There was a time when the game of bingo was something that our older relatives would have take part in. The gaming venue would have been an extraordinarily large hall, smoke everywhere in a location somewhere in a town centre in England. Said room would have been scattered with fruit machines and there would have been subsidised drinks available at a bar next to the toilets, the furniture looking like it had seen better days.
Well, times have changed and in recent years the rise of online bingo sites have dominated the gambling community online. These days you’re more likely to find a top Hollywood star advertising one of these huge web brands – Boogie Nights and The Hangover star Heather Graham just one name that springs to mind in recent times – and everyone is getting involved in the game.
The game of bingo, which was actually invented in Italy back in the 1500s, was actually invented in Italy, the decedent of an age-old game named Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. Centuries later we’e still playing it, and of course the game has popped up in mainstream media, including on television and in the movies, even though it’s not considered to be as cool as some of the other casino games.
Recently though, the game of bingo has popped up in the Netflix original series Better Call Saul, the lead character of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) seen serving up a session with the residents of an old age nursing home, somewhere in New Mexico. Here’s a scene from the show, which is about get rolling on a fourth season Stateside.
The game has also been seen in the movies, most recently in the Johnny Knoxville movie from the creators of Jackass, Bad Grandpa. KNoxville plays the character of Irving Zisman in the movie and, in a scene that is largely unscripted and taking place amongst real members of the public, the character is seen testing the patients of some other other players as they concentrate on the numbers being called out – all to much hilarity.
Elsewhere there’s the animated movie Hotel Transylvania which gives its own spin on the game – the balls being called out substituted with tiny skulls. In fact, the horror genre has some kind of infatuation with the game. Arguably one of the scariest movies in recent times also managed to squeeze in a scene involving bingo. That movie was the terrifying The Babadook, which was release a couple of years ago.
Other films featuring bingo include Big Momma’s House 2, Rampage, Beach Blanket Bingo, which was released all of the way back in the 1960s, and also the 1990s movie Bingo, which actually has nothing to do with the game, but one which revolves around a cute dog. Be warned though, it’s awful.
It’s safe to say that bingo has come along way since those early days in Italy.