Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Story Quiz

You’ve seen A Christmas Story, the 1983 classic, more times than you can count.

You know all the trademark lines, from “You'll shoot your eye out” to “He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay” to “He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.”

And, of course, you know exactly what BB gun Ralphie wants for Christmas: an “Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.”

But how well do you really know the story?

I double dog dare ya to take this quiz and see how you scored at the end. In fact, I triple dog dare ya!

1. A Christmas Story is told from the point of view of a grown-up Ralphie. Who narrated and co-wrote the film?

a) Jean Stapleton
b) Jean Simmons
c) Jean Rogers
d) Jean Shepherd

2. During the opening credits of A Christmas Story, a group is standing around a fire, singing what African-American spiritual song?

a) All God’s Children Got Wings
b) Go Tell It on the Mountain
c) There Is a Balm in Gilead
d) The Gospel Train

3. Introduced by Daisy Outdoor Products in 1940, the Red Ryder BB Gun is the object of Ralphie’s desire. What writer/artist duo created the Red Ryder comic strip character the gun is named after?

a) Stephen Slesinger and Fred Harman
b) Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
c) Paul S. Newman and Tom Gill
d) Joe Orlando and Carmine Infantino

4. While Ralphie is sitting at the breakfast table, his mother rejects his request for a BB gun, saying the classic line, “No, you’ll shoot your eye out.” Ralphie, switching tactics, says, “I guess I’d just like some _______.”

a) marbles
b) Tinker Toys
c) TOG'Ls
d) army men

5. Ralphie was so obsessed with getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, he wrote an essay on the topic for school. What grade did he get?

a) A+
b) B+
c) C+
d) D+

6. What actor played Ralphie’s over-cussing father, who shouted a string of imperceptible expletives while trying to fix the furnace?

a) James Darren
b) Darren Collison
c) Darren McGavin
d) Darrin Stephens

7. Undoubtedly influenced by his father’s lewd language, Ralphie dropped an “F” bomb while helping him fix a flat tire. As punishment, Ralphie’s mom washed his mouth out with soap. What brand of soap did she use?

a) Ivory
b) Lifebuoy
c) Lux
d) Palmolive

8. What radio show is the “one thing in the world” that could drag Ralphie away from his father’s leg lamp, which he refers to as “electric sex gleaming in the window”?

a) Little Orphan Annie
b) The Lone Ranger
c) The Shadow
d) The Green Hornet

9. What was the name of the coonskin cap-wearing bully that terrorized Ralphie and his buddies?

a) Sid Phillips
b) Ace Merrill
c) Chet Donnelly
d) Scut Farcus
10. What present did Ralphie’s mom give his dad for Christmas?

a) a bowling ball
b) a football
c) a rifle
d) a tie

11. After the neighbors’ dogs gobble down the Christmas turkey, Ralphie and his family go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. What is the name of the restaurant?

a) The Hong Fat Noodle Company
b) Eastern Kitchen
c) Chop Suey Palace
d) A Taste of Asia

12. A Christmas Story begat an awful, direct-to-video sequel in 2012. Who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story 2?

a) Braeden Lemasters
b) Joel Courtney
c) Liam James
d) Asa Butterfield


1. D. Jean Shepherd. An actor, writer, radio host, and raconteur, Jean Shepherd, along with Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, wrote the film based on Shepherd’s book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.

2. B. Go Tell it on the Mountain, which is considered a Christmas song in that it celebrates Jesus’ birth: “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”

3. A. Stephen Slesinger and Fred Harman. Debuting in 1938, the Red Ryder comic strip ran until 1964. At its peak, it appeared in more than 750 newspapers.   

4. B. Tinker Toys. Ralphie immediately regrets his pseudo request, with the narrator saying, “I couldn’t believe my own ears. Tinker Toys? She’d never buy it.”

5. C. C+. Ralphie’s teacher, Miss Shields (Tedde Moore), gives him a C+, warning him that he’ll “shoot his eye out.”

6. C. Darren McGavin. Best known for playing Carl Kolchak on TV’s Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975), McGavin also played the title role in Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1958-1960).

7. B. Lifebuoy. Ralphie would have preferred Palmolive, which he claimed had “a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor. Heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness.”

8. A. Little Orphan Annie. Based on Harold Gray’s classic comic strip, Little Orphan Annie was an adventure program in which the titular redhead fought crime and solved mysteries.

9. D. Scut Farcus. Played by Zack Ward, Scut Farcus eventually pushes Ralphie too far, prompting our bespectacled, round-faced hero to beat him up.

10. A. Bowling ball. The weighty gift was promptly dropped in Dad’s lap, making him speak in a high-pitched voice.

11. C. Chop Suey Palace. At the Chop Suey Palace, the family eats duck and is serenaded by the waiters with “Deck the harrs with boughs of horry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.”

12. Braeden Lemasters. In A Christmas Story 2, Ralphie was five years older and wanted a 1938 Mercury convertible for Christmas.

How did you score?

0-3 Points: Oh, fudge!

4-7 Points: You’re a real clinker!

8-11 Points: Great job! You must have been drinking your Ovaltine.

12 Points: Congratulations, you won it—A Major Award!

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