Negative Capability

Setting the World on Fire

Negative Capability

Setting the World on Fire

More Savant Than Idiot (with special bonus videos!)

This article is available as a downloadable PDF, so click here to download the whole story, with color-accented pictures. It would make more sense to read the story and then watch the videos but you do whatever the hell you like.

Thanks to YouTube and my video editing skills, you can now view my appearance on Idiot Savants. First up is Day 2 of the competition. Scott edged ahead of me on Day 1 and went on to the Grand Savant Round, where you are asked very difficult questions in your "savant" category. Scott's was Madonna, mine was Ridley Scott movies and Joel's was the TV show Taxi. The first clip below is the final round from the second day.

At the beginning of the next day there was an issue with my performance that required some correction. I would say it's my proudest moment but I have done cooler stuff since then.

This next clip features my friend Joel Stein. If you read the story, you know that he bombed out the first three days and ended up in the dunce corner. For the fourth episode, all of the contestants decided to conspire to let Joel get the first question right and once he did, he was off to the races.

On the 5th day of the show, they bring back the two players with the highest score, added up from all 4 of the previous days. Then they have both contestants square off in what is called the Double Grand Savant Round.

Finally, as a special bonus, here is the entire episode from the fourth day. At the time of the taping, Joel was the sports reporter for a magazine called Time Out New York. Years later, he went on to be a columnist at Time magazine and he even wrote a book in defense of snobbery. He's fucking hilarious and I still keep in touch with him. He became one of those talking heads you see on the cable TV clip shows where they comment on pop culture. Joel actually got to program a cable channel called Trio and with his time at the helm, he re-aired his shining moment on television.

Web Exclusive Bonus: Someone posted one of my videos and made a comment on it that I thought it was cool so I am including it here.

The Cylinder of Shhh

Having been nicely stocked with Remote Control clips, YouTube finally has a clip of the other brilliant MTV game show: Idiot Savants, hosted by Greg Fitzsimmons with Ken Ober-like aplomb. The two key clips that I hope will pop up at some point: the Grand Savant rounds featuring the guy who tore through Taxi trivia and the girl who made a mockery of their inquiries about nem Philadelphia Flyers. Jøsh Saitz, Ridley Scott enthusiast and publisher of Negative Capability, posted this clip, which is from the never-aired second episode of the series. In his "About This Video" text, he mentions that Time columnist Joel Stein was eliminated in the first round and, thus, was sent to the Dunce Corner (as I recall, contestants suffering this fate were required to wear a conical hat advertising their duncedom). Note the enthusiastic arrival of the show's great co-hosts: Heather Blaze (never heard from again based on my extensive research) and Shonda Farr.

Final tidbit: The Brain, aka Matt Price, has assembled some interesting credits, including Arrested Development and one of the leading roles in Bob Odenkirk's Melvin Goes To Dinner.

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