How to PlayTalk Show the Game Show

The Rules of the Game

The Rules of the Game

This is Talk Show the Game Show, where we have taken the unspoken rules of talk shows and made them official so we can find out once and for all who does it best. (It was probably Rip Taylor before the Great Confetti Drought of ’89, but we’ve got to give other people a chance.) 

Talk Show the Game Show is an entertainment parody show that combines these two formats in a fun and hilarious manner. Nevertheless, we do have specific TSGS rules that will apply at the discretion of the show’s producers. Here they are:


Official Rules

§ 1: Persons

       I. The Host
          a. The Host shall be a comedian of extraordinary wit, style, and taste.
          b. The Host’s responsibilities shall include:
                    i. The First Five Question
                   ii. Explaining the game
                  iii. Introducing the Judges
                  iv. Introducing the Guests
                   v. Conducting the Interviews
                  vi. Moderating the Lightning Round
                  vii. Timing all segments of the show
          c. The Host shall be empowered to:
                    i. Award points based on §3 of these rules
                   ii. Award discretionary points of +/- 5 to any guest during the interview portion
                  iii. Impose sanctions based on §4 of these rules
                  iv. Call for a Score Check at any point in time
                   v. Determine the length of Evaluations
          d. THE EMERGENCY HOST RULE: Should the Host be removed from his duties by incapacity, absence, or sanction, the Lead Judge shall appoint a replacement to act as Emergency Host.
                    i. As soon as the Host is capable of returning to his or her duties, the Emergency Host should surrender his or her position.
       II. The Judging Panel
          a. The Judging Panel shall be composed of one (1) Judge and one (1) Lead Judge.
          b. The Judging Panel’s responsibilities shall include:
                    i. Adjudicating all disputes over rules and scoring
                   ii. Being awesome
          c. The Judging Panel shall be empowered to:
                   i. Interpret these rules
                  ii. Be the final arbiter in all maters relating to these rules
                 iii. Talk mad shit
       III. The Judges and Lead Judge
          a. The Judges shall be comedians of biting wit and aggression
                    i. The Judge’s responsibilities shall include:
                             1. Evaluating each Guests after the Interview
                             2. Noting any points scored based on §3 of these rules that were not awarded by the Lead Judge
                    ii. The Judge shall be empowered to:
                             1. Award a score of 0-10 points to each Guest after their Evaluation.
          b. The Lead Judge shall be a comedian of biting wit and aggression who has an exhaustive knowledge of these rules.
                    i. The Lead Judge’s responsibilities shall include:
                             1. All responsibilities of the other judge
                             2. Enforcing these rules
                             3. Evaluating Bonus Games
                             4. Consulting the Judging Panel on material questions of rule interpretation
                   ii. The Lead Judge shall be empowered to
                             1. Award points based on §3 of these rules
                             2. Award a score of 0-10 points to each Guest after their Evaluation.
                             3. Award points for Bonus Games
                             4. Impose sanctions based on §4 of these rules
       IV. The Guests
          a. The Guests shall be three (3) notable personalities
                    i. The Guests shall be selected by the Host to delight and amuse the Audience.
                   ii. The Guests shall engage in the Interview with the Host
                   iii. The Guests shall be amusing for the Audience
                   iv. The Guests shall score points in accordance with §3 of these rules
                    v. The Guests shall participate in a Bonus Game that pays cheeky homage to their identity or biography.
                   vi. The Guests may refer questions of scoring or rules to the Judging Panel
          b. THE EMERGENCY GUEST RULE: The Emergency Guest shall be the most famous and/or interesting person available at the venue not otherwise serving in a game capacity other than Audience.
                    i. Should a Guest be removed from play by incapacity, absence or sanction, the Host may replace him or her with the Emergency Guest.
                             1. The Emergency Guest will continue on with all points previously awarded to the removed guest.
                             2. The Emergency Guest may score points on behalf of a temporarily incapacitated Guest, at the discretion of the Lead Judge.
       V. The Audience
          a. The Audience shall be composed of a great number of cool people.
          b. The Audience shall express their approval and disapproval of the Host, Judging Panel and Guests by laughing, clapping, booing and being silent.
          c. For purposes of scoring and sanctions, Audience members are both individually and collectively participants.

§ 2: Show

       I. Order of the show
          a. The order of the show shall be as follows:
                    i. First Five Question
                   ii. Introduction of Host
                  iii. Explanation of the Game
                  iv. Introduction of Judges
v. Three Interviews
                             1. Each Interview shall be composed of three parts:
                                     a. Introduction of Guest
                                               b. Interview of Guest
                                               c. Evaluation of Guest
                                               d. Bonus Game
                  vi. Lightning Round
                 vii. Final Score Check
                viii. Award of Prizes
       II. The following show elements may be included any number of times at the discretion of the Host
          a. Score Check
       III. First Five Questions
          a. The game shall begin with a objective trivia question based on a factor shared by the guests.
          b. Before the question is asked, each guest must announce his or her name, place of origin, and readiness to play Talk Show: The Game Show.
          c. The Host shall ask the trivia question.
          d. The first Guest to correctly answer the question will receive five points.
          e. In the event that the question is not answered correctly, the Host shall rebuke the Guests soundly.
          f. The First Five question will conclude with the Host announcing “It’s time to play Talk Show: The Game Show.”
       IV. Explanation of the Game
          a. The Host shall explain the basic format and rules of the game to the Audience
       V. Introduction of the Judges
          a. The Host shall introduce each member of the Judging Panel individually and briefly banter with them.
       VI. First Interview
          a. Introduction of Guest
                    i. The Host will introduce the First Guest, who will enter the stage and take the first seat
                   ii. The Host may, at his or her discretion, shake the hand of or hug the Guest
          b. Interview of Guest
                    i. The First Interview shall be three (3) minutes in length
                   ii. The Host shall ask the First Guest a series of interview questions, to which the First Guest should provide amusing answers
                  iii. During the official interview, the guest will score points based on §3 of these rules.
          c. Evaluation of Guest
                    i. Each Judge will individually evaluate the performance of the Guest, then award the Guest between zero (0) and ten (10) points.
                             1. Judges shall indicate their score awarded by holding up a number on a card.
          d. Bonus Round
                    i. The Host shall offer the guest a bonus game worth a maximum of ten (10) points after the Evaluation.
                             1. The Bonus Game shall be a playful homage to the quirks, charms, skills, talents, and complex biographies of the Guest.
                   ii. The host shall administer the game
                  iii. The Lead Judge shall award a number of points based on the three (3) factors laid out by the host.
       VII. Second Interview
          a. When Host introduces and greets Second Guest, First Guest will move to the second chair and Second Guest will take the First Chair
          b. In all other ways, Second Interview will be identical to the First Interview
       VIII. Third Interview
          a. When Host introduces and greets Third Guest, First Guest will move to the Third Chair, Second Guest will take the Second Chair, and Third Guest will take the First Chair
          b. In all other ways, Second Interview will be identical to the First Interview
       IX. Elimination of Third Place Guest
          a. After the Third Interview, the Host shall check the score.
          b. The competitor currently in third place will be eliminated from the game.
          c. In the event of a tie, the Host shall determine which of the Guests advances.
          d. After elimination from competitive play, the Third Place Guest shall be awarded a Lovely Consolation Prize.
i. Lovely Consolation Prizes shall not exceed $100 in fair market value.
       X. Lightning Round
          a. During the Lightning Round, the Host will read a series of open ended subjective questions. Guests will have the opportunity to ring in provide a brief answer
                    i. All Lightning Round Questions will be worth ten (10) points.
                   ii. The Production Staff shall prepare no fewer than fifteen (15) questions per game.
                   iii. Guests must ring in and be recognized before answering
                             1. Each Guest will receive a bell
                   iv. Host may cut off incorrect or excessively verbose answers
                   v. Host will determine if answers are correct
                             1. Host may refer the determination to the Judging Panel
                             2. Lead Judge may consult on the decision of the Host
          b. The Lightning Round will be two (2) minutes in length
          c. At the conclusion of the Lightning Round, that score shall be considered the Final Score
       XI. Award of Prizes
          a. At the end of the Lightning Round, the Host will consult the final score and name the Guest with the highest score the Winner
          b. The Host shall award the grand prize to the winner
          c. In the event of a tie in the Final Score, the Host shall break all ties.

§ 3: Scoring

       I. The Guests shall earn points for the following:


Anecdote – 5 points
On-Set Prank Anecdote – 10 points
Joke – 1 point
Get Laugh – 1 point
Applause Break – 2 points
Euphemism in place of Curse – 1 point
Callback – 3 points
Callback to Another Guest’s Joke – 5 points
International Travel Reference – 2 points
Humblebrag – 2 points
Mention Pet – 1 point
Mention Children – 1 point
Lie About / Obscure Age – 2 points
Impression – 3 points
Sing – 5 points
Clearly Lie – 1 point


Plug Project – 2 points
Plug Social Media – 2 points
Mention City and get Applause – 3 points
Flirt with Host – 3 points
Give Gift to Host – 4 points
Name Drop – 2 points
Mention Charity – 2 points
Flash Host – 5 points
Make Audience "Awwww" – 1 point
Feign Humility – 2 points
Wave to the Audience – 1 point


Cheek Kiss – 3 points
Two-armed Hug – 2 points
Hug – 1 point
Imply Drinking Alcohol Onstage – 1 point
Drink Alcohol Onstage – 3 points
Interview While Clearly Drunk – 2 points
Interview While Clearly Stoned – 5 points
Political Grandstanding – 2 points
Perform Magic Trick – 5 points
Spit-take – 5 points
Bring Pet – 5 points
Make Host Cry – 7 points
Sip Punctuation – 2 points
Margaret Cho Memorial Wig Toss – 6 points
Dancing – 4 points
Juggling – 4 points
Shooting the Moon – 100 points

          a. To earn points based on the activities described in this section, the activities must be successfully performed to the satisfaction of the judges and be performed naturally in the course of the interview.
       II. The Judges shall each award between zero (0) and ten (10) points to each guest during the Judge’s evaluation period.
       III. The Host shall have the discretion to award or deduct up to five (5) points to or from each guest.

§ 4: Sanctions

       I. Sanctions available shall be limited to:
          a. Yellow Card: A warning from the Judging Panel that you have been issued a Sanction
          b. Penalty Box: After multiple yellow cards, the Lead Judge may remove you from competitive play for a specific amount of time. The amount of time will be determined at the discretion of the Lead Judge. During your time in the Penalty Box, if the Emergency Guest Rule is invoked, a replacement celebrity will take your place and score points in your stead until your return to the stage.
                    i. Time in the Penalty Box should not exceed two (2) minutes
                   ii. While in the Penalty Box, the Participant cannot participate in play or score points
                   iii. While in the Penalty Box, a Guest may have points earned on his or her behalf through exercise of the Emergency Guest Rule.
          c. Red Card: For egregious infractions or perceived hostility to the Show, a Red Card may be issued that is an official Ejection from the Game. You are to remove yourself from the Show stage and audience and not return back until you are invited by the Show staff.
          d. Ban for Life: For especially poor performances, the Judging Panel may adjudicate to issue a Ban for Life. The decision must be unanimous. If you are issued a Ban for Life, you are hereby banned from all competitive play on Talk Show the Game Show events and proceedings in media known or unknown throughout the entire Universe for the remainder of Time itself.
       II. All Sanctions other than banning for life may be imposed by the Lead Judge
          a. Sanctions imposed by the Host may be overruled by the Judging Panel
       III. Banning for Life may only be imposed by a unanimous decision of the Judging Panel.
       IV. The following are grounds for sanction:
          a. Violation of these rules
          b. Failure to respect the Host
          c. Failure to respect the Judges or Judging Panel
          d. Failure to respect the Rules
          e. Failure to respect the Audience
          f. Disruptive Behavior
          g. Showboating
          h. Steamrolling
          i. Excessive interruptions
          j. Excessive namedropping
          k. Excessive plugging
          l. Being boring
          m. Excessive agreement
          n. Excessive Gratitude
          o. Prayer hands bowing
          p. Being underdressed
          q. Being overdressed
          r. Not knowing things a person should know
          s. Pomposity
          t. Ass-kissing
          u. Mispronunciation
          v. Excessive Cursing/Indecorum
          w. Coveting a neighbor’s wife or ass
          x. White Male Fragility
          y. Murder
          z. Delay of Game
          aa. Visible Intoxication (Navarroing)
          bb. Gratuitous Twirling
       V. All Sanctions may be reviewed by the International Society of Talk Show: The Game Show Governing Board

§ 5: Interpretation

       I. The Judging Panel shall be fully empowered to interpret and supplement these rules during the course of play
          a. All decisions are subject to review by the International Society of Talk Show: The Game Show Governing Board

All competition rules are subject to change or amendment at any time at the sole discretion of the producers and in the interest of the entertainment value of the program. All producers’ decisions about the application of these rules are final, binding and not subject to challenge or appeal.