I realize as I write this what a geek – and what’s worse, an old geek – it makes me, but I can’t help it. One of my bucket list items is to appear on Jeopardy!
I even know what I’ll talk about during Alex Trebek’s interview with me during the Single Jeopardy round. I’ll tell my story about the time Bill Murray sang happy birthday to me. What stories I’ll tell during the days and weeks that follow, as I return again and again as defending champion, I’ll have to figure out.
Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin way back in 1964. Its original host was Art Fleming, with the redoubtable Don Pardo as announcer. Back then, clues were worth $10-$50; now they’re up to $200-$1000, and $400-$2000 in Double Jeopardy. And now you can stay on as champion as long as you keep winning. You probably heard that Ken Jennings won 74 consecutive games and more than $2.5 million on the show.
Of course, no mention of Jeopardy! (like Yahoo!, incomplete without the exclamation point) is complete without mentioning the brilliant parodies on Saturday Night Live (Great American Things, April 9, 2009). With Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, the recurring parody stands out as one of SNL’s funniest franchise bits.
I’m sorry. I meant to say “What is one of Saturday Night Live’s funniest franchise bits?” I could get penalized for not phrasing it in the form of a question.