If you’re not playing HQ, please hurry and catch up with the times. The app, by the co-creators of Vine (RIP), is extremely popular and extremely simple: Twice a day, at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., you can open the app and participate in a live trivia show — answering, alongside tens of thousands of fellow users, up to 12 questions of increasing difficulty. If you get all 12 correct, you win a cash prize. It’s an entertaining way to look up from your monitor and actually interact with your co-workers at 3:00 each day. (Or, it is until you all realize you’re not actually as smart as you thought you were, and then are forced to admit it to each other.)
The best thing about HQ, though, is not the money. It’s a guy named Scott. Scott Rogowsky hosts most of HQ’s shows — occasionally replaced by a perfectly nice woman named Sharon, who is good, but no Scott — and, if the live comments (“quiz me daddy”) during each game are to be believed, has developed something of a rabid fanbase.
But during a recent interview with Taylor Lorenz at the Daily Beast, Scott managed to get himself into some trouble with HQ’s CEO, who wasn’t pleased the host had done an interview with the news outlet. After being told that Lorenz was interviewing Rogowsky, HQ CEO Rus Yusupov said “Scott could lose his job” if the interview ran. Why? For (completely inexplicable) reasons like this:
When the Daily Beast read Yusupov a quote from Rogowsky saying, “I can make people happy and give them the trivia they so desperately love and want. It’s been so great to build this community,” Yusupov implored the reporter to “take that out.”
Asked for clarification, Yusupov replied that Rogowsky was absolutely not allowed to say that he “enjoys making people happy and giving them the trivia they want.”
In a later call, Yusupov walked back his comments and told the Daily Beast he never threatened Rogowsky’s job. Just in case that’s not true, or he decides to change his mind again, here are a few of the reasons we, the loyal HQ-ers of Select All, believe Scott Rogowsky has got to stay.
The way he commits to keeping words coming out of his mouth even when he’s not really sure what he’s saying.
The other night I played a game in which Scott flip-flopped between saying “Enya” — pronounced properly — and “Anya” while reading a music question. It hurt my soul a little bit, but Scott, unfazed, soldiered on. That’s just how he is.
His religious commitment to riffing, even when no riffs are available.
Scott’s talent is rooted in his ability to take some extremely dry trivia questions and answers and riff on them in often-nonsensical, frequently not even funny, ways. Sometimes he calls question five “question fiver,” for no reason anyone can understand. “Ben Affleck … good old Benedict Affleck,” he said, bafflingly, in one recent game. This commitment to riffing, rhyming, and punning, even when there is absolutely no humor to be found, is an inspiring display of persistence in the face of challenge.
The timbre of his voice when he screams the word “SAVAGE.”
If an HQ question knocks out a substantial number of players, Scott will declare it a “SAVAGE QUESTION.” A shattered animation will cross your screen, and the sounds of breaking glass and Scott yelling, “SAVAGE! IT’S SAVAGE, I TELL YA!” will haunt your dreams forevermore.
The dumb things he says that make you feel smarter, even when you get a question wrong.
Chances are good that, unless you’re some kind of supercomputer-brained human, you will get a question wrong at some point playing HQ. Scott will make you feel better about this because, as you’re nursing your intellectual wounds, he’ll undoubtedly be saying something ridiculous and slightly skeevy and you’ll get to think, Well, at least I’m not that guy.
That, uh, glassy look in his eyes.
We’ll let you figure this one out for yourself.
The way he’s not really all that funny.
To be clear, Scott is not an objectively good host. He’s not particularly funny. His banter is bad. Half the time he’s just babbling to kill time between questions. This is Scott’s appeal. HQ wouldn’t be half as much fun if he were a good host.
Long live Scott!