Lazlo's version was just different enough to probably avoid a copyright-infringement suit. He'd crack open a fifth-grade textbook to pop-quiz readers on the air.
"We did come up with it," Lazlo says. He still can't figure out why anyone would rip off what he admits was a dumb idea.
The show essentially works off the same yes-we-are-that-stupid premise of reality TV. And it's that reality-TV feel that makes Lazlo even less interested in being named its creator.
"I don't know if you come forward with something like that. I don't know if you come forward and say, 'I'm the guy who thought of that.' Not a good idea. If it was something cool, maybe, but for this, I think you let it go."
He has since switched to doing a series of are-you-smarter-than segments, such as "Are you smarter than a barista?" and "Are you smarter than the lead singer of an emo band?" The obvious question: Is it smart to riff on an idea already ripped off from you? Lazlo, who appeals to the hipster-meets-fart-joke demographic, sees it as his duty.
"You expect horrible from us," he says. "The fact that they did it, I think, opens itself up to a lot of horrible radio."