Alex Davis
Guest Blog: “The Pyramid” Contestant Dan McLaughlin Thumbnail

Guest Blog: “The Pyramid” Contestant Dan McLaughlin

Collectively, through its debut week, millions of people watched the debut of GSN’s The Pyramid.  A large number of you may have seen one very excited contestant in particular: Dan McLaughlin.  On September 4th Dan got to play the infamous Winner’s Circle once with Yvette Nicole Brown from NBC’s Community and collected a total of $3,000 through his day.  Not bad for a half hour of games.  We were very excited to find out that Dan was a reader and wanted to share his experience on the classic game show with everyone.  Dan put together a great guest blog explaining how it was playing the show, what contestants go through, and how it is sitting in the Winner’s Circle.

Congratulations, again, to Dan. If you have a story you’d like to share with BuzzerBlog readers, click here to email us and let us know.


Things you do with the Cast of Community


Dan McLaughlin

Watching classic game shows; Covering the answers on the TV screen; screaming my guesses and driving my family crazy – “Things I did as a child of the 80’s”.

Spending Thursday nights watching NBC;  Enjoying Chevy Chase’s return to TV;  Signing a petition to bring back one of the funniest comedies currently on the air – “Things I do in my 30’s”

How lucky am I that I got to not only play one of the best game shows in American television history, but to play with two amazing actors from one of my favorite TV shows?  This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be a contestant on GSN’s The Pyramid, and my celebrity partners were Yvette Nicole Brown and Danny Pudi of Community!

In the first round, I was teamed with Yvette, and immediately I felt a great connection!  It was like I was playing with an old friend rather than someone I had just met!  Our first category sounded like a great one, “Broadway Babes!”  I am pretty familiar with Broadway plays, so I thought this would be an easy one, but we soon found out it was actually a category about celebrities born in New York!  Yikes!  Every fan of Pyramid knows that proper name categories are usually some of the hardest ones!  Yvette and I won five out of seven points, not bad, but next Danny played a perfect round with my lovely opponent, Marisa!  Uh oh!  I’m behind!  And my opponents are good!

Luckily, my next category was all about the TV show, The View!  I often watch that show while running on the treadmill at the gym, and I even saw Yvette as a guest on that show!  It turns out she is a very good friend of The View co-host, Sherri Shepherd!  Looks like it’s time for us to take the lead!  Of course, some of my friends teased me for describing Whoopi Goldberg as “That wonderful woman from Sister Act!”  Hey, you don’t have time to think, you just say the first thing that comes to mind!  And it worked!  So, we got our first 7 out of 7!

Off to Danny and Marisa, who score five points, and now the game is tied!  We both have one category each to go!  This is a tight game!

Back to Yvette and me!  The category is underwater things, and Yvette is giving clues.  This round went swimmingly and we scored another 7 out of 7!  So I knew Danny and Marisa had to play a perfect game in order to tie, or I’m going to the winner’s circle!

Danny and Marisa only got five more points, so Yvette and I were off to the Winner’s Circle!  In this version of Pyramid, we can choose if we give or receive in the Winner’s Circle.  Since I found Yvette was so good at giving clues, I decided to let her give and I would receive in this round.  The Winner’s Circle felt like it went by so fast, we were on a roll and cleared all of the questions until the top one: “Things that are Tender.”  (“Things that are Tender?!?!”  Of course she wasn’t talking about bloody things when she said “a heart” and “a steak!”  Tender!  Tender!  Tender!  Ugh!)  Well, it was a tough one, but I still got $1,500 in the circle, and adding that to the $1,000 I got for the two 7 for 7’s I was thrilled to be at $2,500!  Yvette asked me what else she could have said for “Things that are Tender.”  Honestly, the only thing that I could think of was “Bobby Brown’s Roni!”  I don’t know if many people would get that reference, but that is where my mind went!

The next round began and I was now paired with Danny, who really is a genuinely nice guy!

Yvette and Marisa go first and they got 5 out of 7.  Now, Danny and I go and he has to describe characters from children’s literature to me!  I thought this would be great!  I used to be a teacher, I know children’s literature very well, piece of cake!  Unfortunately, as often happens on Pyramid, what looks like a simple category can prove difficult, especially with the excitement and the pressure of the moment!  We were stuck on Goldilocks, and we just couldn’t get out of it.  We ended up with only 4 points!  I’m starting out behind again!

Back to Yvette and Marisa and they got “Things in a woman’s purse,” which gets them a 7 out of 7!  Oh no!  Now, I’m really behind!

I have to describe healthy foods.  Yes, I described broccoli as looking like Justin Guarini’s head, but again, it’s whatever comes to mind first!  And, hey, Danny got it!  But we only got another 5 points, so we are still behind!  So, Danny and I go again because we were trailing at this point.  Oh no!  And now I have another proper name category with “Famous left handed people or characters!”  Yikes!  Amazingly, this round gave me my only 7 out of 7 with Danny!  (This also added another $500 to my total, which now was $3,000!)

Now back to Yvette and Marisa, who needed four to tie, five to win, with a category about the ten plagues of Egypt.  As they played, I was on the edge of my seat, counting each correct answer, hoping I was still in the game!  But they actually got six points, taking them to the winner’s circle.  I was happy for Marisa, since she really is a great lady, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to get back in that winner’s circle!  Marisa didn’t clear the Pyramid either, but ended up with a total of $2,300.  If only this was the Dick Clark version, I’d be back again the next day, since I had the bigger win of the day with $3,000!  Of course, I can’t complain!  I am thrilled to walk away with $3,000, and to have played such a fun classic game show with two of the nicest and funniest celebrities on TV today!  It is a memory I will always cherish, (and replay in my head, as well as my DVR!)

And thank you BuzzerBlog for allowing me to not only share my story, but also for originally posting the audition details for Pyramid!  I’ll take “Blogs that are awesome” please!

Thanks again to Dan.  If you have a story you’d like to share with BuzzerBlog readers, click here to email us and let us know.

Alex Davis

About the Author

has written 3437 articles on BuzzerBlog.

Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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