Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tipsy Trivia: Stumbling Their Way to the Top

Tipsy Trivia, an SGTV television program created and run by two USC students, has generated a substantial local fan-base. The creators, Krista Bagley and Laura Kuhen, both senior broadcast journalism majors, are implementing their entrepreneurial skills in the hopes of taking their program to the next level and achieving national exposure on a major network.

The notion for the tipsy television show struck Kuhen while she was in a similar state of mind.

“Laura came up with the idea of creating a drunk trivia show one night over summer break when she was, well, drunk,” Bagley explained, chuckling at the intended irony. “When we got back to school, she told me about the idea and we decided to join SGTV together. We came up with the name Tipsy Trivia, decided we would film at the fountain in Five Points, and well, the rest is history.”

The first episode of Tipsy Trivia aired in September 2009 as a sex education trivia challenge. The show started off as a three-to-five minute segment, which aired during SGTV’s entertainment news show, “Talk of the Town.” During August of this school year, Tipsy Trivia was given their own 30-minute time slot.

Since its start in September of last year, Tipsy Trivia has generated a significant fan-base at the university. Bagley and Kuhen have taken it upon themselves to be, not only, the writers, directors, and producers, but also their own pubic relations team.

“We’re pretty much a walking Tipsy Trivia campaign”, Bagley stated. “We wear silly costumes and homemade Tipsy Trivia shirts on our ‘off-nights’ just to simply promote the show. Filming our show downtown is a great way to spread the word, because when people either see us filming or participate in the show themselves, they become interested in what we are doing, and want to become fans. Going downtown is also a great way to promote, because we will run into participants who have no recollection of being on the show, and they will go home and watch it, show it to their friends, and all become fans!”

Bagley and Kuhen also promote the show by utilizing social networking sites such as Facebook, SGTV’s website, Blip TV’s website, a video blog at and YouTube, where they post random comedy sketches, full episodes, blogs, and their comedy segment “Top 5,” which they produce for USC’s “Talk of the Town”. Last January they also organized a promotional blitz week, which has since resulted in the following of 200 additional fans to Tipsy Trivia’s Facebook page.

Their accomplishments thus far, aside from generating a significant fan base, include a front-page article of “The Daily Gamecock” and two successful percent nights at Village Idiot and Z-Pizza. Additionally their “Southern Twang” episode has just received the highest number of hits for Blip TV with 1,114 views.

With all the hype surrounding the show, the girls have even bigger plans for the show’s future.

“Our vision for Tipsy Trivia is to take it on the road to do a campus crawl and do episodes at famous college campuses around the country,” said Bagley, “Our justification for the show actually working out is that college kids will always drink, and everyone loves trivia, so we will never run out of material.”

Kuhen interned at Comedy Central in California last summer, so over spring break she took a trip and consulted with her old supervisors about how to go about pitching their show to major networks. Following their advice, the girls have created a Tipsy Trivia pitch DVD, which explains what the show is about, along with their future goals for the program. They are also working on trademarking the name “Tipsy Trivia” before they pitch it to major networks, so no one can take it.

Unfortunately, very few major networks accept unsolicited pitches, so in order for them to pitch the idea they would have to contact a production company or an agent to get an unofficial meeting. Not wanting to do this, Bagley said she has devised a way to get around the system.

“Because Laura and I are the queens of networking, marketing, and PR,” she joked, “I talked with a family friend named Gary Brooks who worked at Turner in Atlanta, and he is very interested in the show and wants us to get it trade-marked ASAP, because he also works with development at TRUTV, and he thinks they would pick it up, as well as other channels at Turner, so he is going to help us set up meetings and actually pitch the show!”

Bagley and Kuhen plan to take a year off after graduation to continue producing episodes, promoting the show, and pursuing the contacts they have made thus far. They also plan to take Tipsy Trivia on the road and film at other nearby campuses such as UGA and COFC.

In the more immediate future, they intend to complete their “I Love the 90s” episode sometime this week and are in the process of producing a compilation segment titled, “Best of Tipsy Trivia 2010-2011.” Tomorrow, they will be filming a special segment in honor of 4/20 called, “Toker Trivia”, followed by an “All-Star” episode next Friday where their craziest, drunkest competitors will come back to compete against each other in a reunion special.

From chasing down drunk kids in Five Points to rolling around Strom field in mullet wigs, these girls are willing to go to incredible and hilarious lengths to make their dream a reality.

“All in all, we dream big, and we will not settle for being average,” said Bagley, “Tipsy Trivia is a once in a lifetime idea, and we intend to do all we can to make it to the top.”