There aren’t T-shirt giveaways or Instagram contests or free pizza at Nerd Alert trivia. The weekly Greenpoint pub quiz doesn’t need them, because a good trivia night isn’t measured in gimmickry. It’s all about the quizmaster. A sadistic one who stacks the deck with trick questions he couldn’t answer himself is bad. A weak one who patronizes with gimme questions is worse. The Nerd Alert quizmasters are exacting but benevolent. They know how to craft a question so it can’t be surreptitiously researched on a smartphone, and they play to everyone’s strengths. A “lightning round” might feature questions about the Flash (for comic books nerds), Nikola Tesla (for regular nerds), The Natural (for movie buffs) and Zeus’s bolts (for classics majors). Black Rabbit, like the quiz itself, strikes a perfect balance: The bar is not so crowded that you can’t get a drink or find a place to sit, but it’s packed with stiff enough competition to keep it interesting.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013