IMPROV GAMES: Infomercial and Quiz/Game Show Characteristics

We’re going to try to break down the 2 Improv elements that we have some control over selecting on Mondays before our Destination Imagination Tournament next month (Improv Games and Street Performance).  We’ll have the team create color-coded cards describing the key elements of these improv elements that they can use in the 1 min prep time they have before each skit they have to do.

This Monday, we looked at the Improv Game theme of Infomercials and Quiz/Game Shows.  Here are the key characteristics the team identified and which provide hooks for us to create characters, situations and humor.



Late at Night, Off Hours, QVC 24hrs

Funny Product Name, frequently repeated (Snuggie, ShamWow)

Sequels (Ginsu II, Foreman Grill variants)

Goofy Jingle with Cheezy Clips (Clap On, Clap Off)

Loud Shouty Voice (Oxy Clean)

Questionable Testimonials from Obviously Paid Actors/Customers (ShamWow)

Extreme Demonstrations (cut through can/chop wood then thinly slice tomato)

Unexpected Uses/Minimal Problems (Ronco Spray on Hair, Chia Pet)

Cheezy Audience/Friends to Demonstrate (Bullet Shake maker)

Create a Sense of Urgency (Act now, supplies are limited)

Low, Low prices (how much would you expect to pay, not $99, not $79, not even $59, but…)

Many Free Added (Ginsu knife, x2, 6 stake knives, more knives, etc)

Pretty Girls/Hulking Guys (Thigh Master/Bowflex)

Fast Speaking Disclaimers/Warnings (or in Small Print like Pharmaceutical Drugs)



(I had to heavily edit the 10 best Quiz/Game shows because many contain content inappropriate for our age group)

Appealing/Descriptive Name and Catch Phrase (Who Wants to Be A Millionaire)

Cheezy Hosts (Dress, Hairs, Unreal Voicing, Bad Jokes/Puns)

Prize/Gift Air Caresser (usually pretty woman)

Contestants Over Dramatic (schools to train potential contestants)

Great Money / Prizes

Luck vs Skill (depends on game)

Wrinkles (Lifeline call, trade up/down, double or nothing, etc)

Build Suspension/Tension (music, audience, host, etc)

Devices (Spin a Wheel, Roll Giant Dice, Pick a Curtain/Door)


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