Who Wants To Be President? (archives)

(Today's press release/Presidents' Day quiz from Encyclopaedia Britannica reminded me of a piece I wrote for Cloakroom.com back in November 1999. Two events had a head-on collision in my brain, and hilarity ensued. The first was the infamous pop quiz given to then Governor George W. Bush by a local TV reporter. The second was the sudden popularity of the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" gameshow.)

Who Wants To Be President?

By Basil Valentine, Special To
National Journal Group, Inc.
Thursday, Nov. 11, 1999

During a closed-door session before November sweeps, WHDH reporter Andy Hiller pitched NBC TV executives with an idea for a new prime-time game show that offers Presidential hopefuls a chance to answer twelve multiple choice questions and walk away with the job of Chief Executive.

The rules are just like “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” including three lifelines. You can: call a trusted advisor, commission a poll of 1,000 likely voters, or read George Will’s column. What follows are some never-before-seen first draft questions to that game show, which never made it on the air.

***Who Wants To Be A President?***
with host Andy Hiller

Sam Donaldson looks more like:
A) A anthropomorphic spider
B) A Vulcan
C) President of the Hair Club For Men
D) Not just the president of the Hair Club, but also a client

Thimphu is the capital of:
A) Guam
B) Canada
C) New Hampshire
D) Bhutan

Cap’n Crunch:
A) Heads the Joints Chiefs of Staff
B) Is the Tidy-Bowl Man’s direct superior
C) Died in the Battle of Trafalgar
D) Is a breakfast cereal

Which is real royalty:
A) The Duke of Earl
B) King Vitamin
C) Prince Valiant
D) Prince Charles

Which of these is a Civil War battlefield:
A) Fox Trot
B) Bull Durham
C) Logan’s Run
D) Bull Run

What weighs more, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers:
A) Feathers
B) Lead
C) It’s a trick question. The feathers are made of lead, right?
D) The same

Which of the following groups is not mentioned on the inscription on the Statue of Liberty:
A) The Tired and Poor
B) The Huddled Masses
C) The Wretched Refuse
D) Haitians

Mao ZeDong and Mao Tse Tung are:
A) The original members of Milli Vanilli
B) Sweet & sour pork and sweet & sour chicken
C) Pokemon characters
D) The same person

Which is not one of the four main branches of the US military
A) Army
B) Navy
C) Marines
D) Texas Air Reserves

In her book, “Promiscuities,” Naomi Wolf argues that young girls should be taught:
A) How to detect fraternity members by scent alone
B) That cigarettes only make you cool if you also have a drink in your hand
C) Useful skills that will help them lead fulfilling lives
D) Masturbation

Boris Yeltsin was recently accused of:
A) Dancing to incite a riot
B) Being WC Fields
C) Sobriety
D) Receiving illegal payments

And finally,
Have you ever done an illegal drug?
A) I’m stoned now
B) What have you got?
C) “Illegal” as defined in which country?
D) I’m not going to play “gotcha” politics.


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