« Rescue Me | Home | The Bourne Supremacy: get these people a dolly »

July 23, 2004


When I See You Smile

For 37 consecutive shows (and over $1.2 million in winnings) Jeopardy! has been held captive by a terrifying trivia machine named Ken Jennings. He has rocketed through every category he’s come across – geography, history, politics, cat anatomy, obscure Volkswagen parts. He wears a carefully blank expression, with just a hint of a smile, and sometimes adds a little flair to his answers. But he is almost never wrong, and by Final Jeopardy, no other contestant even stands a chance.

Jeopardy! writers are flailing around to find any weakness they can. “Dammit, is there anything this guy doesn’t freakin’ know?” they probably scream at each other in scotch- and cigar-fueled meetings, green visors pushed low over their sweating brows. They’ve aimed at Ken’s clean Mormon living with categories like “How ‘bout a Drink?” (he only missed one, the Brandy Alexander) and “Are you a Betting Man?” They even tried “Drugs in Movies” – but Ken didn’t hesitate a moment before buzzing in with “What is Scarface?”

Then something very interesting happened last night during Double Jeopardy, in the category of “Sentimental Rock”:

Answer: Bad English sang "When I See You Smile"; it was this group that had the hit "Feel Like Makin' Love”

Have you ever seen the light go out in someone’s eyes? Suddenly, Ken’s trademark grin was gone, replaced by an expression that clearly said “….ohshit.”

Amazingly, Ken didn’t know Bad Company. He also didn’t know Foreigner or Whitesnake. He could not name one of REO Speedwagon’s two hits. The entire category was a wash.

It took over a month and a million dollars, but could it be we’ve finally found Ken’s weakness? Tonight is his last appearance before Jeopardy! goes on hiatus until the fall, and it will be interesting to see if categories like “1980’s Power Ballads”, “Hair Bands”, and “Steve Perry Lyrics” come up.

By a strange, Cliff Claven-like coincidence, these are the exact categories that have more than once led Amy’s Robot to victory at bar trivia night. Could it be the ‘bot that will finally bring Ken Jennings down? Excuse me, but I’m off to buy my ticket to L.A.!

categories: TV
posted by Emily at 11:11 AM | #