The Chiastic Quiz Show, an "answers and questions" show inspired by the TV game show, Jeopardy
aired twelve espisodes before its retirement in June of 2000. You might want to read the "Open Letter to Alex Trebek,"
which describes how I came up with the idea for this show several years ago. Below you will find all episodes of The Chiastic Quiz Show in text-only format.
In a 1934 movie, this blond bombshell said: "I'd rather be looked over than overlooked."
"Who is Mae West?"
In the early 1950's, comedian & radio personality Fred Allen was referring to this when he said:
"(It) is a vehicle that permits people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything."
"What is television?"
In The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce defined a member of this profession as follows:
"One who drafts a plan of your house and plans a draft of your money."
"What is an architect?"
This leader of the 1990's conservative resurgence in American politics said:
"We're prepared to place our trust in the people to reshape the government.
Our liberal friends place their trust in the government to reshape the people."
"Who is Newt Gingrich?"
In an 1861 speech, this president of the Confederacy advised: "Never be haughty to the humble;
never be humble to the haughty."
"Who is Jefferson Davis?"
In The Story of Philosophy, Will Durant described these famous brothers this way:
"One of them … proceeded to write fiction like psychology, while the other wrote psychology like fiction."
"Who are Henry & William James?"
It wasn't Ronald Reagan, but rather this 29th U. S. president who said:
"We mean to have less government in business as well as more business in government."
"Who is Warren G. Harding?"
Seneca the Younger was referring to this Greek philosopher when he said: "It was the saying of a great
man that, if we could trace our ancestors, we should find all slaves to come from princes, and all princes from slaves."
"Who is Plato?"
This French mathematician & philosopher observed: "There are only two kinds of men: the just who believe themselves sinners;
the sinners who believe themselves just."
"Who is Blaise Pascal?"
Seneca the Younger was referring to this medical ailment when he wrote: "If prolonged it cannot be severe,
and if severe, it cannot be prolonged."
"What is pain?"
It's the legendary motto of the Three Musketeers.
"What is 'All for one, and one for all?'"
This First Lady of the United States said: "It is not enough to preach about family values, we must value families."
"Who is Hillary Rodham Clinton?"
This former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential advisor said: "A conventional army loses if it does not win.
The guerrilla army wins if it does not lose."
"Who is Henry Kissinger?"
Lyndon Johnson was referring to this famous law enforcement officer when he declared:
"I'd rather have him inside the tent pissin' out, than outside the tent pissin' in."
"Who is J. Edgar Hoover?"
Queen Elizabeth I was referring to this lucrative import when she said to Sir Walter Raleigh:
"I have seen many a man turn his gold into smoke, but you are the first who has turned smoke into gold."
"What is tobacco?"
In 1640, English poet John Donne was referring to this when he wrote:
"It comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes."
"What is death?"
This famous Ziegfeld girl once confessed: "I never liked the men I loved,
and I never loved the men I liked."
"Who is Fanny Brice?"
According to Jean Cocteau, "Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful
with time, and (this) produces beautiful things which become ugly with time."
"What is fashion?"
William James Lampton was describing this U.S. state when he wrote:
"Where the corn is full of kernels
And the colonels full of corn."
"What is Kentucky?"
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant was describing this when he wrote:
"(It) is not abominable because God prohibits it; God prohibits it because
it is abominable."
"What is suicide?"
In a 1958 address to the Republican National Committee, this 34th U.S. president
said: "What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight. It's the
size of the fight in the dog."
"Who is Dwight Eisenhower?"
Noel Coward was referring to this city when he said: "There is always something so delightfully
real about what is phony here. And something so phony about what is real."
"What is Los Angeles?"
Jean Cocteau was referring to these objects of endearment when he said: "There are too many souls of
wood not to love these wooden characters who do indeed have a soul."
"What are marionettes?
Clare Booth Luce described this U.S. First Lady this way: "No woman has ever
so comforted the distressed, or so distressed the comfortable."
"Who is Eleanor Roosevelt?"
English philosopher Herbert Spencer was referring to this when he said: "That which man
is always trying to kill, but which ends in killing him."
"What is time?"
This communist revolutionary leader wrote: "Politics is war without bloodshed, while
war is politics with bloodshed."
"Who is Mao Zedong?"
This Austrian physician expressed his view on sex and love this way: "Where they love they
do not desire and where they desire they do not love."
"Who is Sigmund Freud?"
Shimon Peres said of this Zionist who became prime minister of the state of Israel: "He restored
the Bible to its people, he restored the people to the Bible."
"Who is David Ben-Gurion?
In a 1920 book, this American journalist and language maven wrote: "It is the dull man
who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull."
"Who is H. L. Mencken?
Mr. Dooley, the character created by American writer Finley Peter Dunne was referring
to this when he said: "Well, if it's an evil to a man, it's not nicissry, and if
it's nicissry it's an evil."
"What is drink?"
William Seagle said of this institution, "It is in the advantageous position of being able not
only to declare constitutional acts unconstitutional, but unconstitutional acts constitutional."
"What is the U.S. Supreme Court?"
This Founding Father and 4th U.S. President said: "As a man is said to have a
right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights."
"Who is James Madison?"
In the 1950s this buxom, blonde bombshell said: "It's true that gentleman
prefer blondes. Is it possible that blondes also prefer gentlemen?"
"Who is Mamie Van Doren?"
In her 1859 novel, Adam Bede, she wrote: "Our deeds determine us,
as much as we determine our deeds."
"Who is George Eliot?"
In his book, The Man Who Invented Baseball, writer William Peterson said of him:
"(He) didn't invent baseball, baseball invented (him)."
"Who is Abner Doubleday?"
This American comedian and social critic said of the American judicial system:
"In the Halls of Justice the only justice is in the halls."
"Who is Lenny Bruce?"
This former owner of the Chicago Cubs once said: "Baseball is too much of a
sport to be a business and too much of a business to be a sport."
"Who is P. K. Wrigley?"
This American humorist said: "At fifty a man can be an ass without
being an optimist but not an optimist without being an ass."
"Who is Mark Twain?"
This Spanish composer and musician described one of his "trade secrets" this way:
"You have to play Mozart like Chopin and Chopin like Mozart."
"Who is Pablo Casals?"
English prime minister Harold MacMillan was referring to this when he said:
"(It) does not mean that the living are dead, it means the dead are living."
"What is tradition?"
This 39th U.S. President summed up the core value of his presidency this way: "America did not invent
human rights. In a very real sense … human rights invented America."
"Who is Jimmy Carter?"
Presidential biographer David McCullough said of this 33rd U.S. President: "He once said that all
readers can't be leaders, but all leaders must be readers."
"Who is Harry Truman?"
This African-American athlete explained the secret of his pitching success this way: "Throw it here
when they're lookin' there; throw it there when they're lookin' here."
"Who is LeRoy 'Satchel' Paige?"
This South African religious leader said: "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the
Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When
we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."
"Who is Bishop Desmond Tutu?"
This 19th century British prime minister & novelist said: "Like all great travellers, I have seen
more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."
"Who is Benjamin Disraeli?"
NFL coach "Bum" Phillips paid the supreme compliment to this fellow NFL coach when he said: "He can beat
your'n with his'n and he can beat his'n with your'n."
"Who is Don Shula?"
After his famous tour of America in the early 1800s, this French politician & writer wrote: "America is great
because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
"Who is Alexis de Tocqueville?"
While serving time in prison, this Watergate conspirator-turned-talk-show-host forged the maxim, "Defeat
the fear of death and welcome the death of fear."
"Who is G. Gordon Liddy?"
NPR newsman Daniel Schorr was referring to this man when he said he "doesn't believe that people abuse
welfare, he believes that welfare abuses people."
"Who is Newt Gingrich?"
In a 1929 Cole Porter song, this kind of animal ends up back in the water after a day of heady social climbing, and says:
"I've had a taste of society
And society has had a taste of me."
"What is an oyster?"
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong was referring to this musical art form when he said, "Hot can be cool
and cool can be hot."
"What is jazz?"
In the 1996 film Tin Cup, this actor said, "When a defining moment comes along, you define the
moment, or the moment defines you."
"Who is Kevin Costner?"
This 1960s civil rights leader said, "We didn't land on Plymouth Rock;
Plymouth Rock landed on us."
"Who is Malcolm X?"
In words that would come back to haunt him, this heavyweight champ
said, "I beat boxing; boxing didn't beat me."
"Who is Muhammad Ali?"
In this film adaptation of an Alexander Dumas novel, this male actor
says, "I wear the mask; the mask does not wear me."
"Who is Leonardo DiCaprio?"
This famous American anthropologist said, "The best way to learn
is to learn from the best."
"Who is Margaret Mead?"
This American comedian, actor, and TV game-show host said, "Money will not
make you happy, and happy will not make you money."
"Who is Groucho Marx?"
In 1978, this former president said of the legal profession, "The bar serves
too few of the many and protects too many of the few."
"Who is Jimmy Carter?"
In her 1953 best-seller about a group of college women, this author wrote, "You mustn't
force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex."
"Who is Mary McCarthy?"
(in The Group)
This American writer wrote, "At a dinner party, one should eat wisely but not too well,
and talk well but not too wisely."
"Who is W. Somerset Maugham?"
This American humorist said about Congress, "Every time they make a joke it's a law.
And every time they make a law it's a joke."
"Who is Will Rogers?"
This former Republican president said about his departure from the Democratic Party:
"I didn't desert my party. It deserted me."
"Who is Ronald Reagan?"
In a WWII speech about rebuilding a bomb-damaged Parliament, this British leader said,
"We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us."
"Who is Winston Churchill?"
In his inaugural address, this U.S. president said, "Let us never negotiate out
of fear; but let us never fear to negotiate."
"Who is John F. Kennedy?"
This U. S. president justified his decision to bomb Iraq by saying: "Instead of the
inspectors disarming Sadaam, Sadaam has disarmed the inspectors."
"Who is Bill Clinton?"
This former Nixon speechwriter turned language maven said of his column-writing efforts,
"Better to be a jerk that knees than a knee that jerks."
"Who is William Safire?"
This U. S. vice president (and famous duelist) said his goal was "to make business
a pleasure, and pleasure my business."
"Who is Aaron Burr?"
Harry Truman was referring to this when he said, "Here is one instance in which
it is the man who makes the office, not the office the man."
"What is the Vice-Presidency?"
This U. S. Supreme Court justice said, "If we desire respect for the law, we must
first make the law respectable."
"Who is Louis D. Brandeis?"
This Irish politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner said of the Good Friday Peace Accord,
"This is about principled compromise, not compromised principles."
"Who is John Hume?"
The motto of this popular Muppet character is, "Time's fun when you're having flies."
"Who is Kermit the Frog?"
In the 1948 presidential election, this candidate "snatched defeat from the
jaws of victory."
"Who is Thomas E. Dewey?"
According to the popular saying, this is "the wrath of grapes."
"What is a hangover?"
This cartoon character created by Tom Wilson said, "The waist is a terrible
thing to mind."
"Who is Ziggy?"
The advertising slogan for this popular A & E television series is, "The best
lives of our years."
"What is A & E's Biography?"
This Irish playwright said, "A drama critic is a man who leaves
no turn unstoned."
"Who is George Bernard Shaw?"
This Anglo-Irish writer and wit said, "Work is the curse of
the drinking classes."
"Who is Oscar Wilde?"
Comedian Danny Thomas was referring to this when he said it is
"a place where windows clean people."
"What is a race track?"
Will Rogers was referring to this place when he said, "It's a great place to
live, but I wouldn't want to visit there."
"What is Hollywood?"
This critic and columnist defended his practice of praising opening Broadway
shows by asking, "Who am I to stone the first cast?"
"Who is Walter Winchell?"
This fiery (and often-fired) New York Yankees manager said, "A ballplayer could … be a sportswriter.
But what writer could be a ballplayer?"
"Who is Billy Martin?"
This Puerto Rican-born professional golfer said, "I want to live like a millionaire and die poor; I don't
want to live poor and die like a millionaire."
"Who is Chi Chi Rodriguez?"
This former Oakland A's manager said, "I'm not the manager because I'm always right, but I'm always
right because I'm the manager."
"Who is Gene Mauch?"
Columnist Herb Caen was referring to this when he wrote, "We get baseball weather in football season,
and football weather in baseball season."
"What is San Francisco weather?"
This New York Yankee baseball manager said, "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and
"Who is Casey Stengel?"
This father and mentor of a golfing superstar said, "You learn very little about golf from life,
but you learn a lot about life from golf."
"Who is Earl Woods?"
(Father of Tiger Woods)
This outspoken heavyweight champ said, "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But
wars on poverty are fought to map changes."
"Who is Muhammad Ali?"
This legendary coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team said, "Failing to prepare is
preparing to fail."
"Who is John Wooden?"
This former major league baseball pitcher said at the end of his career, "In the
70s I threw in the 90s; in the 90s I threw in the 70s."
"Who is Frank Tanana?"
This famous American writer wrote, "Boys would be big leaguers, as everybody knows, but so
would big leaguers be boys."
"Who is Phillip Roth?"
In 1965, this fiery Black Muslim leader said, "The press is used to make the
victim look like the criminal and make the criminal look like the victim."
"Who is Malcolm X?"
In her novel The Bluest Eye, this Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner
wrote, "Which do you want? A whipping with no turnips or turnips and no
"Who is Toni Morrison?"
In Notes of a Native Son, he wrote, "People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them."
"Who is James Baldwin?"
This civil rights leader and frequent presidential candidate said, "There is no such
thing as a parental aide to teachers. The teacher is an aide to the parents."
"Who is Jesse Jackson?"
In his 1968 obituary, The New York Times quoted him as saying, "The Negro needs
the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him
from his guilt."
"Who is Martin Luther King, Jr."
In his influential 1845 autobiography, this former slave wrote, "You have seen how a
man was made a slave, you shall see how a slave was made a man."
"Who is Frederick Douglass?"
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, she wrote, "Women forget all those things
they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget."
"Who is Zora Neale Hurston?"
In In Search of our Mother's Gardens, she wrote, "It has been proved that the
land can exist without the country … it has not been proved that the country can
live without the land."
"Who is Alice Walker?"
This poet of the Harlem Renaissance wrote:
"As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you're older—and white—
and somewhat more free."
"Who is Langston Hughes?"
In an 1897 speech, he said, "The black man who cannot let love and
sympathy go out to the white man is but half free. The white man who retards
his own development by opposing the black man is but half free."
"Who is Booker T. Washington?"
At the very beginning of this play, The Weird Sisters set the stage by chanting,
"Fair is foul,
and foul is fair."
"What is Macbeth?"
In the play within this play, an actor gives these instructions to the players:
"Suit the action to the word,
the word to the action."
"What is Hamlet?"
In Sonnet 154, Shakespeare was referring to this when he said:
"(It's) fire heats water,
water cools not (it)."
"What is love?"
Imprisoned in Pomfret Castle, King Richard II is referring to this when he says:
"I wasted (it),
and now doth (it) waste me."
"What is time?"
In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare writes, "Better a witty fool than a (what?)."
"What is a foolish wit?"
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare says,
"(This), in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven."
"What is 'The Poet's eye'?"
In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare is referring to this when he writes:
"O powerful (what),
that in some respects makes a beast a man,
in some other, a man a beast."
"What is 'love'?"
In this play, Touchstone says:
"The fool doth think he is wise,
but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
"What is As You Like It?"
In the play within a play in Hamlet, Shakespeare is referring to this when he writes:
"For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead to (it), or else (it) to love."
"What is fortune?"
In Measure for Measure, the Duke of Vincentio is referring to this when he says:
"(It) oft have such a charm
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm."
"What is music?"
This existentialist writer and philosopher said:
"If God exists, man does not exist;
if man exists, God does not exist."
"Who is Jean-Paul Sartre?"
In his 1952 book The Rebel, he wrote:
"Absolute freedom mocks at justice.
Absolute justice denies freedom."
"Who is Albert Camus?"
This beautiful French actress said:
"Age doesn't protect you from love.
But love, to some extent, protects you from age."
"Who is Jeanne Moreau?"
In an immortal chiastic suggestion, this French philosopher said:
"If God created us in his own image we have more than reciprocated."
"Who is Voltaire?"
This writer, artist, and filmmaker said:
"When a work of art appears to be in advance of its period,
it is really the period that has lagged behind the work of art."
"Who is Jean Cocteau?"
This 17th century mathematician and philosopher said:
"There are only two kinds of men:
the just who believe themselves sinners;
the sinners who believe themselves just."
"Who is Blaise Pascal?"
In one of his essays, Montaigne was referring to this when he said:
"It may be compared to a cage,
the birds without try desperately to get in,
and those within try desperately to get out."
"What is marriage?"
In one of the classics of world literature, this writer wrote:
"When we are at the end of life, to die means to go away;
when we are at the beginning, to go away means to die."
"Who is Victor Hugo?
"What is Les Misérables?"
This former president of France said:
"A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation.
A politician is a statesman who places the nation at his service."
"Who is Georges Pompidou?"
This female writer who dressed and acted like a man wrote:
"Life resembles a novel more often
than novels resemble life."
"Who is George Sand?"