When it comes to trivia, we are pretty easy to please. Still, there are a few things that we feel really make for a stellar Chicago trivia night experience: cheap food, PBR (the bigger, the better), beer machines (see previous), and DJ Mike. You’d think, then, that Full Shilling would rank above and beyond any other trivia night in the city. As much as we hate to say it, Full Shilling trivia did not exactly meet expectations this time around.
The highlight of Full Shilling trivia is DJ Mike, the host of at least 3 Quizzo trivia nights a week in Chicagoland. He is a trivia nerd, in the best possible way. He brings his own DJ equipment and hooks it up to the bar’s audio setup himself. He brings a clip-on lamp and reading glasses to facilitate grading in a bar environment. He’s on Facebook — friend him and you might get a holiday greeting on your wall! (Word of advice: don’t friend him without writing a note; he will reject you.) He’s got a great memory: he remembered us from our Kim Jong allegedly Ill days, back in September. But the Best part about DJ Mike is, he is an actual DJ. He and his brother (“CD DJ’s”) perform at weddings and school dances.
Also, according to his MySpace, he likes women with long beautiful hair.
The Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, traffic to Wrigleyville was terrible, but parking was plentiful. We arrived at 7:25pm to an almost empty bar. Eventually nine teams and DJ Mike made it in by around 8:15pm. Trivia is supposed to start at 8, but the first question wasn’t read until almost 8:45pm. As a result, we played until close to midnight. At least he apologized.
Full Shilling trivia ranges from medium to difficult, with a pretty consistently difficult picture round. There are 7 rounds: general knowledge, picture round (this week, celebrity mug shots), sports, music, geography/history, entertainment, and a double-point general knowledge bonus round. In Quizzo, you also get to “Joker” a round with which you feel particularly confident and make it worth double points. (Another DJ Mike tip: you have to put an X in the Joker box. Not a check, not a smiley face, DJ Mike is very serious about this.) DJ Mike also picks another round in which the team with the most correct answers gets beer logo mugs or other bar paraphernalia. Team “Whatever You Want”, made up of a few of the Full Shilling waitresses, tied with another team for the mugs, but generously gave the prize to the other team. The overall winners get a $50 gift certificate to Full Shilling.
There is a significant amount of downtime between rounds, but we can mostly forgive that because we know DJ Mike is busily grading (and probably double-checking). The final question is always a list of 10 (e.g., AFI’s 10 Best courtroom dramas, the top 10 grossing animated movies) — a great opportunity to make up lost points and also the best time to work together as a team.
Food and drink are pretty cheap. Tuesday night specials are half-price appetizers (with beverage purchase), $12 domestic beer machines (they call them “table tappers”), $3.50 Bacardi or Jameson cocktails, and $3 Dos Equis drafts. Also, 24 oz. cans of PBR for $6. Every day! You can’t go wrong with a beer machine filled with 100 ounces of PBR (aka Gigantic PBR) followed by a Giant PBR chaser. Food’s decent, too. Plus: free popcorn!
Due to extenuating circumstances (Thanksgiving week), we won’t render a final verdict this time. We will say: Good trivia, great PBR options, we heart DJ Mike. We’ll be back.
Full Shilling Irish Sports Pub
3724 N Clark St, Chicago
8pm – about 11:30pm
3 paws (out of 4)