He may be a perennial champ on Have You Been Paying Attention? but Ed Kavalee insists there are some logical reasons why he wins the 10 quiz most weeks.
Insisting he doesn’t see the questions in advance, he tells TV Tonight he does have two advantages.
“The first is that the others are morons,” he jokes. “The second is I do radio everyday. As you know, from reading things, you get an osmosis from looking things up to do on the radio.
“If we just sat there, and no-one was answering any questions, we’d have no quiz. So often my role is to help move it along a bit.”
“You may as well have a joke ready”
There’s also a little bit of astute strategy on his part by thinking ahead.
“When Djokovic hit that ball into a (ball boy’s) throat, you may as well have a joke ready for that. You know it’s coming up. The ones I like are the ones where I don’t really know what the topic is.
“Often I won’t think of either the answer or a joke until someone else has said something. Something they say will trigger something in me. But there are also heaps of questions where not much happens, and we just chuck them out.
“I don’t mean to disappoint but it’s a pretty hollow victory. I love her to death but beating Kitty Flanagan in a news quiz is not the hardest thing in the world! And Sam as well,” he jests.
Despite the wins, there’s not much point in victory laps either. Alas, his trophy shelf remains bare.
“I have never received a trophy.”
“People can say I win all the time. I have never received a trophy. That one that Tom (Gleisner) puts up on the desk that is Channel 10’s again. There’s one of those and it goes into a cupboard every week. No one ever takes it home. I’ve never received one which is hilarious!”
Have You Been Paying Attention? recently marked its 200th show, not bad for a show that drew mediocre ratings of 301,000 in its original 30 minute Sunday slot. But 10 stuck with the show eventually settling into a one hour Monday slot it now consistently wins.
“It started as an extension of a podcast that me, Santo & Sam were doing, where Tom would come in and ask us questions and we would make funny answers. Rob (Sitch) heard it and said ‘There’s something here…’ and went into the Working Dog ‘brains trust.’
“Next thing I knew I was sitting on a set.”
“I’m assuming their Tom is just Tony Mokbel in a bad wig.”
Format rights for New Zealand, hosted by Hayley Sproull, and Cypriot versions have since been sold.
“I cannot wait to see the Cypriot version. I’m assuming their Tom is just Tony Mokbel in a bad wig. I’ve got to see the Sam and the ‘semi-me’. It’s sort of turned around on itself. Maybe we can do our segment where we identify popular versions of reality shows. That would be a meta moment.”
Finally, I can’t let Kavalee go without asking about his 2009 Seven series TV Burp, in which he cast his comedic eye over the week in television (Fun fact: Sam Pang was a writer on the show). He admits he’d love to revisit it some day.
“I haven’t heard from them recently and a number of those people are no longer at the network,” he notes.
“When Seven want to come back with the all-new Thursday night line-up of City Homicide into TV Burp, we are ready!”
Have You Been Paying Attention? airs 8:40pm Monday on 10.