Host & Chief Executive Officer, DSO Media/TriviaNYC
Musician and karaoke host turned Jeopardy! Champion Tony Hightower oversees every aspect of Drunken Smartass Omnimedia/Trivia NYC, from writing questions and hosting events to promotion, procuring sponsors, and arranging technical details. With his principal partner, Lisa McCorvie, their eagle eye and razor wit leaves no fact uncovered.
During the six years Tony has been in the quiz business, he’s taken the organization from a once-a-week quiz night in one downtown dive bar to a national phenomenon, serving thousands of quizzers in all four corners of the continent and around the world.
For the last year, Tony has also written a weekly trivia column for Open Letters Monthly, as well as serving as the Marketing Director and Master of Ceremonies for the Trivia Championships of North America, held every summer in Las Vegas.
A songwriter and former music critic raised in Toronto, Tony moved to New York City in 1999, on the heels of the release of his second album, A Single Angry Word With Tony Hightower. His band left, but Tony stayed in New York, making friends at local quiz nights, and in early 2006, he was asked to host a new quiz night, which he named the Drunken Smartass Olympics, at Dempsey’s Pub in the East Village.
- 2011 – Jeopardy!: $23,600 (2 shows)
- 2008 – Cash Cab: $1,400 (solo)
- 2-time Reach For The Top (Canadian HS Quiz Bowl) national champion
- plus various pilots, contestant wrangling & question doctoring
That night is now the most popular and longest-running weekly trivia night in New York, with upwards of a hundred people coming each week to play for prizes and the opportunity to play on national game shows. It’s long been a regular stop for any Jeopardy! champions, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winners, and any other brainy celebrities happening through town, testing their knowledge against the best quizzers the city has to offer. And this year, the company he created has expanded uptown, and into Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey. Soon, the Drunken Smartass Trivia Network will expand further afield. (We’re always looking for new venues. If your bar or club is interested in hosting a regular quiz night, wherever you are, contact us!)
His personal Twitter feed is @chicobangs, and his go-to karaoke song is either the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” or “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul, despite the fact that he’s a baritone.