Bay Area Trivia


The resourceful folks at SFGate came out with a bunch of trivia questions about the Bay Area. Some are weird but definitely not a single one is a trick question. Find out how much you know!

1 Even casual movie fans know that Clint Eastwood is the title character in “Dirty Harry.” But who was originally supposed to be the San Francisco police inspector?

2 While we’re at it, the villain in “Dirty Harry” was loosely based on the Zodiac, one of the most famous killers in San Francisco history. According to the most generally accepted police estimate, how many people did the Zodiac kill in San Francisco?

3 Before Sacramento became the state capital in 1854, the capital shifted among three Bay Area cities. Name them.

4 Where can you find the world’s oldest working lightbulb?

5 What 6-foot-2-inch girl captained her basketball team at the Branson School in Ross in 1928 and 1929?

6 We all know where Tony Bennett left his heart, but where is the heart of San Bruno?

7 What young comedian was heckled so badly during an appearance with Barbra Streisand at San Francisco’s hungry i in the early 1960s that, as the San Francisco Examiner put it, “He was reduced to something pale, quivering and not quite human, his back to the audience, elbows on the piano, mumbling material to the brick wall”?

8 Thirty years ago, the Eugene O’Neill Foundation helped to save the Tao House in Danville from being demolished. Why?

9 What does San Francisco author Amy Tan have in common with bestselling authors Stephen King, Scott Turow and Mitch Albom, plus syndicated columnist Dave Barry and “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening?

10 What’s the easiest way to walk from San Francisco to Alameda County without crossing a bridge?

11 Where is Wyatt Earp buried?

12 What is unique about Tuffy, one of the dogs buried in the Benicia Army Cemetery?

13 Why would Mill Valley’s 2AM Club look familiar to fans of Huey Lewis and the News?

14 What was Li’l Folks?

15 In “Foul Play,” a 1978 comedy starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, there’s a plot to assassinate the pope in San Francisco. Who portrayed the pope?

16 Which current Bay Area resident was the youngest performer ever to win an Oscar?

17 Which San Francisco mayor became a Union general in the Civil War?

18 Where did Charlie Chaplin make several films, including “The Tramp”?

19 Why was the name of San Francisco’s Pacific Street changed to Pacific Avenue?

20 What city’s motto is “Climate Best by Government Test,” and what the heck does that mean?

21 In San Francisco, a couple of streets just west of St. Mary’s Park are in an unusual shape. Why?

22 In the 1969 graduating class at Redwood High School in Larkspur, who was voted “Least Likely to Succeed”?

23 On Memorial Day 1977, a large protest was held to support installing suicide barriers on the Golden Gate Bridge. Which key speaker in support of the barriers ended up becoming world famous?

24 In Alfred Hitchcock‘s “The Birds,” one crucial building was Bodega Bay School. What’s the school’s real name, and where is it?

25 Who were Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions?

26 What brothers were part of the Blue Velvets, entertaining classmates at El Cerrito’s Portola Junior High and El Cerrito High in the late 1950s and early 1960s?

27 TV trivia from the 1980s: The mansion in “Dynasty,” the winery in “Falcon Crest” and the hotel in “Hotel” are all in the Bay Area. What are their real-life names and locations?

28 San Francisco used to be referred to as the Barbary Coast. Why?

29 What was the original name of the Oakland Raiders?

30 More Oakland sports: When the A’s had their glory years in the early 1970s, they had famous players such as Reggie Jackson and Vida Blue and Rollie Fingers. But the most famous person from the team turned out to be a ballgirl, Debbie Sivyer. Why?

How many were you able to answer out of the top of your head? Which ones were hard? Check back next week for answers!

Posted by: Rebecca White on