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The quiz show, “College Bowl,” was first broadcast on radio in 1953, 71 years ago. The show transitioned to television in 1959 and stayed there until 1970.

Its first host was Allen Ludden, the future husband of Betty White. He hosted the show until 1962 when he left to host “Password.” Robert Earle replaced him, and he remained until 1970.

The game show pitted four students from a college, such as Rutgers or Princeton, against a second team composed of four students from a second college, such as Colgate or John Hopkins.

The host, Ludden or Earle, would begin by reading a question until one of the eight players pressed a buzzer and gave an answer. If the player answered correctly, then the team earned 10 points. The host would then give that team 3 additional bonus questions, each worth 5 points.

The team’s members would then huddle and whisper among themselves for 15 seconds and arrive at an answer. The game was thus both an individual effort and a team effort.

In the 1960’s, I enjoyed watching “College Bowl” on Sunday afternoons and felt disappointed when it disappeared off the air waves. I liked it as well as “Jeopardy.”

Others have tried to revive “College Bowl” since 1970, but each attempt was short-lived.

Peyton Manning tried. Yes, that Peyton Manning! The Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion hosted “College Bowl” in 2021 and 2022.

Where the show’s format has enjoyed fabulous success is in the United Kingdom. There it is called “University Challenge.” It first ran from 1962 until 1987, and then started anew in 1994.

Its long-time host was Jeremy Paxman, a very British guy, formal and business-like. On July 17, 2023, Paxman stepped aside, allowing Amol Rajan, who was born in India, to host the show.

The game show appears on the BBC Two on Monday nights at 8:30 p.m.

Two weeks ago, on Monday night, April 8, a team from Imperial College in London won the finals, earning that college’s fifth championship, the most of any British college ever. Imperial won in 1996, 2001, 2020, 2022, and now in 2024.

Players on this year’s team included Justin Lee of Hong Kong and Canada; Adam Jones, of Hong Kong; Suraiya Haddad, of Manchester, England; and Sourajit Debnath, of India.

I watch the show on YouTube, and I think the questions are beyond difficult.

For example, question: “A little larger than Scotland, the northeast part of Australia’s northern territory has what name?” Answer: “Arnhem Land.”

Question: “Including the language sometimes known as Shanghainese, what two-letter term denotes the Sinitic language group spoken around the lower Yangtze?” Answer: “Wu.”

Question: “In cytogenics, what term describes the chromosomal complement of a cell which may be observed during the mitotic metaphase?” Answer: “Karyotype.”

Students are expected to know minutiae associated with all forms of knowledge.

In the “New York Times” April 7, 2024 edition, there appeared a feature article on Imperial College’s more flamboyant player, Brandon Blackwell, an African-American from New York City.

Blackwell applied to Imperial College in 2018, earned a spot on the college’s “University Challenge” team, and he—along with Richard Brooks, Caleb Rich, and Connor McMeel—won the finals in 2020, defeating Corpus Christi College by a lop-sided score of 275 to 105.

To train for the 2020 competition, Blackwell relied upon flash cards, some 30,000 of them. On each card he jotted a small isolated fact and then reviewed each of the 30,000 cards 8 times.

The Americans came up with the game show’s format, the British adopted it, but an American showed them how play it in a strategic style and win.