In NBC's new game show Amnesia (Fridays at 9 pm/ET), contestants compete for big money by answering questions about a subject they should have firsthand knowledge of — their own lives. We spoke to series host Dennis Miller, that hyper-articulate master of minutiae, about helping people remember those potentially moneymaking little details.
TV Guide: Amnesia sounds reminiscent of This Is Your Life.
Dennis Miller: It's This Is Your Life meets Jeopardy.... I think Ken Jennings would be better answering questions about trivia than he would his own life, because people don’t seem to remember things. Between the intricacy of the questions and the fact that we [don't] keep tabs on life like it’s a textbook, things fall between the cracks. Therein lies the mirth!
TV Guide: What drew you to the show?
Miller: It's [from] Mark Burnett [Survivor, The Apprentice], and I'm a Burnett fan. He called and I was onboard. And I like the fact that the métier for me was not to be sardonic or flippant. I've been paid to be a smart [ass] so long that it's kind of nice to just walk people through memory lane and hope they win the bread.
TV Guide: Can you give us an idea of the questions?
Miller: We blindfolded a [contestant], who had said something akin to "[my] mother made the best shepherd’s pie." And then [we] wheel out five shepherd’s pies and they have to taste them, with their mom standing behind the one [she cooked].
TV Guide: What game-show host did you most admire?
Miller: [Match Game’s] Gene Rayburn. I loved the long, thin mike. It was like this duality of modes. He had the worst sport jacket on in the world — it looked like he had won the Masters on the planet Bizarro. But then he had the smooth, svelte mike. He seemed like a cool guy who got it. It was serious but not serious.
TV Guide: You host a radio show, and now this. Ever consider a return to acting?
Miller: Nah. It’s too much time in trailers. I just did a part in a Cameron Diaz/Ashton Kutcher film, which was fun, because it was two days. But after that, it gets gulag to me, where I'm sitting there eating gouda wedges, it's 3 in the morning and they're backlighting one of the Coreys for a fight scene. I'm crawling the walls at that point.
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