Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jane Lynch tells Conan why Hollywood Game Night cut back the booze, cueing celebrity speculation

Jane Lynch, Conan O’Brien
Screenshot: Conan

Hollywood Game Night might not be the most challenging game show in TV history, with its roster of chummy celebrity party games coming in just a hair above Saturday Night Live’s version of Celebrity Jeopardy in terms of intellectual rigor. But, hey, if you want to see some mid-range famous folks goofing around on your television without having to watch Jimmy Fallon, then the Jane Lynch-hosted game show isn’t the worst way to spend a half-hour. Especially if you’re nostalgic for the old days of shows like Match Game (or the new days of Match Game), when you could see alternately embarrassed- or grateful-to-be-there faces trying to win prizes for some regular folk while suppressing the odd scotch-belch.


And if part of the appeal was the real or imagined thought of slumming celebs slurring their way through their time filling in the blanks and playing charades and so forth, then Hollywood Game Night has you covered there, too. Or at least it did, as Lynch told Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter on last night’s Conan. The Emmy-nominated host, actress, and legendary improviser said that some recent experiences on set have caused her producers to at least put an intermittent cork in the show’s longstanding bottomless booze policy. “We used to,” stated Lynch to Conan’s question about her show’s open bar strategy for celebrity lubrication, with Richter confessing that his few times on the show were, indeed, nudged to life with a magically refilling glass. Conan, claiming with mock incredulity that he’s never resorted to green room shenanigans to loosen up his guests, asked Lynch seriously if her famous-to-semi-famous contestants really abused the show’s largesse.

Oh, did they. While assiduously refusing to put names to anecdotes, Lynch offered up tales of one (female) celebrity who was so upset at losing a point for her non-wealthy teammate that she wound up weeping in a fetal position on the studio floor. “We had to cut around it,” explained Lynch, while Conan guessed Cate Blanchett and Andy speculated it was Barbara Walters. (Since neither has appeared on Hollywood Game Night, you can cross them off your list at home.) At least that weepy episode is sort of sweet in a sloppy-boozy way, unlike another famous contestant (gender unrevealed) who Lynch says went on an extended rant to the (presumably nanny-less) studio audience about the difficulty of finding a good nanny. Stars—they’re just like us.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.