Feb. 27, 2014 at 5:31 AM ET
Seth Meyers struck comedy gold on "Late Night" Wednesday with Fake or Florida, a game-show spoof that's certain to become a recurring hit with his new audience.
"Whenever I run across a news story that's particularly bizarre, it's almost always something that happened in Florida," he explained to the studio 8G audience. "I would swear sometimes they're made up; it's hard to tell the difference right?"
Three contestants were recruited to see if they could tell the difference between Sunshine State fact and fiction when Meyers read a news story. Instead of traditional bells and buzzers, correct answers heard "the sound of a retiree winning a bingo game"; wrong responses got a "pageant mom yelling at her 4-year-old" ("Amber, no!").
Because one of the inaugural contestants was from Florida, she was obliged to wear a "handicap" blindfold (which looked more like a strapless push-up bra) delivered by Cassandra, the loopy, camera-hogging hostess.
In a nod to Florida's cherished sea cows, correct answers were awarded with Manatee Points: adorable figures on scoring pegs.
Of all the bizarre stories Meyers read to the contestants, one was almost impossible to believe: "A teacher in Volusia County told her class that the white part of a candy cane represents Jesus, because Jesus is white." But contestant Jason scored his first manatee by correctly answering "Florida."
This well won't be running dry anytime soon, as many people — especially good-humored Floridians — tweeted when Fake or Florida was trending late Wednesday night.
For the final round — announced by "the sound of a raccoon pushing a satellite dish off a carport"— the contestants were forced to don Mickey Mouse gloves to record their answers. The two non-Floridians tied for first place, taking home full-size Florida state flags ("perfect for covering up a hole in your drywall"). Poor "hometown girl" Amanda "did the worst of everyone," Meyers declared mercilessly, "a perfect Florida ending."
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of Fake or Florida for its new "Late Night" fans.