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Old June 25th, 2004, 03:15 AM   #1
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Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!

I don't know if anyone else here is as much of a Jeopardy! freak, but for the past three weeks, the show has been dominated by its greatest champion, software engineer Ken Jennings of SLC Utah, whose winnings have exploded all the records save single-day total. Who knows how many days he'll go? Ken's not just an astoundingly broad-knowledged player with catlike reflexes, he's also quick-witted, funny, self-deprecating--a truly enjoyable player to watch. I would go so far as to call him iconoclastic: he even writes his name on the podium display in a different script each day. It's as if he's been storing up these jokes and ideas his entire life, just waiting to get on the show to make his mark.

This evening I discovered the offical Jeopardy! message board at the SONY web site and was delighted to see Ken is a regular poster, as are many of the other past contestants he's trampled (and a few who gave him a good run for his money). Hours of fun are to be had reading the past few weeks of discourse, and learning about the game's arcane rules and its behind-the-scenes gaffes that get left on the cutting room floor.

------ No relation to Jeopardy!'s senior producer Rocky (alas)
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Old July 20th, 2004, 02:59 AM   #2
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Huh. I was surprised to see Tim Crockett, who lived across the hall from me our freshman year of college, challenging Ken on the show tonight (Monday 7-19). He made a valiant effort, but, like most of Ken's challengers, had himself a steamrolling by the end of the second round. I knew Tim to be a really bright guy. Under other circumstances he would have come away champion. Fight on, Tim.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #3
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Is he still winning? I had a weird dream last night that he lost in a simple question.

Are there any conspiracy sites who think this whole thing with him winning is a scam?
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 10:35 PM   #4
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On the season finale of Jeopardy! this evening, Ken finally shattered the single-day earnings record, with a take of $75,000.

Now fans will be forced to endure 6 weeks of Jeopardy! withdrawal until Ken resumes play on the 21st season's premiere on September 6th. (Gush.)
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Old July 24th, 2004, 12:13 PM   #5
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Two words...

Quiz Show :)
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Old July 24th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #6
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Yeah. :-) It's a common joke, and a banal one:

In actuality, it's easy to understand how Ken's knowledge is so broad is and how he's so well timed at the buzzer. If one looks at his life--his family upbringing, his being raised abroad and going to excellent schools, his participation in high school and college quiz bowl teams, his lifelong interest in comic books, movies, and pop culture, his adult hobby as a writer and editor of mythology and literature questions for national quiz tournaments--it's easy to see how Ken has been bred and raised to be the J! champion that he is. It's just a little bit of a plus that he has the quick wit and disarmly self-deprecating humor that add up to a tolerable personality--rare in geeks overall but crucial to television game show champions.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 02:31 AM   #7
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I'd like to believe he is for real, but it sure has come at a good time for Jeopardy, whose ratings have increased 50% since he started his whoop-ass spree.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #8
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For many years, I watched and actively pitted myself against the contestants on Jeopardy. But now, it's become mostly a yawn. The producers of the show can play the gimmick of a seemingly unbeatable champion only so long. Eventually, many other regular viewers will become bored by the lack of depth and miss the uncertainty of the outcome, that made the show interesting.

What do you suppose the producers' exit strategy will be? When Jennings loses, there's a likelyhood that many of the viewers brought in mainly by the spectacle of a perennial winner, will disappear and they'll be worse off than ever in the ratings. When the next annual Tournament of Champions is held, you can bet they'll make the most of his return and publicize it to the hilt.

I also have my suspicions that they are deliberately throwing a number of weaker
opponents at him, to increase his chances of continuing. Can you imagine the discussions that go on in the contestant-selection committee room?

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