Trebek described the scene. "I woke up and I saw a figure in our hotel bedroom and I thought I was dreaming," he said. "And I realized immediately that someone had been in the room and I put on my underwear and ran down the hall to see if I could find her." When he caught up with her, he asked her a series of questions about what she had been doing on his floor. The woman denied she had been in his room, but Trebek knew better.
Ho-hum, I know. Most test patterns have had shorter runs on TV than 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel.' How is that news?
It just got me thinking: what would the world of TV and really the world itself be like without daily doses of America's favorite quiz show and America's favorite wheel spinning and letter guessing show?
According to The Wrap, ABC-owned stations have reached a two-year renewal deal with CBS Television Distribution to keep the shows on Disney TV stations through the 2013-14 season. 'Wheel' host Pat Sajak and 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek have also extended their contracts with Sony Pictures Television, the producer of the two shows.
However, CBS Television Distribution also needs to renew 'Wheel' and 'Jeopardy!' to many non-ABC stations that air the show.
Question: When are the tests for 'Jeopardy' contestants being held?
Do you think you have what it takes to be a contestant on 'Jeopardy!'? Well if you do, then you better hurry up, cause the long-running TV quiz show (created in 1964 by Merv Griffin, initially hosted by Art Fleming until 1979 and then by Alex Trebek since 1984) is holding online auditions this week for adults.
Since the first quiz shows of the late 1940s, through the infamous scandals of the 1950s, up until the present day of huge cash prizes, game-show hosting has been an amazing long-term gig for the people -- almost always men -- who get the job. Who, then, are the 10 greatest game-show hosts in history? Check out our after the jump.
The most recent incarnation of the sketch was no exception. In fact, it built on the solid foundation that lay before it by casting Tom Hanks as a clueless himself and bringing back Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds. MacDonald's appearance was funny not just because he does a scary good Reynolds, but I also like to think that every time he returns to the show, Don Ohlmeyer cries a little inside.
As much as there was to laugh at in the sketch, a tiny but hilarious joke seeped through the cracks and no one seemed to spot it -- until now. I have found the missing joke from last month's Jeopardy! sketch, thanks to my keen eyes, my intrepid nose and my ever-widening butt.
The man has the unholy ability to make ANYONE look stupid on national television. He can make an Ivy League PhD appear as though he went to city college. He can turn a Midwestern elementary school teacher into someone no parent would entrust their child with for eight hours a day. His trademark "Oh, sorry" alone can make a world renowned neurosurgeon look like a jabbering mental patient who doesn't know the name of the bone that houses the human brain.
So it's no wonder that politicians are scared to be seen in the same camera shot with the man.
The hours of preparation have been grueling. The amount of studying has been tedious and boring. The sacrifice required to reach this moment has been great and punishing. I didn't shower for two days and the smell almost set off the fire alarm in some of the smaller rooms.
Now the only weapons I have at my disposal are my nimble fingers, my rapid comprehension and my ability to remember everything I've read in the span of four days. We're about to go head-to-head with the razor-toothed man eater that is the Jeopardy! contestant test.
We're gonna need a bigger brain.
Studying was never my strong-suit. I always got by in college on my looks; that would explain why I was a C-student. Come to think of it, planning isn't either. Neither is getting enough REM sleep, keeping a clean house or (as you can see by my picture) sticking to a regular skin care regime.
So when it came to preparing for my Jeopardy! test, the same substandard habits applied. I could have started cracking the books at least a month ago when I first heard the website was holding online contestant tests at the Jeopardy! website. It just seemed like a huge mountain of knowledge to tame in one sitting. Plus, I had about 15 Tales from the Darkside episodes that my TiVo had taped and were about to go to waste.
So when it came time to crack the books and cram in as much information as my brain could hold, I not only had to make up for lost time.
If you've ever wanted to be a contestant on the legendary Jeopardy!, then get in line. It starts behind me. I already called dibs and stamped it.
Jeopardy! will conduct national online contestant tests this week on their official website. The tests will take place by timezone: Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern for people on the East Coast, Wednesday at 8 p.m. Central and 7 p.m. Mountain for residents in those time zones and Thursday at 8 p.m. for Pacific Coast, Alaska and Hawaii viewers.
As part of this annual game show tradition, I, your humble (not-so-much) TVSquad blogger Danny Gallagher, will also be one of the many, many people trying out for the most hallowed game show in the history of American broadcasting. And as always, you get to come along for the ride. Please keep all hands and arms inside the vehicle until my ego comes to a complete stop.
Obviously, it won't be too long before we see America's Next President on some channel (my guess would be Fox) with a panel of judges consisting of Bill Clinton, (the late) Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George W.
Is it me, or does this seem to trivialize the office of leadership to a country? On the other hand, it seems that running for political office is a bit of a circus anyway. Perhaps electoral processes should be handled this way from now on.
I don't see how the winner of this competition would actually become Prime Minister as a result of the "victory". Of course, television creates fame so maybe the person will announce his/her candidacy shortly thereafter.
UPDATE - just for clarification, the show doesn't pick the ACTUAL next Prime Minister of Canada, but rather young people who would be good candidates for the position based on the judges' opinions.
Here's a question I got that should be easy for all you game show fans...
Jamie writes, "Can you help me figure out the name of a game show that I watched about 20 years ago? It was like a board with words on it and you had to win to get to pick the covers off the board and it would like reveal for instance a needle + N + (then a pile of hay) with the answer to the puzzle would be a needle in the haystack!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!!!"
Well, I am hardly a game show expert but that sounds like Concentration to me. Although if you watched it twenty years ago then you were probably watching the relaunched version called Classic Concentration hosted by Alex Trebek.
First off, you've heard. Jeopardy had its first three way tie in its decades long history. Alex Trebek's job must be as predictable as a bowl of cornflakes, so it's understandable and nice to hear him yelp in a cry of genuine surprise when the quick math was done and all the contestants would return to Jeopardy next week. In a mostly unexciting show, this was a very exciting moment for millions of Jeopardy fans everywhere.
In other surprising news...
What probably comes as no surprise to anyone, both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune have been renewed for two more years. That means that the two top-ranked syndicated game shows will remain on the air through the 2011-2012 season.
Currently, Wheel is the number one show in syndication, averaging 8.3 million households. Jeopardy is number three with an average viewing audience of 6.5 million households. By the time the 2012 season ends Wheel will have been on the air for an impressive 29 seasons while Jeopardy will have been on for an equally impressive 28.
One can only assume that Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak and Vanna White will remain with their respective shows. Then again, assuming is a bad thing. Heck, for all I know Howard Stern could be hosting the final two seasons of Jeopardy. Ratings may pick up then if the 'Daily Double' features half-naked lesbians giving out answers.
Say what you want about TV, it does the familiar very well. From catch-phrases (just what was Willis talking about?) to genre-conventions (let's all freeze while the credits roll!) TV is America's comfort food.
What is my TV comfort food? The five after the jump...