The Big Quiz Thing Team
The founder and senior quizmaster of the Big Quiz Thing, NOAH TARNOW possesses the cluttered mind from which the BQT’s trivia springs. Since 2002, he has written, designed and hosted hundreds of Big Quiz Thing events, taking the event from small downtown clubs to major corporate retreats and beyond. He’s been called “a geek savant” (Gawker), an “impish impresario” (Citysearch) and “the trivia king of New York City” (his sister). He was a contestant on both the VH1 game show Name That Video (champion—won a car) and Jeopardy! (second place—curse you, Trebek!), was a Phone-a-Friend on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and was profiled on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. In addition, he’s written trivia columns for Time Out New York, Hemispheres, Mental Floss and American Movie Classics’ website, along with a popular trivia blog (blog.bigquizthing.com) and Twitter feed (twitter.com/bigquizthing), and he’s a writer and for and guest puzzle guru on the NPR game show Ask Me Another. Elsewhere, he’s been an editor and/or writer for Time Out New York, Rolling Stone, Jane, and the Awl, as well as a stand-up comedian and a karaoke singer of stunning ferocity.
DANIEL HALDEN is the quizmaster for BQT L.A. An avid trivia buff, he specializes in Oscar, baseball and presidential history—with a wealth of useless pop culture facts thrown in as well. A graduate of NYU, he performs in and produces work all around town with cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA—at least, when he's not stuck in traffic. He once tried out for Jeopardy!, and while he didn't make it on the show, he is currently in the process of growing an Alex Trebek–style mustache (circa 1995). That last sentence is a lie.
KATIE VAGNINO is the quizmistress for BQT Chicago. Though she's actually pretty terrible at Trivial Pursuit, she has been a devoted fan of the BQT since first seeing the show in NYC in 2008. Katie helped get the Boston BQT off the ground and is thrilled to have earned her right to wear a sparkly blazer. When not stumping audiences with (mostly) "figureoutable™ questions, she can be found at Roosevelt University, teaching composition to freshmen. She also sings—with the Apollo Chorus—and will most likely show up if you invite her to karaoke. Katie lives in Old Town with her delightful roommate and two delightfully bitchy cats. For more, please visit katievagnino.com and follow her on Twitter: @katievagnino.
Boston sidekick and sometime quizmaster WES HAZARD is a stand-up comic and writer living in Boston, MA. A trivia fan from way-back, he decided to devote himself to knowing every useless fact possible after a crushing tie-breaker defeat in an 8th grade geography-bee. He happily decided to abandon that pursuit after his 4-person college Quiz Bowl team was defeated handily by a single grad student wearing a Hawaiian shirt & leather pants…but he still has love for the game. He’s performed in the Boston Comedy Festival, the Women in Comedy Festival (yes), and he was named 1 of *5 Boston Comedians to Watch* by the Boston Globe in March 2013. He’s thrilled to be part of the BQT family and he wishes you nothing but the best.
Production associate ALLISON PROUTY is the principal and founder of Second Bolt (secondbolt.com), a production, management, and consulting company born and bred in New York City. Clients include Electric Zoo Music Festival, Pilobolus Dance Theater, V-Day (founded by Eve Ensler), the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Rosenberg Fund for Children, World Science Festival, On Location Tours, and musicians such as Addie Brownlee and the Bengsons. Prior to Second Bolt, Allison's credits included Guest Director, the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival; Associate Producer, Women's Project; Session Director/Director of Children's Casting, O'Connor Casting in Chicago; Associate Producer, 25-city national tour and Broadway production of Eve Ensler's The Good Body; Associate Artistic Director of V-Day; and Assistant Production Manager during the inaugural season of Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. She is a proud graduate of Skidmore College.
Webmaster HANK YAGHOOTI at a young age discovered he had a knack for drawing. He went to college and found out it was much harder than he thought to be a fine artist so he decided to major in graphic arts. While getting his degree, he rocked out as the drummer for some small local acts in New Jersey. After college, he still rocked out for bands, the most prominent being BONBOMB. The music career was fun enough that he thought getting into web development would help with promoting his bands. Today, he's still in the web development business working for a global electronic company hellbent on taking over the world with 3D TVs. Oh and he still finds the the time to paint. Visit his website at mhyaghooti.com