Can you name the actor who voiced the alien ALF on television in the 1980s? Odds are that Jim Dale, better known as Captain Jim of Captain Jim’s Trivia, can. (It was Paul Fusco.)
Since 2006, the 49-year-old lifelong Hastings resident has been a part of the local restaurant scene, bartending and hosting trivia contests at Maud’s Tavern in Hastings, Doubleday’s in Dobbs Ferry, and Bread & Brine in Hastings.
Since dine-in service at all restaurants was suspended in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dale moved his trivia contests online and shifted to delivering food for Doubleday’s. From his home, he hosts trivia league play and offers events for virtual social gatherings.
“I’m going to be 50 in June,” he said, “and sailing this ship would have been impossible without the love and support of the Rivertowns at my back, truly.”
For the league games, the subjects vary by day, from the All-Sports League on Tuesday, to Pocket Protector Wednesday, to Themed Thursday, to Sloppy Saturday. Sundays are “Brunch with Captain Caroline” hosted by fellow Hastings resident Caroline Hand Romita.
To set the scene, Dale wears a captain’s hat and an anchor necklace during events. He also plays yacht rock, a term that refers to soft rock from the 1970s and 1980s.
“Lots of joking with players pre-game, thanking the medical professionals, talking about the new items on the local menus — all while yacht rock plays in the background,” Dale said. “Really trying to make it a voyage at sea where the point is largely just to be there, and the questions spark jokes, chat, back-and-forth.”
There are no prizes for the online games, though Dale plans to award trophies. During each 90-minute broadcast, he plugs local businesses.
“Oh gosh, I do it all the time,” he said. “I eat a lot of Slices, Bread & Brine, and Doubleday’s right on camera, and I hope everyone else does too. The Mill [though closed] has sent me positive vibes, as has Boro6.”
Teams of six can join for $100 for six weeks. Individuals who want to be placed on a team are also welcome. For more information, visit www.captainjimstrivia.com.
“One player said, ‘It is nice to think about something else for 90 minutes each week,’” Dale recalled. “That’s what I am after. Everyone is going to get some of the questions right no matter who they are. Only a tiny group will get close to all of them, and they like to be competitive. But this is not about points to me.
“It is about a yacht-rock atmosphere,” he added, “sharing a vibe together, having a virtual toast, and just staying present, doing something new and just plain fun.”