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Beat the Geeks

Beat the Geeks
Beat the Geeks Season 1 title card
Genre Game Show
Created by Mark Cronin
James Rowley
Directed by Richard DiPirro (credited as R. Brian DiPirro)
Presented by J. Keith van Straaten (Season 1)
Blaine Capatch (Season 2)
Tiffany Bolton
Starring See below
Composer(s) Jon Ernst
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 130 (1 unaired during original broadcast)
Executive producer(s) Mark Cronin
Producer(s) Richard G. King
Beth Greenbaum
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel Comedy Central
Picture format NTSC 480i
Original release November 7, 2001 (2001-11-07) – October 7, 2002 (2002-10-07)

Beat the Geeks is an American comedy game show that aired on Comedy Central from 2001 to 2002. The show was rerun on The Comedy Network in Canada and reruns currently air on G4techTV Canada and Prime in New Zealand.

On the show, contestants face off in trivia matches against "geeks" who are well-versed in music, movies, and television, as well as a fourth guest geek with an alternate area of expertise which varies from episode to episode. The object is to outsmart the geek at their own subject; as a handicap, the geeks are given questions of considerably greater difficulty than the contestants. Beat the Geeks was taped at the Hollywood Center Studios.


  • Rules 1
    • First round 1.1
    • Second round 1.2
      • Season 1 1.2.1
      • Season 2 1.2.2
    • Third round 1.3
    • Final Round: Geek to Geek Showdown 1.4
  • Geeks 2
    • Regular Geeks 2.1
    • Guest Geeks (alphabetical) 2.2
      • Seasons 1 & 2 2.2.1
      • Season 1 2.2.2
      • Season 2 2.2.3
  • Guest stars 3
    • Season 1 3.1
    • Season 2 3.2
  • Hosts 4
  • External links 5


First round

In the first season, the three contestants compete against each other to answer eight questions, two from each category; the Geeks do not play in this round. The first four questions (one per category) are worth 5 points each, and the second four are worth 10 points each. Occasionally, the geeks would give a fact after the question.

The format was changed for the second season, wherein the three contestants compete against each other and the Geeks to answer four pairs of questions, one from each category. The first question of each pair is a toss-up for the contestants, and is worth 10 points. The one who answers it then faces the relevant Geek to answer a follow-up question which they must ring in to answer. During this face-off, if the contestant rings in and gets the question wrong or the Geek rings in and gets it right, the contestant loses 5 points. However, if the contestant gets the question right or the Geek gets it wrong, the contestant wins another 10 points. In almost all episodes Blaine waited until the first follow-up question to explain this, using the line "here's how the follow-up works: if you beat the geek you get 10 points, if he beats you, he knocks you back five."

In both seasons, the player with the fewest points after the round is eliminated. In the event of a tie, a numerical tiebreaker question is asked; the winner is the player who comes closer to the correct answer without going over. If both go over, the closest guess wins.

Second round

The remaining two contestants each play a head-to-head challenge against the Geek of their choice in order to win the Geek's medal. If the contestants begin the round tied, they are asked a toss-up question to determine who plays first. Otherwise, the player with the most points starts. Once a Geek has lost his medal to a contestant, he cannot be challenged again until the final round.

Season 1

In the first season, four questions are asked, alternating between the contestant and the Geek, whose questions are much more difficult. If the Geek gives a wrong answer, the contestant wins the challenge, scores points, and gets to wear the Geek's medal for the rest of the game. If the contestant misses a question, the challenge ends and the opponent may score 10 points by giving the correct answer.

If all four questions are answered correctly, a Geek-off is played to decide the challenge. The player has 15 seconds to name as many items that fit a certain category as they can think of; the Geek must then do the same in a much harder category. If the Geek cannot come up with more answers, the contestant wins the challenge (ties are broken in the contestant's favor).

Resident Geeks' medals are worth 20 points each, while the Guest Geek's medal awards 30.

Season 2

A maximum of four questions are asked as in Season 1. Now, though, if the contestant misses a question, the Geek must answer it correctly to win the challenge, and vice versa. The opponent does not get a chance to score from a missed question. If both sides miss the same questions or if all four questions are asked, a Geek-off is played.

Resident and Guest Geek medals award 20 and 40 points, respectively.

Third round

The third round starts with two more head-to-head challenges, and the trailing player starts. Gameplay is the same as in the second round, with all medals worth 20 more points (40/50 in Season 1, 40/60 in Season 2).

After these challenges are over, the Geek-qualizer is played to decide a winner. A list of titles is read to the contestant, who must decide whether each is related to movies, music, or TV. The list continues until the contestant gives an incorrect answer, fails to give an answer within two seconds, or exhausts the list. Then, if they have tied or exceeded their opponent's score, their opponent plays their own Geek-qualizer round with the same rules. The player with the most points after the Geek-qualizer advances to the final round. If there is a tie, a numerical tiebreaker question is asked; the winner is the player who comes closer to the correct answer without going over.

Correct answers are worth 10 points each, with a maximum of 15 items in Season 1 and 16 in Season 2.

Final Round: Geek to Geek Showdown

In the final round, the contestant chooses one of the four Geeks to challenge. The contestant and Geek alternate questions, beginning with the contestant. Each turn, the host gives a category, then the player chooses whether to answer a 1 point (easiest), 2 point (harder), or 3 point (hardest) question; the Geek may not choose a point value lower than the contestant's previous question. If answered correctly, they earn the number of points chosen; otherwise there is no penalty. The first player to reach 7 points wins; if the contestant wins they are awarded $5,000 worth of prizes related to the category of Geek they challenged for the final round.


Regular Geeks

The host would mention in most episodes in season 1 that if the Geek's expertise slipped, he would be suspended from the show and therefore replaced by a new geek.

Guest Geeks (alphabetical)

Seasons 1 & 2

Season 1

Season 2

Guest stars

Season 1

Season 2


J. Keith van Straaten hosted the first season and comedian Blaine Capatch hosted the second season. Producers felt van Straaten "was not geeky enough" for a show that had the word "geek" in its title. Capatch proved to be "much geekier" and more suitable for the show.

External links

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