Trivia Night Gets a Comedy Makeover With "Question Party?!"

Dan Davies (left) and Michael Stauffer aim to make trivia night as much fun as attending a comedy show.
Dan Davies (left) and Michael Stauffer aim to make trivia night as much fun as attending a comedy show. Photo by Atisha Paulson
Imagine: You’ve pumped yourself up for a bar trivia night by dancing in the mirror, donning your slickest new outfit, and downing a couple of shots. But when you arrive, you discover that fun isn't on the menu. Instead, hyperaggressive competitors laugh in your face for getting a question wrong while a listless host keeps his nose buried in notecards, reading off question after boring question.

It’s this sad reality that’s motivated comedian Dan Davies and emcee Michael Stauffer to create Question Party?! which returns to the Freehold Miami on Wednesday, March 31. (Pre-emptory Note: team table reservations are highly recommended.) The pair assures participants this show is equal parts comedy, trivia, and good times.

“We don’t like calling it a trivia night. We’ve attended enough of those trivia nights where it’s some guy with a calf tattoo reading from note cards. We have tattoos on our calves, but we have tattoos on our upper thighs, too,” Davies says. “We thought: Let’s have a comedy-meets-quiz experience where it’s very interactive. You’re not just sitting there being barked at. You’re going to hear songs you used to hear in the back of your mom’s Dodge Caravan. We have a limbo contest as a tiebreaker. We act out movie scenes. We play 'Drake or Fake,' a game where we read you Drake’s most ridiculous lines, and then we read lines we’ve come up with. You pick out the fakes.”

In contrast to the disapproving glances and pronunciation corrections delivered by the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, Stauffer says the approach he and Davies take to hosting Question Party?! is low-pressure and inclusive.

In fact, you may win points for your lack of knowledge when it comes to naming all of the Kardashians.

“So often, a trivia night feels like the person reading the questions is saying, ‘You should know this.’ But this stuff is trivial for a reason. We have these questions where we make people feel like this is something they don’t need to know,” Stauffer says.

Stauffer also serves as the emcee of Not Your Standard Bingo at the Standard Hotel in New York’s East Village, while Davies has performed stand-up and improvisational comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade and internationally for a decade. The pair maintain a close friendship, and Question Party?! affords them the opportunity to turn hilarious moments from their frequent hangouts and chats into jokes that precede each trivia question. Davies said the show provides a topical levity at a time when it’s needed most.

“I’m happy to perform and provide a distraction in a time when I think we’re starved for it," Davies says. "If it comes on the heels of a question about which celebrity has the most Instagram followers, then so be it. Then I get to play a TLC song right after, so it’s a win-win for me.”

The pair has hosted Question Party?! for four years, with weekly residencies in Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Montauk. Davies and Stauffer also entertained the corporate crowd with their brand of comedy, nostalgia, and trivia at Bumble-sponsored hangouts and Capital One and J.P. Morgan team-building nights. No matter if their audience members are two-time Jeopardy! winners or trivia-night first timers, Davies and Stauffer feel confident audiences of Question Party?! will end the night feeling a little lighter, if not more knowledgeable about some seriously trivial information.

“We love to hear groups talking about their new team names for the next Question Party?! or how they’re going to change up their approach for next time,” Stauffer says. “We want audiences dancing out of the room with a pep in their step.”

Adds Davies: “We want people to think, I had never been to an event like that, and I didn’t think I needed to hear that Train throwback song, but I’m glad I did.”

Question Party?! 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, and every last Wednesday of the month, at Freehold Miami, 2219 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-280-0330; Admissions if free with RSVP via
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Tyler Francischine is a writer, event planner, and audiophile with dual passions for creating community engagement and telling stories that sing in a reader’s mind. Her work has been featured in American Way, Melted Magazine, and the Huffington Post.