Lowest Scoring Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Show

During the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank segment on the show that aired on April 29, 2017, Amy Dickinson commented that that show was lowest scoring show ever. At the start of the segment, Roy Blount Jr. had two points, Amy Dickinson had one, and Tom Bodett had four. When Amy made the comment, both Amy and Roy had correctly answered four questions each for a combined score of 19. Tom Bodett blitzed through his questions and had answered six correct; thus, bringing the grand total to 35 points.

I was curious to see what is the lowest scoring show in Wait Waist… Don’t Tell Me! history; well, shows that included a Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank type round anyway. So, I started querying the database to weed out shows that I do not have panelist scores for, as well as Best Of and repeated shows.

Database query result showing each show’s total score in descending order

Based on the result of the above query, the show that actually has the lowest score was the one that aired back in November 23, 2002, which had a combined score of 21 points.

Show information for 2002-11-23

The November 23, 2002 show is made famous by the fact that it was the first time a panelist did not answer a single Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank question correctly. That (dubious) honor went to Paula Poundstone; who, repeated that same feat on the show that aired on March 29, 2008.

Show information for 2008-03-29

The March 29, 2008 show is one of the six shows that are tied for second lowest scoring show, with a combined score of 25 points.

In summary, even if the April 29, 2017 show finished without Tom Bodett answering any of his questions correctly, the combined score of 23 would end up being the second lowest scoring show; but, it would not be the lowest scoring show.