Going Dutch: Wie Ben Ik?

By | October 11, 2013

This is the last in the present series of Going Dutch, but who knows? If you enjoyed it perhaps we’ll do it again in the future.

To finish off the week we’re going to have a quick look at Wie Ben Ik? (Who Am I?), a popular comedy panel game. It began in Belgium and in 1990 a native Dutch version started hosted by a young Caroline Tensen (who some of you will know as the host of the Dutch 1 vs 100, which she still does) and has been on and off various different channels before restarting about six weeks ago on RTL4, now hosted by Wendy van Dijk (which Wikipedia suggests was an assistant in a previous incarnation of the show, and has also hosted the Dutch version of The Voice and The X Factor)

Currently each team has two regular players (Media personalities Paul van Leeuw and Jandino Asporat vs Gordon and Richard Groenendijk) and a guest celebrity. In round one one team will play “who am I?”, each player will hit a buzzer in front of them and a board will pop up with their mystery identity. The other team offer three cryptic hints before the player gets to ask 30 seconds of yes/no questions. Once all three players have had their go, they get to make initial guesses. If they’re right they get 90 points immediately, if not then they they get a clue (sometimes through a big door or an object on the conveyor belt) and get 90 seconds to ask questions. When they work out who they are they score 1 point for the team for every second left over. Repeat for the other players.

Round two is “what am I?” and plays the same as round one but with the teams swapping roles, and the mystery things to guess aren’t people.

The final round is “where am I?” where teams get alternating 30 second periods to try and work out where the host is according to her card by asking questions. Whichever team works it out gets their score doubled which will normally win the game.

Not the best game structure, but it’s just something to hang the comedy off really, and previous versions of this were very popular indeed. Here’s an episode from 1990 – doubtless this loses something if you don’t understand Dutch (and I don’t) but you can probably get the gist of the funny bits with tone, rhythm and expression:


Now, modern shows – regrettably RTL hide them behind a paywall and geoblock (although you can also pay to see the upcoming episode, also if you can get round the geoblock the previous episode seems to be free to watch) but the online clips are free to watch after an advert.

It is the sort of thing that’d work quite well over here during Would I Lie to You? off season, or with the 8 Out of 10 Cats people playing, I reckon. Or on Dave.

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