Mastermind is a British TV quiz show where members of the public are subjected to two rounds of questions against the clock.  The first round is one and a half minutes long on a specialist subject of their choice.  The second, general knowledge round is two minutes long.  There's no monetary prize, just a trophy for the series winner.

There is also a Celebrity version of the quiz, where the contestants compete to win a financial reward for a charity of their choice.  In a recent edition of Celebrity Mastermind, the contestants and their specialist subjects were:

  • Andrea McLean (author and broadcaster) - "The Sound of Music"
  • Colin Hoult (actor and comedian) - The history of DC Comics
  • Rhys Stevenson (TV presenter) - The heart
  • Hannah Cockcroft (Paralympic champion) - The "Shopaholic" novels of Sophie Kinsella

As is normally the case with "Celebrity" shows, I've never heard of any of these people.  However, I was naturally interested in Colin Hoult's chosen subject.  Here are the questions he was asked.

  1. Detective Comics Incorporated was formed in 1937 by Harry Donenfield, Jack Liebowitz and which former military officer?
  2. The Batman, created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, first appeared in a 1939 issue of Detective Comics in a six page story entitled "The Case of the..." what?
  3. The 12-part "Watchmen" saga, first published in 1986, was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by which artist?
  4. Issue 73 of More Fun Comics introduced the Green Arrow and which other long-running superhero character, described as the king of the seven seas?
  5. The cover of a 1943 issue of Action Comics depicts the Terrible Toyman using what device to escape the clutches of Superman?
  6. In 1940, the psychologist William Moulton Marston created which female superhero, claiming that he was "responding to comics' blood-curdling masculinity"?
  7. In the epic story "Crisis on Infinite Earths", multiple DC heroes from various parallel worlds team up to fight which immensely powerful arch-villain?
  8. The Olympic athlete Jefferson Pierce became DC's first African-American character to star in his own comic book in 1977, when he created what alter ego for himself?
  9. The humourous adventures of The Inferior Five featured a team of lacklustre superheroes comprising White Feather, Merryman, The Blimp, The Dumb Bunny and which other character?

If you think that some of these questions are easy, imagine trying to answer them on TV, sitting under a spotlight, and working against the clock.  On the show, the buzzer for the end of the 90-second time limit went off during question 9.  Colin was allowed to answer - a catchphrase of the show is "I've started, so I'll finish".  Unfortunately, he got it wrong!

I'll post the answers in a few days time.

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I could defintiely answer 2,3,4,6,7,8 and 9.  I feel as thoiugh I should know 1, but I don 't.  No clue on 5.

I missed 1,5 and 9

EDIT: 1 just came to me. I

We have a long history of "celbreities" on game shows and quiz shows here in the U.S,  In my experience, the "celebrities" tend not to be "A-Listers".  Instead, they tend to fall into three categories:

  1. "Who the Hell are they?"
  2. "Oh, my God, are they still alive?"
  3. "Were they ever famous for anything other than being a 'celebrity' on game shows?"

One actress, Kitty Carlisle, was a guest on various game shows from sometime in the 1950's until the year 2000.  She was the leading lady in A Night at the Opera (1935), but her career as a game show guest far overshadows anything else she may have done.,

One could say the same about the likes of Carol Wayne, Charles Nelson Reilly, Nipsey Russell and a hosr of other "celebrities" who did the game show circuit.

Charles Nelson Reilly I knew because he'd been on a sitcom called The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, but there were loads of others that I had no clue who they were.

Randy Jackson said:

One could say the same about the likes of Carol Wayne, Charles Nelson Reilly, Nipsey Russell and a hosr of other "celebrities" who did the game show circuit.

Thanks for posting these, Peter.

My answers:

  1. Major Malcolm Wheeler*
  2. "...Chemical Syndicate"
  3. Dave Gibbons
  4. Aquaman
  5. Pogo stick
  6. Wonder Woman
  7. The Anti-Monitor
  8. Black Lightning

Speaking of "celebrities," what about Dancing with the Stars? A more appropriate name would be "Dancing with Some People You May Have Heard  Of."

*I know that from...

From what I can tell, Carol Wayne was mostly famous for her work on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Nipsey Russell was a celebrity for appearing on game shows.

Randy Jackson said:

From what I can tell, Carol Wayne was mostly famous for her work on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Nipsey Russell was a celebrity for appearing on game shows.

Nipsey Russell was in the cast of Car 54, Where Are You? But the bulk of his career was as a perpetual guest on variety shows and talk shows, and as a panelist on game shows.

Here's his IMDb page: Nipsey Russell

Peter, Thanks for typing all these questions out in full.  I watched this show when it went out, and, having heard the category,  confidently told my wife that I would probably score very highly. In the event I was only able to correctly answer questions 4 and 6. My embarrassment was acute, especially as my wife had earlier scored 7 when the specialist subject was "the novels of Jane Austen"! 

I couldn't answer #5. I confess I couldn't remember #1 immediately, but it came to me as I was reading question #2. As noted above, this was on a clock, so I would have scored much, much more poorly if I had been on the show. When my adrenaline goes up, my recall goes down.

If I might nitpick, answer-to-question-#6 didn't debut until 1941. Mike's Amazing World says the issue came out in Oct., so she preceded Pearl Harbor.

...but not "comics' [or mankind's] blood-curdling masculinity."

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