Monday, January 14, 2013

How the Liars' Panel works

I've written in many past SF convention reports about the Liars' Panel that I frequently run.  This panel is both a humor event and a charity fundraiser.  A lot of folks have asked how it works, so I thought I'd explain that here.

The panel works best with three panelists, all of whom need to know how to tell a funny story quickly, ideally in a minute.  The panel can work with four people, but they have to be good at answering quickly. The panel also requires the help of one or more people who pick up money.

I open the panel by explaining the rules:

  • I’ll ask ten questions (time permitting).
  • The panelists have seen the questions in advance.
  • Each panelist will answer each question.  
  • Three of each panelist’s answers will be lies--though if we don't get to all ten questions, you may not hear three lies from each of us.  I have no way to know if you will.
  • No one else knows which answers are lies; even I don’t.  We have not shared our answers with each other.
  • After an answer, I’ll ask if there are any challenges.
  • Each person who wants to challenge may do so by holding up a hand with one dollar in it.  Panelists may challenge each other.
  • If the answer was a lie, the panelist puts $10 in one of the collection buckets.
  • If the answer was the truth, each person who challenged it must put $1 in the bucket.  
  • All proceeds go to a charity of the convention's choice.
Thus, this panel actually costs each of the panelists money, at least thirty bucks (ten dollars a line), and usually more (to challenge fellow panelists).

Once I finish the rules, I ask which person will volunteer to go first, take that role if no one does, ask the first question, and then we're off.

Here are the questions I asked at the Illogicon II Liars' Panel this past weekend:
  1. What’s the most outrageous place you’ve ever had sex?
  2. What secret talent do you possess that few would suspect?
  3. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever been caught doing in public?
  4. What’s your weirdest possession?
  5. What is the most frustrating experience you’ve ever had on a date?  
  6. What is the most disturbing thing that ever happened to you while you were having sex?
  7. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done to try to get a person of your sexual persuasion to notice you?
  8. Who is your most embarrassing celebrity crush?
  9. What guilty pleasure would others not expect you to have?
  10. What's the weirdest rash, bruise, or injury you've ever had?  
Sorry, but no, you don't get to hear the answers.  

For that, you have to come to a convention where I'm doing the panel.

To learn which of my answers are true and which are lies, you must, of course pay.  


Madison Metricula said...

It looked hilarious and I wish I had been able to make it! However, filk circles trump all other things at cons. :)

Mark said...

Sorry you couldn't make it.


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