On many TV talk shows, the guest enters the stage from the right side (from the audience’s perspective), walks past the front of the host’s desk, then turns around just before sitting in the guest chair to the left of the desk, momentarily showing their back to the host or to the audience. How can the guest get to their chair and sit in it without turning their back on the host or the audience?

I don’t have a solution in mind. The answer could be practical, or creative, or require special skill. Guests should follow the red path and end up sitting in the guest chair.

Update: This puzzle was closed because answers are opinion-based, and there was no single correct answer. So, I am adding this stipulation: If there is more than one valid answer, then the one that is the easiest to perform physically will be accepted.

Stage with desk, host chair, guest chair, and red arrow showing guest's path from off-stage to guest chair

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how this is a puzzle. This seems like a problem that could be solved, but not a puzzle - there's likely no clear best answer, for one. Additionally, it seems very likely to be too broad or to have speculative / subjectively correct answers. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @Deusovi ^^ and have voted to close for this reason. However, I have also laughed a lot at the comic nature of the answers so far and spread some upvotes around in appreciation of an early morning chuckle :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with Deusovi as well. This seems just like the "get to the tree using only rope" puzzle: the correct answer depends entirely on how the question is interpreted. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 9:48
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry but your edit won't cut it. This has now became an open-ended question which is still off-topic, see this $\endgroup$
    – Adam
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 22:11

5 Answers 5


Step 1. Lie on the floor

Step 2. Shuffle around so that your head is aimed at the chair

Step 3. Slither into your chair

Step 4. Explain to everyone why that was necessary


The guest could come in head first, with their back on the ground. Pushing themselves along with their feet. Get to the chair and slide up it.


This method requires some preparation and coordination, but talk show hosts love to do gags and skits along these lines, so just tell a producer the plan during your pre-interview—the producer will tell the host what to do.

When the host says “Please welcome to the show: FlanMan!!!” and it’s your cue to walk out onto the stage, wait in the wings. As the applause dies down, the host will wonder what could have happened to you. The host looks around the stage. The host looks under the desk. The host looks under the guest’s chair. Where is FlanMan?

Thinking you may have gotten lost, the host steps down from the stage and begins searching the audience. The audience goes absolutely nuts for this kind of thing. While the host is getting up in fans’ faces and calling out your name—and the host’s back is turned to the stage—you sneak out from the wings and take a seat in your chair. The host and the audience are in roughly the same place relative to your position, so avoiding turning your back to them is easy.

After you sit down, the host finally turns back to the stage and says “Oh THERE you are!” and the interview can finally begin.

The host will probably face away from the audience while walking back up to the stage, but that’s not your problem.


Enter the stage walking on your hands, with your front facing the direction of travel. As you round the desk (so you are travelling perpendicular to the audience and are about to turn your back on them) perform a half somersault into a standing position (facing stage right), and walk backwards into the chair. Cue huge applause.


Go behind the host rather than in front (which the gag of having the host out looking in the audience pretty much requires, this is just less cumbersome).

  • $\begingroup$ The obvious solution :) $\endgroup$
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ This doesn’t meet the condition stated in the question that the guest should follow the red path, which goes in front of the desk. This answer could be improved by making the desk move downstage from the red line somehow. (Maybe a forklift?) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanVeeder there is no such requirement? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ @micsthepick Sure there is. "Guests should follow the red path and end up sitting in the guest chair." $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio oh, the way the question is structured meant that I didn't read that sentence, because I didn't think it had relevant information like that :/ $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 9:46

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