Beat the Geeks (TV Series 2001–2002)


Beat the Geeks (TV Series 2001–2002)

Beat the Geeks is a game show where contestants must match their knowledge against the geeks. The three main geeks of each episode are the TV geek, Movie geek and Music geek. Each episode as a geek who specializes in a different field such as Star Wars, comic books, KISS, or the Sopranos. The contestants get easier questions than the geeks and must accrue the most points to make it to the final round.
IMDb  7.7 /10
Creator Mark Cronin
Creator James Rowley
Release Date2001-11-07
GenreComedy, Game-Show
Content Rating
CompanyFox Television Network, Mindless Entertainment
Tiffany Hendra
Tiffany Hendra
Co-Host 22 episodes, 2001-2002
Marc Edward Heuck
Marc Edward Heuck
Movie Geek 22 episodes, 2001-2002
Paul Goebel
Paul Goebel
TV Geek 22 episodes, 2001-2002
Music Geek 20 episodes, 2001-2002
Blaine Capatch
Blaine Capatch
Host 14 episodes, 2002
Self - Host / ... 13 episodes, 2001-2002
Simpsons Geek 10 episodes, 2001-2002

Beat the Geeks

Beat the Geeks is an American television game show that aired on Comedy Central from 2001 to 2002. The show was rerun on The Comedy Network in Canada.

On the show, contestants face off in trivia matches against a panel of three resident "geeks" who are well-versed in music, movies, and television, as well as a fourth guest geek with an alternate area of expertise which varies from episode to episode. The object is to outsmart the geek at their own subject; as a handicap, the geeks are given questions of considerably greater difficulty than the contestants. Beat the Geeks was taped at the Hollywood Center Studios.


First round

In the first season, the three contestants competed against each other to answer eight toss-up questions, two from each category; the Geeks did not play in this round. The first four questions (one per category) were worth 5 points each, and the second four were worth 10 points each. Occasionally, the Geeks would give a fact after the question.

In the second season, four pairs of questions were asked, one in each Geek's category. The first question of each pair was a toss-up among the contestants, worth 10 points. The contestant who answered correctly then played the second toss-up against the relevant Geek. If the contestant answered correctly or if the Geek missed, the contestant scored 10 points; if the contestant missed or if the Geek answered correctly, the contestant lost 5 points.

In both seasons, the lowest scorer at the end of the round was eliminated. In the event of a tie for low score, a question with a numerical answer was asked and the contestants wrote down their guesses. The one who came closer to the correct answer without going over remained in the game; if both were over, the closer guess won.

Second round

The remaining two contestants each play a head-to-head challenge against the Geek of their choice in order to win the Geek's medal. If the contestants begin the round tied, they are asked a toss-up question to determine who plays first. Otherwise, the player with the most points starts. Once a Geek has lost his medal to a contestant, he cannot be challenged again until the final round.

Season 1

In the first season, four questions are asked, alternating between the contestant and the Geek, whose questions are much more difficult. If the Geek gives a wrong answer, the contestant wins the challenge, scores points, and gets to wear the Geek's medal for the rest of the game. If the contestant misses a question, the challenge ends and the opponent may score 10 points by giving the correct answer.

If all four questions are answered correctly, a Geek-off is played to decide the challenge. The player has 15 seconds to name as many items that fit a certain category as they can think of; the Geek must then do the same in a much harder category. If the Geek cannot come up with more answers, the contestant wins the challenge (ties are broken in the contestant's favor).

Resident Geeks' medals are worth 20 points each, while the Guest Geek's medal awards 30.

Season 2

A maximum of four questions are asked as in Season 1. Now, though, if the contestant misses a question, the Geek must answer it correctly to win the challenge (the contestant does not need to correct the geek’s error to win if they correctly answered their own question). The opponent does not get a chance to score from a missed question. If both sides miss the same questions or if all four questions are asked, a Geek-off is played.

Resident and Guest Geek medals award 20 and 40 points, respectively.

Third round

The third round starts with two more head-to-head challenges, and the trailing player starts. Gameplay is the same as in the second round, with all medals worth 20 more points (40/50 in Season 1, 40/60 in Season 2).

After these challenges are over, the Geek-qualizer is played to decide a winner. A list of titles is read to the contestant, who must decide whether each is related to movies, music, or TV. The list continues until the contestant gives an incorrect answer, fails to give an answer within two seconds, or exhausts the list. Then, if they have tied or exceeded their opponent's score, their opponent plays their own Geek-qualizer round with the same rules. The player with the most points after the Geek-qualizer advances to the final round. If there is a tie, a numerical tiebreaker question is asked; the winner is the player who comes closer to the correct answer without going over.

NOTE: When a contestant's turn is over, the geek that relates to the last title read explains it.

Correct answers are worth 10 points each, with a maximum of 15 items in Season 1 and 16 in Season 2.

Final Round: Geek to Geek Showdown

In the final round, the contestant chooses one of the four Geeks to challenge. The contestant and Geek alternate questions, beginning with the contestant. Each turn, the host gives a category, then the player chooses whether to answer a 1-point (easiest), 2 point (harder), or 3 point (hardest) question; the Geek may not choose a point value lower than the contestant's previous question. If answered correctly, they earn the number of points chosen; otherwise there is no penalty. The first player to reach 7 points wins; if the contestant wins they are awarded $5,000 worth of prizes related to the category of Geek they challenged for the final round.


Regular Geeks

The host would mention in most episodes in season 1 that if the Geek's expertise slipped, he would be suspended from the show and therefore replaced by a new geek.

  • Marc Edward Heuck – Movie Geek
  • Paul Goebel – TV Geek
  • Andy Zax – Music Geek (Most of Seasons 1 and 2)
  • Michael Jolly – Music Geek (Part of Season 1)
  • Michael Farmer – Music Geek (Part of Season 2)

Guest Geeks (alphabetical)

Seasons 1 & 2

  • Mike Bracken – Horror Geek (10 episodes)
  • Holly Chandler – South Park Geek (10 episodes)
  • Ken Crosby – James Bond Geek (10 episodes)
  • Gabriel Köerner – Star Trek Geek (15 episodes)
  • Alan Korsunsky – Comic Book Geek (10 episodes)
  • Antonio Lopez – Simpsons Geek (10 episodes)
  • John Steverding – Playboy Geek (10 episodes)

Season 1

  • Karen Brown – Michael Jackson Geek (5 episodes)
  • Ivy Shantelle Hover – Sopranos Geek (5 episodes)
  • Kathy Pillsbury – Star Wars Geek (5 episodes)
  • Melanie Prudhomme – Friends Geek (5 episodes)
  • Paul Schmeltzer – Hip Hop Geek (5 episodes)

Season 2

  • Dan Blau – Beatles Geek (5 episodes)
  • Krisztian Boldis – Star Wars Geek (5 episodes)
  • Karla De Trinidad – Friends Geek (5 episodes)
  • Dana Gould – Planet of the Apes Geek (1 episode)
  • Rudy Higa – Wrestling Geek (1 episode)
  • Tim Lakin – Toy Geek (5 episodes)
  • Christian Malmin – KISS Geek (1 episode)
  • Mr. Skin – Nudity in Movies Geek (2 episodes)
  • Ggreg Snyder – Saturday Morning Geek (5 episodes)

Guest stars

Season 1

  • Neferteri Shepherd (Season 1)
  • Jerry Springer (Season 1)
  • Jane Wiedlin (Season 1)
  • Wil Wheaton (Season 1)

Season 2

  • Coolio (Season 2)
  • Susan Olsen (Season 2)
  • Jimmie Walker (Season 2)
  • Devin DeVasquez (Season 2)
  • Hugh Hefner (Season 2)
  • Lloyd Kaufman (Season 2)
  • Peter Noone (Season 2)


J. Keith van Straaten hosted the first season and comedian Blaine Capatch hosted the second season. Producers felt van Straaten "was not geeky enough" for a show that had the word "geek" in its title. Capatch proved to be "much geekier" and more suitable for the show.


Reception about the show was mixed. The student newspaper at the University of Miami panned the show, calling it too easy and criticizing van Straaten's hosting skills. The Los Angeles Times was more charitable, calling the show "wackily entertaining" and referring to the panelists as "quirkily amusing as they are knowledgeable".

External links

  • Comedy Central site (via Internet Archive)
  • Beat the Geeks at IMDb
  • Beat the Geeks at