By its nature, Jeopardy is supposed to be very predictable. On every show you’ll see a Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy round. All of your answers have to be in the form of a question. All the dollar amounts remain the same — there’s no gimmicks with Jeopardy like we’ve seen with Millionaire or Deal or No Deal where the numbers on the board are MULTIPLIED TO SOME MODERATELY HIGHER AMOUNT AND THINGS GET CRAZY because you don’t need any gimmicks with Jeopardy. There’s a comforting routine to it that makes it the ideal after-dinner pre-primetime viewing option. It’s perfect just the way it is.
Jeopardy‘s predictability and comfort level is why people flipped a lid because contestant Arthur Chu dared to deter from going down the columns in order. Instead, Chu tried to find the Daily Doubles first and played to tie instead of win to bring back a weaker contestant. Forget game theory and statistics and playing to win the game, you’re not supposed to do that in Jeopardy! If Brian McCann had a Jeopardy blog, I’m sure he’d be the first to say Chu “didn’t play the game the right way.”
Traditionally, the only segment of the show that contains any unpredictability is Alex Trebek’s delightfully awkward conversations with the contestants during the Jeopardy round. Given Jeopardy‘s widespread cultural appeal, it draws people from all walks of life. Many of them create the most delightful unintentional comedy seen on television.
In just the last week, Jeopardy has seen its contestants reach new viral heights. First, there’s champion Amy Nienaber from last week. I would humorously point out all the incredible quirks of her Jeopardy appearance, but The Soup already did it for me and they’re professional funny people…
Ex-dental hygienist? Either Amy Nienaber is pulling off the best troll job in game show history, or… yea, let’s just hope it’s the best troll job in game show history. Alex Trebek deserves all the millions he makes solely for the fact that he didn’t double over onto the floor in uncontrollable laughter.
But if you thought that little encounter with 32-year-old aspiring student Amy Nienaber was a weird moment for Alex Trebek, it had nothing on his encounter with Tom Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh was on Jeopardy Wednesday night as a part of the Battle of the Decades tournament. He and Alex are having a nice chat about a documentary he wants to make about exposing the evils of sweatshop labor and then Tom went all SNL Sean Connery on Trebek…
“Maybe you can find out the names of the eight-year-olds who made your fancy suit there, Alex?”
It’s never a good sign when a Jeopardy crowd lets out an “ooooohhhh.”
Sooner or later, Alex Trebek is going to snap after years and years of dealing with these Jeopardy contestants. And then we’ll finally have our definitive answer to the greatest moment in American television history.