Who Wants to See a Millionaire?

October 9th, 2008 | Posted in News

My friend and fellow caricaturist and cartoonist Jim Batts is an entertainment trivia genius, and is about to test his mettle on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” two weeks from today, October 23rd in New York City.

Jim traveled to NYC this summer to try out for the program and it’s “Movie Trivia” focused week run of shows sponsored by Netflix. Jim nailed the audition and got the callback last month. He’s scheduled to tape his show on the 23rd. Believe it or not, I am one of his “Phone a Friend” lifelines… basically I am on call to answer any Harry Potter or Batman film related questions. That’s about all I have to offer, as Jim knows roughly 10,000 times more than I about movie trivia. I’ll be sitting next to my phone all day and probably jump every time it rings.

If you are in the NYC area and want to go see the taping and cheer on a fellow cartoonist, visit the “Millionaire” website to order free tickets. I’d get the earlier taping if available because Jim is likely to be selected early. Last year they gave away a free year of Netflix to all audience members, and this year will likely have some kind of movie related gift as well. If you think you have a big brain you can also audition for a future “Millionaire” show when you go watch the taping. Check out the details on the website.

Jim won’t be the first cartoonist I know who has been on “Millionaire”. Gordon Purcell is a local Twin Cities comic book artist I know who does a lot of licensed comics like Star Trek, The X-files, Xena, etc. In 2005 he was on the show and won $50,000!! Alas I was not one of his “Phone a Friend” lifelines. Maybe that’s good as I would have had no idea Rhode Island was the U.S. state that signed a 1790 treaty under the threat of being declared a foreign nation.

I would have guessed Iowa.

Sorry Bucky.

UPDATE- It seems I know one other cartoonist who has been on “Millionaire”- “Love and Capes” creator and caricaturist Thom Zahler, whom I know through the NCN, was on the show in 2002 and won $32,000.


  1. JWB1 says:

    Thanks for the mention, Tom! In doing my research today I discovered another talent of yours. In the opening titles of “Nick and Norah’s Infinate Playlist” I saw you listed as director of photography. Great job! Every shot stayed in focus and there were no jittery bumps during camera moves! The movie itself is pretty charming, too.
    Hope to see a few of my cartooning brothers and sister in the audience on the 23rd! I know the Steckleys will be in my cheering section. Just be prepared to pick confetti out of your hair and clothes!
    I’ll let you all know when the episode is aired!

  2. Tom says:

    That “Tom Richmond” is about 7 feet tall and has done the cinematography for a lot of movies. There was also a “Tom Richmond” who was a TV producer in the 70-80’s, and I’d see “my” name on the credits to “Three’s Company” all the time.

    Good luck on the show, Jim!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

%d bloggers like this: