From cult comedy shows to blockbuster films, bingo has its presence in both, and today, we will check out some of the more famous settings that bingo has played in.

A bingo game offers a lot of scope for screenwriters and directors when included in a film or TV series. From the bingo caller calling numbers to the game’s tension, directors can make the scenes exciting, as in Rampage or tragically funny, as in Better Call Saul.

Rampage (2009)

Written and directed by Uwe Boll and starring Brendan Fletcher as a disaffected young white American male (Bill Williamson) who posts vlog rants about how today’s world is overpopulated and how poor society has become.

After building himself a suit of body armour and stocking up on weapons and ammo, Mr Williamson takes up a bloodthirsty rampage throughout the small town where he lives.

Now, you may wonder what this has to do with the very social game of bingo.

One of the memorable scenes in Rampage is when Williamson enters the local bingo hall and takes a walk through the players to the refreshments counter.

The camera action here is very cool, picking up on people’s faces as they carefully concentrate and mark their cards. The sound of the monotone bingo caller clashes with the piped elevator music, producing a bland atmosphere – this is intentional.

Williamson walks about, taking in the scenery, incredulous of how people behave. When he reaches the refreshments counter, he asks for the tastiest sandwich and an iced tea.

Sitting down, he places his two sub-machine guns on the trestle table, lifts his visor and takes a bite of the sandwich, which he dislikes. Shaking his head, he walks to the bingo caller, taking the number 27 bingo ball.

The bingo caller asks for the ball back but doesn’t get it, and Williamson walks through the hall again to the main doors, shaking his head. At this point, you get the feeling that he will open fire, mowing down the players, but instead, he shakes his head in disbelief again, throws the bingo ball into the hall, and leaves.

The scene ends with the bingo caller calling number 27.

Better Call Saul (TV Series 2015/22)

Better Call Saul is undoubtedly one of the best TV shows in history. Portraying Breaking Bad Character Bob Odenkirk brilliantly plays the strangest lawyer you ever wish to meet.

As a former scam artist (some might say that being a scam artist and a lawyer are the same!) Saul soon becomes mixed up with the criminal world.

Even so, Better Call Saul is sometimes almost a comedy, with scenes boarding on the cringeworthy. In fact, producer Vince Gilligan and screenwriter Peter Gould originally believed that the series should be a half-hour comedy.

However, luckily for the millions of fans, when the focus was pointed directly at the depths of Saul Goodman, that view changed.

Again, you might wonder how bingo could have anything to do with such a TV series.

In True Saul Style, in one scene, the sketchy lawyer becomes a bingo caller to try to blag new clients and ends up having a minor meltdown.

As he begins his rant, all the bingo players simply stare and wait for him to finish so they can continue their game!

This classic scene has the sound of the automatic bingo machine randomly mixing the numbers in the background and a microphone that has seen better days, making Saul’s voice sound tinny and echoey.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ at the Golden Globes, Hotel Transylvania stars Adam Sandler (Count Dracula), who operates a high-end resort away from humans. The film takes off properly when Dracula becomes very protective over his daughter when a boy discovers the resort and falls in love with her.

Created by comedy writer Todd Durham and produced by Sony Pictures Animation, Hotel Transylvania is one of four films with Hotel Transylvania 2, Transformania, and Summer Vacation.

The bingo scene is wonderful, with the bingo balls being substituted by skulls that whisper the number to the bingo caller, and the cheat tactics of the players (eating the winning cards) are priceless.

The Simpsons (2014)

Take a typical episode of the Simpsons and mix it up with a retirement home at a ‘Bingo & BBQ’ night.

Imagine the retirees struggling through a game, asking for the bingo caller to repeat themselves, and, in true Simpson style, there is some classic world play.

  • Bingo Caller calls ‘I-25’
  • Ist Retiree asks, ‘What letter?’
  • Bingo Caller answers ‘I’
  • 2nd Retiree asks, ‘What number?’
  • Bingo Caller answers ‘25’
  • 1st Retiree asks ‘What Game?’
  • Bingo Caller answers ‘Bingo!’
  • 2nd Retiree ‘DAMMIT!’ – and throws his bingo card away!