A friend at work told me earlier this week that she had won four tickets to see a taping of Jeopardy!, and asked if I’d like two. As the special night approached and I looked forward to seeing the trivia show that I’ve watched since I was a little kid, it was all I could think about. (A longtime fan of such trivia shows, I was on The Weakest Link in 2002 and was the last one voted off. I passed the test for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? once, but never got called. I’ve taken the online test for Jeopardy! twice…and bombed badly both times.)
The show was held at the Convention Center, in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show. I thought we’d be seeing the Tournament of Champions, but that’s tomorrow: tonight was Celebrity Jeopardy!
I was surprised that we were never asked to sign any kind of nondisclosure agreement. Nothing seems to be keeping me from saying who was on the show, or even giving away who won. However, such spoilers are tacky, and I’ll stop myself at telling you that this episode will air on March 10, and that all three celebrities played very well. And Dancing With the Starshost Tom Bergeron was very funny. (So much for no spoilers!)
Alex Trebek chatted with the audience during the brief breaks where the commercials will be inserted during the airing of the show, and during a couple of pauses to deal with technical difficulties. Though clearly a masterful emcee in total control of how he was working the audience, he was genuinely personable. As he took questions, I wanted to ask if he still talked to Ken Jennings, but another guy beat me to it. (Trebek said they see each other at “functions” sometimes, and that they’re “cordial.” Sounds like bosom buddies to me!) Only then did I think that I should have brought my copy of Jennings’ book and tried to get Trebek to sign it. Oh well.
Among other clever comments from Alex: when asked if his current gig as a game show host is better than an early job hauling garbage, he hesitated and said, “It pays better.” When Alex couldn’t think of a funny story to answer another guy’s question, and that guy followed up by asking for an autograph because he had stumped him, Trebek said no and, in the way of explanation, “My ex wife stumped me.” (He had said earlier that he would only sign one autograph, but later made an exception for a kid who also asked.) In regards to a query about the popular Saturday Night Live parody of Jeopardy!, Alex launched into a faux tirade against the skit’s version of Sean Connery. And, he wants the Chargers to win the Superbowl.
Being Celebrity Jeopardy!, the questions were pretty easy, but it was still enjoyable to watch the show. After the show, we were told that we could take the cushions on our seats that had the Jeopardy! logo on them as souvenirs, which is good because I was tempted to swipe mine anyway. Announcer Johnny Gilbert had instructed us to cheer and applaud enthusiastically for the cameras, and I tried to live up to the expectation. When you watch the show on March 10, be sure to look for me. I’m the guy with hair and I’m wearing a shirt. Go ahead and wave. I’ll try to wave back.