok, here ya go.

A: Race City USA

Uncle Jim said...

A. Bookcase

Uncle Jim said...

I changed my mind. Your rules do not outline any reason I cannot. So replace that lame, "Bookcase" with this.


A. Crematorium

Hilary said...

What a great idea. But you're already Suldog the Magnificent to me.

A: Dry, red wine

tshsmom said...

Artsy-fartsy

Karen said...

A. Speed limit

EddieTheFalcon said...

OK. Heres one.

TEAPOT.

Janet said...

AUGHGHGHGH _ it's 4:59! WAit, wait!

Janet said...

I don't do well under pressure -

FELINE

Chris Stone said...

aw. missed it.

double decker is a nice answer. *in case you have a spare question.*

AliP said...

DAMMIT! Too late.

friday18 said...

You're always Suldog the Magnificent!

I've been gone much too long, and it's past your deadline anyway, but I'll post my answer nonetheless, and appeal to your sense of indulgence.

A: Van de Graaff generator

Melinda said...

booo on never getting home before 6 o'clock every day!! I'm always so late reading people's blogs lately!


Just in case you have time for another one:

A: one big kerfuffle

Christina LMT said...

I know it's too late, but I just got home...

A: Mango chutney

Shrinky said...

Ha, only you! This sounds fun..

Belly-fluff.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I'm too late but I would say

FISH

but then l know the question.....!!

I remember Steve Allen, though until you mentioned him l'd forgotten...thats sad..

I loved George Carlin..he made me roar!!!

Jenn said...

Bummed I missed getting in on this with my migraine but definitely feeling better today & laughing at the following posting will do wonders for feeling even better!

Anonymous said...

I've been on a quest for a video clip, or at least a picture, of Steveirino presenting a gift of a salami to a guest on his show. Help! Thank you for the Question Man! When the pic came up I burst out laughing.