Sunday, September 26, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021
"Unfortunately I had a very different experience with her. She had a mean streak, she put me in the corner and told me save my hot air for the clarinet."
Sunday, September 12, 2021
|Yeah! Look at 'em go!|
|We're ALL Squidward.|
Sunday, September 5, 2021
I love watching Jeopardy!, the game show with a twist, where contestants offer the questions to match up with provided answers. Jeopardy! appears in syndication in most television markets paired with Wheel of Fortune. This is an interesting coupling. These two shows appeal to two entirely different audiences. Most people who watch Wheel of Fortune dislike Jeopardy! — mostly because they can't answer a single question. Wheel of Fortune doesn't require the intellect that most Jeopardy! contestants posses. All you really need to do is be able to identify letters and read, something that 90% of Wheel of Fortune contestants are capable of doing. Jeopardy! requires a vast knowledge of many subjects and the ability of quick recall. As a long-time trivia fanatic, I find I can answer a decent amount of questions on any given episode of Jeopardy! The ones I can't answer, I take as a learning experience.
On September 10, 1984, a bright and colorful Jeopardy! premiered in syndication with host Alex Trebek. Trebek expressed in interviews that he insisted on being introduced as the host of Jeopardy!, not the star. He humbly explained that the game was the star and he was merely there to keep things moving. However, after three decades, Trebek seemed to have changed his mind, often injecting personal opinions into contestant interviews and overly berating contestants on wrong answers. One could say he earned that right after so long. I would not and I often found Trebek's behavior distracting in a "steal the spotlight" sort of way. His eye-rolling, snide remarks and sometimes mean retorts were very unbecoming. But it certainly wasn't enough to get me to stop watching Jeopardy!
In 2019, Alex Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (coincidentally, the same type of cancer that claimed the life of Art Fleming in 1995). While fans of the show were sent reeling at the inevitable loss of the beloved Alex Trebek, the "elephant in the room" needed to be addressed — "Who would be Alex Trebek's successor?" When he passed away in November 2020, enough episodes had already been filmed to take the show into the new year. From January until the summer of 2021, Jeopardy! was hosted by a long parade of guests from all sorts of backgrounds. There were actors and newscasters and reporters and former Jeopardy! contestants, even a sports figure and a sportscaster were among the mix. Their "auditions" lasted one or two weeks and, thanks to the power of social media, there was a daily consensus on how each one fared. I watched each guest host and, with one exception, found them to be — well... completely unremarkable. And that's a good thing. I don't watch Jeopardy! for the host. I watch for the show. The show is the star of the show, just like Alex Trebek originally asserted. Each guest host had their quirks, their strengths and weaknesses. I remember that Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie behaved as though Jeopardy! was a brand-new show that no one in the country had ever seen before, prompting her to over-explain every single move that was made by everyone. (In her defense, perhaps she herself had never seen Jeopardy! because of the early hour in which she has to get to bed in order to wake up to host an early morning news program.)
Personally, I don't care who hosts Jeopardy! I really don't. And honestly, you probably don't either. Did you really tune in every evening to see Alex Trebek? Did you wonder what pithy words of wisdom he would offer? No, of course not. You tuned in to see how smart you are by answering some questions. Or perhaps you'd learn something about the Galapagos Islands or Marie Curie that you didn't know before. You watched to wind down after a day at work or dealing with your neighbors or a particularly trying hour in the dentist's chair. In the big scheme of things, does it really matter who reads those questions or recaps the scores or bids you "Good day until tomorrow"?
No. It really doesn't.
Unless it's Dr. Oz.