BONK begins with three contestants wearing helmets and holding soft foam mallets. The helmets are outfitted with sensors that ring in when the helmet is hit. In order to “bonk in” and answer a question one must hit him/herself on the head with the mallet.
The first round is strictly self-inflicted bonking. Contestants score points for a correct answer, lose points for an incorrect answer. The questions are relatively simple so speed matters. But be careful, as the occasional trick question gets tossed in.
When a contestant reaches 10 points the round ends and the low scorer is eliminated. The re-maining two contestants face off in the “Back BONK” round. Here the questions get tougher and opponents may not only bonk themselves, but may bonk their opponent. Points are scored if your opponent is incorrect when they have been “back bonked.” This round provides for more spirited bonking than the first round.
The winner of “back BONK” is a finalist and is given the opportunity to win a prize by taking the Bonk Challenge. There they are asked to name 10 of an item such as Casinos, Cartoon characters Pizza toppings, etc. within 30 seconds, while the Bonk Babe bashes you silly. It's not as easy as it sounds."
Three new contestants then repeat the process and a second and third game are played, producing three winners. The three then compete in a single round final known as the “BONK Bash.” This is a free for all where all three contestants may hit themselves or any of the others in a race to 10 points to determine the champion, who is then crowned with the mirrored BONK disco helmet and winning the grand prize.
Kerry Pollock is the creator and current host of Bonk. As with any game show, the host brings a consistent personality to the game and Kerry, a 20 year veteran of nightclubs and showrooms, brings a quick witted, affable persona that puts the contestants at ease, yet keeps them enthusiastic and focused.
The Bonk Babe is the full service assistant who puts the contestants in their proper places, handles the props, etc. Her talents are showcased with singing and comedy enhancing the setups to physical and visual questions.
The keyboard player interacts with the show, playing riffs related to the questions, intros, outros and theme music. He also performs the live announcing of commercial parodies, prizes etc. Occasionally he becomes part of the game, for example, when contestants are asked to finish a song.
In keeping with the tenor of the game, the questions are sometimes challenging, often tricky and always humorous. They range from intriguing; e. g. Can a pig get sunburned? to silly; “Sing a song you learned in grade school.” They may be smart; “Is this a rhetorical question?” (No) Or trick, “How many of each type of animal did Moses take on the ark? (Zero, It was Noah who had the ark. )
Back Bonk questions become tougher so as to encourage the contestants to clobber each other. This is also the round where we ask contestants to do things they might not like to do, such as Dance the Macarena or give us the worst pick-up line you ever used. If they don’t want to do it they better be quick with the mallet.
In addition to standard verbal questions, the game is interspersed with fun visual and aural questions. The BONK Jumble where they have to unscramble a word, the BONK Silhouette where contestants guess who is underneath the shade, guess the impression, decipher the balloon animal and others are all done for full comic effect.
Video monitors for opening of the show and graphic enhancements throughout. Automatic cameras provide the live television studio feel for the contestants and the audience greatly enhancing the production value.
The show is interspersed with commercial sponsor parodies such as the Amish Electricians Union.
Losers receive funny consolation prizes, ranging from ceramic chickens to glass bananas to a moist towelette. The voice-over descriptions of these are as enthusiastic as if they’d won a new car.
Fast, funny vignettes are used to setup questions and add musical, physical, and visual entertainment value.