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This is Jeopardy!
Posted on September 19, 2010 at 4:52 PM by Joe Ward
This past Monday Jeopardy! began its 27th season, 27th season with Alex Trebek. Old timers remember Don Pardo introducing Art Flemming as the host each weekday morning.
When I was a boy
, on Thursdays, when my mom went shopping, I stayed with my grandmother. We'd read "Chicken Little", I'd have Spaghettios, with Meatballs for lunch followed by cookies and a cup of tea with cream and sugar. If the tea was too hot, grandma would pour a bit in the saucer. I had only a rudimentary understanding of science then, but I understand today that spreading the hot tea across a greater surface area allowed it to cool more quickly to an acceptable drinking temperature. When my mom would return, she'd often have a toy of some kind for me. My favorite was the "magic slate" pad. A thin plastic film covered a gummy black surface. You take the stylus and scribble your name or draw a picture. When you tired of your latest artwork, you'd simply erase by lifting the plastic and start again. Jeopardy! (with Art & Don) also was a part of those Thursdays with grandma. I was small enough that grandma and I could sit side by side on an easy chair and watch the show. I doubt I knew many questions back then, but I'm surely grateful to my grandmother for the appreciation of this fine quiz show and such wonderful memories.
I must confess, I'm a bit of a Jeopardy! purist, a snob some might say. Contestants need to stay focused, know when it's their turn, and stay serious. A quick and genuine one liner is okay but don't make a habit of joking around. I also am no fan of Celebrity Jeopardy! Some moments might be funny and I suppose it brings ratings and raises money for charities, but I'd rather the normal everyday game culminating with the Tournament of Champions. College, Teens, & Kids tournaments are not my favorites; just give me the best of the best!
And let me say it, "Alex Trebek is tops!" Many critics believe he's a snob himself and claim he's not really that smart he just has all the answers in front of him. Well, of course he does, though I argue that he's is quite bright and quite quick. His only quirk that makes me cringe is when he jokingly encourages contestants with huge leads to "make it a true Daily Double" by betting all their earnings. Once they agree, even if they're only playing along with Alex's joke, the rules of the game make them keep the bet. Although I've not seen it happen, one of these days it might and this makes me nervous. Stop it, Alex. Again, I'm a bit of a Jeopardy! purist. (Which is why I insist on the exclamation point after each time I type ...)
I've taken the test probably a half dozen times, even met Alex once. Nowadays, the test is on-line and you can take it every 12 months. No results are offered nor do they even tell you the passing score, though I believe it's 35 of 50 correct. More pass than appear on the show. As I understand the process, names of those who pass are entered into a random drawing and may be selected for a contestant interview and practice games. I guess if you get through all these steps, you might appear one day on the show. If only.
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