Back in the 1960’s bingo was so popular in the UK that the number of people playing the game each week was greater than the number of attendees at football matches.
Sadly, from those heights the game suffered a fall in popularity as the millennium approached, leading to the closure of many high street and town centre bingo halls and the merger of major bingo firms.
However, despite this, the game still retained a legion of dedicated players and remained a regular fixture in social clubs, holiday parks and at in seaside resorts.
The advent of the internet has restored the game’s fortunes by allowing fans to play in their own home and at a time that’s convenient to them. And the inclusion of chat rooms and messaging on many sites means the game remains a social activity even for those players not visiting a traditional bingo hall.
With the game once again such a popular activity, its often used as a setting in films and TV shows – especially where some light relief is needed. Here’s our round up of the best and funniest bingo moments:
One of America’s longest running prime time entertainment series and a hit around the world, The Simpsons has seen some of the biggest names in showbiz, business and even politics make appearances.
It’s also amassed a vast array of running gags and catchphrases including Homer’s classic “D’oh” which is so popular it’s prompted research into just how many times he’s said it.
One of its best known scenes – and there’s a lot of those – is a short scene in which two players are struggling to follow the game of Bingo.
When the caller call I-25 one of players asks what letter he called out. After the answer, the second one asks which number was called out the caller says 25. When the player then asks which game, the caller says “Bingo” after which he throws away the bingo card.
Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
Debuting in 2017, this Netflix series sees comedian Jack Whitehall and his father Michael bond over shared experiences while travelling.
Series one took them to across South East Asia, while its follow-up saw them visiting Eastern Europe and the most recent series took them to the USA, including the Sun City West retirement home where Jack stands in as the caller in a bingo game and unexpectedly announces that Michael will personally boost the prize of $100 to $1,000.
After the unexpected outlay, Michael might have preferred to stay home and play online bingo on 888 Ladies. This site offers a variety of bingo games plus slots and other games. Bingo codes are also thrown in the mix to make things interesting.
Derren Litten’s Benidorm has one of the best bingo settings of any British sitcom. Because of a rainstorm, the guests have to spend the night inside and Lesley decides to set up a bingo game to keep them entertained. The star-prize is a brand new laptop.
It’s a drunken Pauline that steals the show. One the caller announces 6 she rushes to the microphone to say that she won. What follows is an insulting speech to all the guests after which she collapses on the floor. Later on, she gets her prize which turns out to be a lap dog, instead of a laptop.
Benidorm was of course one of ITV’s biggest hits in recent years and its success stands in stark contrast to Scarborough a TV series he was working on for the BBC which failed to recapture the earlier show’s success and ended up being axed after a single season.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David is a comedy legend known for his cringe humour. The co-creator of Seinfeld, one of the funniest TV shows to grace the screen, fans also got to see him again in Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has a great bingo scene.
After the caller calls a number, Larry says “Bingo” prompting Lenore to come and check his ticket. Unfortunately, Larry doesn’t win because the numbers don’t add up. After the next number is called, Ruth gets a full house and wins.
The whole situation is awkward which is why it’s so funny. Larry even asks to see Lenore’s pad where the winning numbers are written and then gets mad when she refuses.