fixing jeopardy

January 5, 2010

It feels like forever since I ranted about something. Doesn’t it feel like forever?

So here goes–I hate Alex Trebek.

When Kim and I were first married, had little to no furniture, no money for movies, no kids, we used to eat dinner on our little TV trays and watch Jeopardy. I was more forgiving then, and just concentrated on getting the answers right.

Recently, I’ve taken to Tivoing Jeopardy and watching an episode when I have a minute, or I feel like seeing how dumb I am. And I’ve discovered that what I really need isn’t a mute button, but a zonal mute button. That is, I want to point the remote specifically at Alex’s smug little mug and mute just him.

Him and his “I can’t believe you didn’t know that, I so disapprove of you and your ignorance” smugness. (Does he think he’s fooling anybody? Are we supposed to think he actually knows the answers?) Him and his hyper correct pronunciation of foreign language words, which, you just know, are spelled out phonetically on his archaic little 3X5 cards he has in his hand.

In short, I don’t like him.

But he’s not the worst part. I hate the way he walks out at the start of the show, acts like he’s in a hurry to get going, starts the first round, then, when we come back from our “break” he decides to get to know the players.

Well you know what? I don’t give a rat’s ass WHO is playing. I don’t want to get to know them unless they win like a month in a row and become a minor celebrity. THEN I’m interested. For now, they’re just puppets who magically make the questions appear on the board.

And, finally, speaking of puppets making the questions appear, what the hell is up with those clickers? Instead of stopping the game to let me know that Gwendolyn of Tulsa is an aspiring arborist, how about you explain the magic of the clicker? Every question I see each the contestants pounding furiously on their clickers like laboratory rats banging on the cocaine button, and when they fail to ring in successfully, they stare at their clickers like I look at my tennis racket after smashing a forehand 50 feet over the fence.

I know. Wikipedia explains the way the clicker works. Something about lock-outs, waiting, blinking lights, all that.

So all I’m asking is, instead of finding out that Contestant Number Three is a philatelist from Nome, Alaska, how about we take a look at the clickers? Practice with them for a minute, maybe let a player ask for a replacement if they feel like theirs is defective. I’d even like to see them bring their OWN clickers, like a pro tennis player with a bag of rackets.

“Whoops, Alex, I’m gonna need a minute, I just splintered my clicker with my thumb. No worries, I’ve got six more right here.”

What, you wouldn’t watch this? Ratings wouldn’t go up?


22 Responses to “fixing jeopardy”

  1. bikemike Says:

    i’d go on the show just to throw the clicker at him in disgust, being hard wired to the monitor makes it even better. this is a fantasy, of course i’d never qualify.

    he needed to be off this show about 7 1/2 years ago.
    he’s stupidly rich and his smugness shows.

    waiting for your avatar/experience review. ooooh, this’ll be good, i just know it will.

    • KanyonKris Says:

      I just hope we haven’t built-up Avatar too much so dug’s expectations are too high. I hate when that happens – like when I finally got around to seeing Titanic months after the gush-fest had passed.

  2. KanyonKris Says:

    Good rant. Jeopardy is a fun game and Trebek is a good host, if it weren’t for his smugness. Not bad at first, but as I watch longer it’s grating. Mr. Know-it-all with the answers right there, as if we don’t know that. Annoying.

    Instead of clickers, how about the first player to hit Trebek with an egg gets to answer the question.

  3. Accident Prone Says:

    One way to “fix jeapordy” is to spell it jeopardy… sorry, couldn’t help myself.

  4. dug Says:

    mike, i’m just gonna tell you right here.

    i went into avatar with pretty low expectations, having heard it was fern gully crossed with dances with wolves, but with clunkier dialog.

    well, funny thing is, fern gully wasn’t a bad little kids movie. and it had tone loc and tim curry, which gave it tremendous upside.

    And everybody forgets this now, but dances with wolves won best picture back in the day. that doesn’t make it an all time great film, but it also doesn’t make it the postman.

    but on to avatar–i really liked it. it was awesome to look at, and since i’d been led to believe that the dialog was not just bad, but george lucas level bad, well, the story and dialog weren’t bad. and sam worthington is no mark hamil. he’s going places.

    the theme of the movie seems to me to be “be kind to the earth and don’t take what isn’t yours.” so really, who can argue with that? these are not new ideas. the idea of an earth mother isn’t fancy or newfangled. and since they’re on a distant world, well, can’t we just roll with a living planet?

    i’ve heard people complain that the movie is anti-military. to them i say, it’s anti-mercenary, and anti-corporate greed, in the same way that aliens (another cameron movie) was anti corporate greed. it’s certainly not more anti-military than dozens of other movies that don’t take the same bashing. or more anti-government than the bourne movies.

    i’ve heard people say that the natives are too representative of the native american thing (with a bunch of pocahantas thrown in) and is therefore anti-american. to them i say the two great failures of the founding fathers were the slavery problem and the native american problem. i’m not for groveling apologies, and i’m not for “giving all the land back.”

    but i think we can acknowledge that we royally screwed up the native american issue. can’t we? i mean, we don’t get all up in arms about holocaust movies and ask people to stop making those because they make the germans feel bad, do we?

    anyway. i’m going on and on. bottom line? i really liked avatar. a lot. i’m going to see it again, this time in 3d imax.

    speaking of movies, i thought up in the air was great. i thought invictus was only so so. i thought the road was very well done, but just failed to capture the power and emotion and prose of the novel. i thought blind side was much less cheezy than i feared and i enjoyed myself, though it was a half hour too long. i quite liked sherlock holmes, especially the interplay between holmes and watson, and really liked the stylized sets.

    that’ll do for now.

    • bikemike Says:


      want to see up in the air and i’ll wait for the road on netflix.

      glad to see robert downey jr. reborn and hope he keeps it on the right track this time…oh yeah the new iron man looks awesome.

      one “jump” moment in avatar…NO SPOILER…when he’s running through the corn and the mulch is thrown back at you, cool.

      good review, thanks.

      • KanyonKris Says:

        My 11-year-old daughter reached out for things a few times – I thought that was cute.

        Except for a few 3D effects that come at you, most of the 3D doesn’t call attention to itself. 3D in Avatar is not a gimmick. After a few minutes it disappears, so to speak, and was just part of the viewing experience.

        dug, thanks for the movie reviews.

  5. Rachel Says:

    I’d tell you to just go on the show and put your angst to rest (because, really, if you won $24,000, you might not care so much anymore about Alex), but you shot yourself in the foot. This post would certainly turn up on a background check.

    Alex will still be hosting the show when he’s 95, but he’ll be smoking a cigar, like George Burns, because they’ll be back in style, and you’ll wish you could be there.

    There might still be time to delete the post before google creates a cached file.

  6. Kyle Says:

    I like the Will Ferrell Trebeck. And his nemesis Sean Connery.

  7. jruss Says:

    suck it, trebeck.

  8. fish Says:

    This – “Every question I see each the contestants pounding furiously on their clickers like laboratory rats banging on the cocaine button, and when they fail to ring in successfully, they stare at their clickers like I look at my tennis racket after smashing a forehand 50 feet over the fence” – is the funniest thing I’ve read all year.

  9. MOCougFan Says:

    Had to look up philatelist. Hellarious. Please tell me I’m not the only one that had to look that up.

    And I’m with Fish… loved the cocaine button reference as well. It’s why I tune in every day. That and the pictures.

    • bikemike Says:

      i would’ve looked it up but i don’t know how to spell it.

    • MrsTeamPhillips Says:

      I didn’t have to look it up. But then, I’m probably considered to be just as smug as Trebek. But I’ll never be as rich as he is, so people hate me less. I think.

    • Eric Says:

      I thought Dug may have touched the Diet Coke button a few too many times before blowing up Jeopardy. That was a gusher. But what about that horrid music? Ack!

  10. Bob B. Says:

    I heard that one of the keys to winning on jeopardy was to time the clicker perfectly. If my source is correct, the click doesn’t work if it occurs before the entire question is read. If you click too soon, there’s a delay before another click can be accepted.

    Now I must go philate an envelope.

  11. VA Biker Says:

    2010 has been too stressful already, but I’m trying to more level-headed in this calendar year. Your blog has brought me to equilibrium; a few good laughs and a some movie reviews canceled out the bad stuff from earlier in the day. Thanks!

  12. Nick Says:

    Dug – i can’t believe these aren’t becoming one of your staples – i haven’t had a jelly baby for years and literally gobbled the pack down when i recieved it. The ones with the powdered confectioners sugar coating are nicer though.

    Oh – and it is Australia.

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