Over the past couple of years, the wildly popular trivia-wherever-you-may-be app HQ Trivia has helped know-it-alls from all over the world band together in order to win cash for their breadth of knowledge. The show has had a number of guest hosts throughout the years, but no host truly put a face to the app quite like comedian Scott Rogowsky, who had manned the ship since August 2017.
Last month, Rogowsky announced that he would be parting ways with the show in order to co-host a brand-new baseball show on the sports streaming platform DAZN titled “ChangeUp.” As they say, the show must go on, and in his absence HQ announced that comedian Matt Richards would be stepping up to fill Rogo’s shoes as the main host of the game. As a frequent fill-in host of the show, Richards is no stranger to how things work. We caught up with Richards to talk about the brand-new gig and some of the useful and useless information he learns on the job.
Getting to know Matt Richards, the new host of HQ Trivia
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How does it feel to step into the role as the host of HQ?
It feels incredible, I’m not going to lie. I’m waking [up] excited to come to work that doesn’t feel like work!
It must feel insane addressing such a large group of people playing the game every night?
I’m literally standing in front of the camera watching the number go up, trying not to bite my nails, trying not to freak out. It’s like being in a plane that’s taking off in weather that you don’t know about. I’ll buckle my seat belt, but it won’t matter if I do or not!
A big part of the job is interacting with the community as the game goes on. In some of your past appearances as guest host, you’ve done a great job interacting with players live on-air.
Is that something you want to build on as the new master of ceremonies?
It’s a live game and sometimes I feel like people have a tendency to forget that. I’m trying to be [as] in the moment as possible and I don’t think there is anything more in the moment than asking people what they’re doing. Where are y’all at? If you sippin’ on something, what you sippin’ on? Get in the chat!
Did you have any experience hosting trivia in bars before working for HQ?
I used to host karaoke in Times Square. This was years ago. It was awful. It was at a dueling pianos kind of venue. Sometimes we would have celebrities come in, and that was cool. It was always packed on the weekends. Stand-up is how I got started with all of this stuff. So with HQ I get to use a lot of the skills I learned as a comic in New York and bring it to hundreds of thousands of cellphones and iPads [laughs].
How hard is it not to blurt out the answers during a game?
I got so many family members that hit me up like, “Hey, can you slide me some of the answers?” It’s like knowing the secret and having to keep it. I’ve been horrible keeping secrets most of my life. So now, getting the material and going over the questions and learning the answers a day or two before, I’m like, “I can’t say none of that, to anybody?!”
Do you feel like you are gaining an overload of useful and useless knowledge from working at HQ?
I have learned more in the ... coming up on one year in late June ... than I ever have. Some of it is useless. I don’t need to know what Post Malone’s under-eye tattoos say. That’s not helping the world. But I know now!