WHAT IS JEOPARDY? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Jeopardy

Is there anyone who doesn’t or has never watched Jeopardy? As game shows went, that has to be the most popular one ever. When I was a young adult, people were addicted to this show. It wasn’t because they assumed they could go on it to win tons of money, though some did hope for that, but because Jeopardy was and remains the original TV trivia game.

By Joseph Hunkins from Talent – Kelly from Jeopardy Clue Crew at the CES09 set

This is Trivial Pursuits for the world, broadcast (depending on the decade and year), daily or weekly. It was created by Merv Griffin (what wasn’t created by Merv Griffin?) and has been on the air as a daily (5-days a week) show, a weekly nighttime event, or a daily evening presentation, usually just after dinner time — between 7 and 8 at night – since 1964. That’s 59 years which is a great deal of television! I think the reruns are as popular as the original. Is there any other show that has been continuously broadcast for this long?

Recently, it has become a headline:


“James Holzhauer was aiming for his 26th straight ‘Jeopardy!’ win Wednesday and moving closer to the $2 million mark in prize money.”

And he won. Again. So his winning roll continues. Unless he does something really stupid, he’s will come out of Jeopardy more than comfortable for the rest of his life.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org

Unlike most quiz shows, it didn’t give prizes. It was all about money. You got an answer and had to answer the answer with a question. When Trivial Pursuits came out as a board game during the 1980s, I kept being surprised that you didn’t have to answer the statement with a question. While I wasn’t addicted to the show as some people were, I did watch it and much to my amusement learned a lot more miscellany than I’d previously known.

I think writers are the best Trivial Pursuit players because we accumulate tons of random information. We absorb a bit of just about everything, from what we see, hear, and read. We remember bits of conversations about anything we hear or read. You just never know when that bit of information won’t become the lead in or conclusion of your next book, post, or long, shaggy dog story.

For most of the years when I occasionally watched it, Alex Trebek was the host. Since those years — I guess the last time I watched it was during the 1990s, probably with Garry’s mom — who was an addict. But she was in good company. Millions of people followed the show either sometimes or constantly.

Countries with versions of Jeopardy! listed in yellow (the common Arabic-language version in light yellow) – Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

It is the most popular show in elderly housing and gave them a chance to show off their knowledge, something old people rarely have an opportunity to do. Of course, we who blog are not showing off OUR knowledge. We’re just hanging out. Online!

Actually, I think blogging is our Jeopardy. We don’t cover quite as big a range of topics as the show does and did, we cover a lot of stuff. I have a genuine passion for writing about whatever weird little idea has passed across my brain.

It doesn’t need to be important. In fact, it’s unimportance is part of why I enjoy writing about it.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

14 thoughts on “WHAT IS JEOPARDY? – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. Last night on Colbert, someone sat there and said: “You know, the Star Wars stuff is all out there — ours, Russia’s, and the Chinese.”

      I was told that if I were to reveal that exact information, I’d be locked in prison for 10 years because it was absolutely top-secret data. And there he was, on TV saying it to the entire world, most of whom I’m sure didn’t believe him. I guess HE didn’t have to go through a top security check and sign government papers.

      It was funny because it was so obvious no one believed him. However, I edited the documentation about it, so I knew it was true. I’ve known it for more more than 30 years. I wonder how he found out?

      What no one knows is whether or not it actually works since it was never tested. It cost billions of dollars — but does it do anything?

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  1. As of now you know ONE person who has never seen or done, but heard about, Jeopardy…. me.
    But from all I know I would have dearly loved it and as you so rightly state, we learn a lot from listening, watching, observing, and reading. I now wish I could watch some of them somehow. (still not having a TV won’t help)

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    1. It got to Ireland, but apparently not England. Maybe you had your own version of it. Made it to Australia and New Zealand too, so there was probably a reason why England didn’t get it. My guess would be conflicts with UK-produced television.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like trying to guess the answers on TV quiz shows and I have seen Jeopardy. Can’t recall if I watched the Australian version but I have definitely seen the US one, probably on pay TV. To be honest I didn’t really like the answer a question with a question format but I did like the range of questions. I liked Weird Al’s parody song “I Lost On Jeopardy” too.
    If the show started in 1964, wouldn’t it be 55 years, still an impressive record for a quiz show.

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  3. Jeopardy actually had about a decade hiatus from the late 70’s to mid 80’s. Art Fleming hosted the original iteration of the game show from 1964 to 1975 or so. Then the Alex Trebek version debuted in either 1984 or 85. Weird Al’s parody “I Lost on Jeopardy” came out early in 1984, and Merv Griffin credits the popularity of that song with giving Jeopardy another shot. And the Trebek version is 35 years old now and still chugging along…

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