What Is….Jeopardy!

Category: Syndicated TV Shows.

Clue:  It is the second most popular syndicated show in the U.S. (For enquiring minds, the most popular is “Wheel of Fortune”; Oprah is fifth.)

Naysayers have suggested that with the advent of Watson, perhaps Jeopardy! is in jeopardy. Nonsense. No one is impressed when a computer answers correctly; that is expected. Besides, Jeopardy! has a special audience that gives the show staying power.

A Newsweek article revealed a startling demographic about the show‘s audience: the median age of Jeopardy! viewers is 65. And that’s after a recent drop from 70 in 2000. (Alex, who has hosted the show for 27 years, is 70.)  The age drop resulted from an effort begun in 2001 to broaden the show’s appeal to younger (a very relative term) viewers.  The efforts included more video / audio clues and tournaments limited to college students and teens.

Like many seniors, including me, Alex is not enamored of techo-gadgets. His cell phone is old enough to have an antenna. (I’m using a Nokia model that is no longer available.) He doesn’t believe in using a cell phone for anything but phone calls ….no texting or Internet surfing. (Nor do I use mine for those activities either; in fact, I asked ATT to disable my phone’s ability to even receive a text message.)

What is… 10 million.  Clue: Jeopardy!’s audience  (The State of Jeopardy!’s population would make it the 8th largest in 2006.)

Alex works only twice a week, taping about five shows each day.  Not bad for a salary reputed to be in the double-digit millions.

Did you know there’s a website that archives all sorts of show information?
The site presently includes over 200,000 clues from numerous shows back to 1984 and even who answered correctly. For example, from Episode 10, under “Jacks” of All Trades category: Who celebrated his 39th birthday 41 times? (Answer below).

My mailman was on Jeopardy! two or three years ago. He won about $7,500.

Maybe when I retire, I can try out for Jeopardy! and make my television debut. The categories when I appear on the show should be: Philippine cuisine; poker odds; Las Vegas; and Tagalog cuss words. I’ll win thousands and can to Vegas to stuff myself with lechon, adobo and pancit before playing in a poker tournament where I’ll go “all-in” on an inside straight draw and if I bust out because of that 11-1against me move I can tell the other guy: “putangina mo!”. (Clue: “puta” is Spanish for “whore” and the last part of that first word is Tagalog for “mother.”)

Answer to Episode 10 question: Jack Benny. (Would Watson have answered correctly?)

Visit the Jeopardy! archive.

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3 responses to “What Is….Jeopardy!

  1. I love Jeopardy! My mother-in-law has the computer game and I loved it so much I bought my own… and I must say, I ROCK at it! Can’t say I’d feel competent enough to actually compete on the real thing, but I love watching it and trying to guess the correct questions!

  2. Alex Trebek is 70? That makes me feel old. I don’t watch Jeopardy regularly, but it’s nice to know he’s always there. I’ll be disappointed if he retires.

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