How Ed Kavalee wins Have You Been Paying Attention?

Ed Kavalee says he has advantages over most of his regular quiz panelists.

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.

20 Responses

  1. Not sure why people worried who wins each week, I thought the idea of the show was the joke answers and fun they have with the questions. Funnily enough the last few weeks Ed hasn’t actually won anyway.

      1. I watch the show and I rarely pay attention to the scores or who wins at the end. And often my other half changes the channel to Q&A before the show ends so I miss seeing the end most weeks anyway. I think the show is fun enough without worrying about the competitive side of it.

    1. Winning means a lot to some people, just look at awards shows. Though agree that winning and points don’t matter in comedy quizzes, just like it was on Good News Week or Whose Line Is It Anyway?, where the points and winning are a joke in itself and the losers are just as much winners.

  2. I know its just a bit of fun, but i am getting very bored with ed winning..i dont even watch each week anymore, and i dont think im alone..the ratings have been dropping the last few weeks.

      1. I agree with @brissiesteve. I record the show week to watch later if I don’t watch on the night. But this year I haven’t watched every episode due to Ed winning the whole time. I just delete the episode and maybe watch the next week.

        1. It’s not rigged, but it is a formula. Bottom right (Sam) is the fall guy, and top left (Ed) is the straight man, and Tom is the conductor. While it’s mostly a comedy show, it’s technically a quiz show too. So once the gags are in, someone needs to slip in the correct answer to move onto the next gag setup.

          It’s very simple but the team’s execution is flawlessly brilliant, and why it’s so successful.

    1. I really don’t believe it is rigged. It’s perceivable if they were told the answers which I don’t notice is the case on HYBPA?. It’s noticeable when it does happen as seemed to be the case on RocKwiz when the contestants always knew the answers to the ‘who am I?’ questions about the guest contestant singers even though the guest performers were often too obscure to be known of that easily and sometimes, the contestants guessing would mispronounce their names, further showing that they might have been given their names beforehand.

  3. It is quite obvious that they are reading the answers. Their eyes are always looking to the side so I am thinking that they have a choice of either the correct answer or a comical one. I am also thinking that their name comes up when to answer the question. Wow that’s a conspiracy theory for you.

  4. It’s my favourite show on the TV. Where many contestants will just throw in a joke, it seems the art of gaining points while making a funny joke or comment when the actual answer is known is to throw in the correct answer afterwards or intertwine the humour with the correct answer before someone else buzzes in the answer. It would be cool if Ten could show the NZ version too, even if it’s on late night.

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