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(Esquire)   Why Jeopardy has lasted 50 years. Suck it, Trebek   (esquire.com) divider line 82
    More: Interesting, risks, Merv Griffin, Let's Make a Deal, The Joker's Wild, Festivus, The Price Is Right, game shows, Roger Craig  
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3104 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 27 Mar 2014 at 4:34 AM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-26 10:25:40 PM
If it can survive outfits like this, it can survive anything...

www.esquire.com
 
2014-03-26 11:45:31 PM
Art Fleming came across like an avuncular, friendly sage and I loved the show back then.  Alex Trebek has just turned into a foul tempered chide -- sort of like the grammar or spelling Nazi on Fark, forever correcting somebody's diction or spelling.  I haven't watched the night time Jeopardy for years and now that Trebek has been shilling for that insurance company offering "affordable life insurance" for the amazingly low rate of $9.99 per unit (that's per thousand so as to confuse the aging masses this crap is targeted for) I hate him even more.
 
2014-03-27 12:06:25 AM
A game show of Pure Skill

That reminds me, when is Top Shot coming back?
 
2014-03-27 12:57:34 AM
I'll take penis mightier than the sword, Trebeck.
 
2014-03-27 01:00:27 AM
Jap anus relations?
 
2014-03-27 01:00:43 AM
Well, it isn't exactly 50 years. It was canceled a couple times in the 70s due to low ratings.

Though the 30 year run of the current version is impressive all on its own.
 
2014-03-27 05:43:48 AM
Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?
 
2014-03-27 05:51:12 AM

Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?


This. Not all of the questions are easy, but the categories are broad enough that there is usually something anyone can answer on any given show. This makes the viewer feel smart like they could be on the show (though most couldn't).
 
2014-03-27 06:03:48 AM

Prey4reign: Art Fleming came across like an avuncular, friendly sage and I loved the show back then.  Alex Trebek has just turned into a foul tempered chide -- sort of like the grammar or spelling Nazi on Fark, forever correcting somebody's diction or spelling.  I haven't watched the night time Jeopardy for years and now that Trebek has been shilling for that insurance company offering "affordable life insurance" for the amazingly low rate of $9.99 per unit (that's per thousand so as to confuse the aging masses this crap is targeted for) I hate him even more.


Trebek does seem like a know-it-all, but that's because he is. He's got all the farking answers! I get what you're saying though...he doesn't seem like he'd be much fun at parties. He's all perfect and shiat. Pat Sajack, though, seems like a fun guy. Nice, funny, and witty.
 
2014-03-27 06:11:00 AM
What is a highly rated, fairly inexpensive to produce trivia show, Alex?
 
2014-03-27 06:11:22 AM

Darth_Lukecash: I'll take penis mightier than the sword, Trebeck.


The real question is, does it work?
 
2014-03-27 06:37:53 AM
Any time someone trots out the old trope that Americans are getting dumber, I point out that Jeapordy! has been getting harder and its ratings are great.
 
2014-03-27 06:38:03 AM
What is a show that old people can watch while the Dulcolax kicks in, Alex?
 
2014-03-27 07:00:06 AM

Mark Ratner: Prey4reign: Art Fleming came across like an avuncular, friendly sage and I loved the show back then.  Alex Trebek has just turned into a foul tempered chide -- sort of like the grammar or spelling Nazi on Fark, forever correcting somebody's diction or spelling.  I haven't watched the night time Jeopardy for years and now that Trebek has been shilling for that insurance company offering "affordable life insurance" for the amazingly low rate of $9.99 per unit (that's per thousand so as to confuse the aging masses this crap is targeted for) I hate him even more.

Trebek does seem like a know-it-all, but that's because he is. He's got all the farking answers!


THIS GUY READS OFF A CARD!!!
 
2014-03-27 08:10:10 AM

taurusowner: Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?

This. Not all of the questions are easy, but the categories are broad enough that there is usually something anyone can answer on any given show. This makes the viewer feel smart like they could be on the show (though most couldn't).


Yeah, ok. Right. Let's see either of you get on it.

*rolls eyes*
 
2014-03-27 08:11:35 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Any time someone trots out the old trope that Americans are getting dumber, I point out that Jeapordy! has been getting harder and its ratings are great.


This. Sooo this.
 
2014-03-27 08:18:14 AM
It's a great show for people with hoards of useless trivia knowledge.
 
2014-03-27 08:20:27 AM

Prey4reign: Art Fleming came across like an avuncular, friendly sage and I loved the show back then.  Alex Trebek has just turned into a foul tempered chide -- sort of like the grammar or spelling Nazi on Fark, forever correcting somebody's diction or spelling.  I haven't watched the night time Jeopardy for years and now that Trebek has been shilling for that insurance company offering "affordable life insurance" for the amazingly low rate of $9.99 per unit (that's per thousand so as to confuse the aging masses this crap is targeted for) I hate him even more.


Pretty much this.
 
2014-03-27 08:26:04 AM
In before the rapist.
 
2014-03-27 08:39:53 AM
I forgot what I was going to say, but your mother's a whore.
 
2014-03-27 08:52:10 AM

taurusowner: Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?

This. Not all of the questions are easy, but the categories are broad enough that there is usually something anyone can answer on any given show. This makes the viewer feel smart like they could be on the show (though most couldn't).


To win the game you need to have a wide breadth of knowledge with some depth, a quick trigger finger, and a willingness to take a risk when betting.  Yes, being able to answer the questions is a fun part of the show but I dont think it is the sole reason it has been successful.

I also dont think Jeopardy! is the easy quiz show you are making it out to be so maybe I am a dummy.
 
2014-03-27 08:52:35 AM

lindalouwho: taurusowner: Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?

This. Not all of the questions are easy, but the categories are broad enough that there is usually something anyone can answer on any given show. This makes the viewer feel smart like they could be on the show (though most couldn't).

Yeah, ok. Right. Let's see either of you get on it.

*rolls eyes*


i went to a tryout once in little rock at a car dealership...~12 years ago. it was very difficult...had 10 questions to answer on a piece of paper. you get enough correct, they invite you to the day 2 2nd round of tryouts (non-advertised, and at a different location). you were only supposed to do this 1st round once...you either got it or you didn't.

well, i didn't, but my aunt & uncle live just blocks away from the tryout location, and my aunt is a huge trivia buff too, so i went to her house, looked up some answers i knew i missed (they don't tell you what you get correct or wrong), took her back up there with me. i was lucky, they didn't recognize me, and i actually got the SAME test (there were 4 or 6 different tests). i got thru! unfortunately, my aunt did not :(

the 2nd round was held at the peabody hotel in a conference room. we watched a video and then the person on the video gave 50 questions. we had to write the answers, and had to get a certain number of them correct. i, of course, did not get enough of them correct.
 
2014-03-27 09:03:12 AM
Not to overlook the thumb button skill. All those times the person you were rooting for pressed too soon, too late, or too often.
 
2014-03-27 09:03:19 AM

bungle_jr: lindalouwho: taurusowner: Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?

This. Not all of the questions are easy, but the categories are broad enough that there is usually something anyone can answer on any given show. This makes the viewer feel smart like they could be on the show (though most couldn't).

Yeah, ok. Right. Let's see either of you get on it.

*rolls eyes*

i went to a tryout once in little rock at a car dealership...~12 years ago. it was very difficult...had 10 questions to answer on a piece of paper. you get enough correct, they invite you to the day 2 2nd round of tryouts (non-advertised, and at a different location). you were only supposed to do this 1st round once...you either got it or you didn't.

well, i didn't, but my aunt & uncle live just blocks away from the tryout location, and my aunt is a huge trivia buff too, so i went to her house, looked up some answers i knew i missed (they don't tell you what you get correct or wrong), took her back up there with me. i was lucky, they didn't recognize me, and i actually got the SAME test (there were 4 or 6 different tests). i got thru! unfortunately, my aunt did not :(

the 2nd round was held at the peabody hotel in a conference room. we watched a video and then the person on the video gave 50 questions. we had to write the answers, and had to get a certain number of them correct. i, of course, did not get enough of them correct.


The literature, theater, and science questions always trip me up.
 
2014-03-27 09:06:55 AM
I'll take Anal Bum Cover for $400, Alex.

I've always loved this show, and for all the reasons in TFA. I agree that Trebek can be a prick at times, and he's horrible at "witty banter" with the contestants after the first break, but I think he's the right guy for the job because of those attributes; he's a lot like the contestants themselves. I'm sure most of them correct their friends when they use words incorrectly and they spout useless trivia at odd, random times just to display their superior intellect. Art Fleming was a pleasant fellow, but you could see his type on many game shows. Trebek could only succeed on this one (it's the only one he's been on for more than three seasons). There have been times, though, where Trebek has displayed humility in the superior intellect of some of the geniuses they get through there - makes him a bit more like the rest of us...you.
 
2014-03-27 09:10:47 AM

Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?


Not easy so much as targeted to more well-read pop culture buffs.  If you've studied modern Western history, read a bunch of books, love useless trivia, kept up with the latest in pop culture for the last 50 years and retained a good knowledge of geography you're basically as good as any contestant.  Which is the point.

Whenever I watched Jeopardy as a kid I would get annihilated by my parents or my friends' parents.  They had a science category about once every 3-4 episodes and technology questions were even more sparse.  Sports were invariably about long-retired players' careers, if not their personal lives.  Basically the questions were overwhelmingly social studies, with the occasional "curveball" categories consisting of the other 99.999% of human knowledge.

LonMead: What is a highly rated, fairly inexpensive to produce trivia show, Alex?


TotalFarkTM the Show?

Gunny Highway: To win the game you need to have a wide breadth of knowledge with some depth, a quick trigger finger, and a willingness to take a risk when betting.


No, you don't.  I know people with stunning breadth of knowledge and the show would barely test them.  But they wouldn't win either, because the show's questions don't cater to them.  Or the contestants, for that matter.

The questions cater to the audience.  Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.
 
2014-03-27 09:19:55 AM
I disagree strongly with this "The only element of chance that has been introduced to its otherwise perfectly logic-based system is the Daily Double."  The daily double is an element of chance, but so are the categories.  He can't compare Jeopardy to throwing a Javelin, it's more like showing up at a track and field event with 100 possible competitions, and hoping they pick the 10 you're strongest in.
 
2014-03-27 09:23:50 AM

dragonchild: No, you don't. I know people with stunning breadth of knowledge and the show would barely test them. But they wouldn't win either, because the show's questions don't cater to them. Or the contestants, for that matter.

The questions cater to the audience. Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.


If you say so.
 
2014-03-27 09:32:37 AM

bungle_jr: lindalouwho: taurusowner: Old Man Winter: Mainly because the questions are easy enough in general people feel like it validates their belief in their own superiority?

This. Not all of the questions are easy, but the categories are broad enough that there is usually something anyone can answer on any given show. This makes the viewer feel smart like they could be on the show (though most couldn't).

Yeah, ok. Right. Let's see either of you get on it.

*rolls eyes*

i went to a tryout once in little rock at a car dealership...~12 years ago. it was very difficult...had 10 questions to answer on a piece of paper. you get enough correct, they invite you to the day 2 2nd round of tryouts (non-advertised, and at a different location). you were only supposed to do this 1st round once...you either got it or you didn't.

well, i didn't, but my aunt & uncle live just blocks away from the tryout location, and my aunt is a huge trivia buff too, so i went to her house, looked up some answers i knew i missed (they don't tell you what you get correct or wrong), took her back up there with me. i was lucky, they didn't recognize me, and i actually got the SAME test (there were 4 or 6 different tests). i got thru! unfortunately, my aunt did not :(

the 2nd round was held at the peabody hotel in a conference room. we watched a video and then the person on the video gave 50 questions. we had to write the answers, and had to get a certain number of them correct. i, of course, did not get enough of them correct.


Yep, that was my point, it is not easy. About 20 years ago one of my sisters and myself passed the tests. You are then on their "call list" for 2 years - neither of us ever got a call.

When you are on the list, you usually don't get more than a week or two notice. If someone else cancels/doesn't make it there you can get called the day before - and you're off the list if you can't go; one call only.

And you are reponsible for all travel costs: plane (try getting a good price) or gas, hotel, cabs, food. Gotta pay to play. No matter how smart/confident you are if the wrong categories for YOU come up, you're screwed.

/hear you can try-out online now
 
2014-03-27 09:33:35 AM
I'll take "Ow, my balls!" for $200 Alex.
 
2014-03-27 09:39:26 AM

Darth_Lukecash: I'll take penis mightier than the sword, Trebeck.


That's what your mother said, Trebek.

Anal bum.
 
2014-03-27 09:42:13 AM
dragonchild:

The questions cater to the audience.  Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

And we're done. Nothing succeeds like the intellectual flattery of the nearly bright.
 
2014-03-27 09:46:57 AM
Alex Trebek once yelled at me on the phone. His wife can't cook also.
 
2014-03-27 09:49:57 AM
I'll just leave this here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvUZijEuNDQ
 
2014-03-27 09:53:31 AM
It's really funny--I don't know anyone, anyone, who likes Alex Trebek.  I'm just impressed that he has been the host of this show for so long, and it remains successful, and everyone seems to hate him.

Also, check out young Alex:
www.lowtimespodcast.com
 
2014-03-27 09:56:38 AM

Valiente: dragonchild:

The questions cater to the audience.  Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

And we're done. Nothing succeeds like the intellectual flattery of the nearly bright.


Valiente: dragonchild:

The questions cater to the audience.  Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

And we're done. Nothing succeeds like the intellectual flattery of the nearly bright.


It is a fun televised quiz show.  I guess, I am from a long line of "nearly brights" because I have been watching as long as I can remember.
 
2014-03-27 10:00:40 AM

ckccfa: It's really funny--I don't know anyone, anyone, who likes Alex Trebek.  I'm just impressed that he has been the host of this show for so long, and it remains successful, and everyone seems to hate him.


I like Trebek.  And I feel bad for him during the terrible meet and greet portion.  The vast majority of the stories are terrible and sad at the same time.  My all time 'favorite' was the woman who was the score/stat keeper for the female basketball team at the college she worked at.
 
2014-03-27 10:01:11 AM

Gunny Highway: dragonchild: No, you don't. I know people with stunning breadth of knowledge and the show would barely test them. But they wouldn't win either, because the show's questions don't cater to them. Or the contestants, for that matter.

The questions cater to the audience. Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

If you say so.


Ha! Yeah, categories like the bible, history, science, geography, can only be answered by Boomers. Well, maybe you're partially right only because we actually READ (past and present tenses) BOOKS on those subjects. You see, geography and science, for example, have evolved/changed A LOT since we were in school. Tho pop culture and trivia are interesting, my generation doesn't care so much what "celebrities" are doing.

My guess is, if you think it's geared towards boomers only, you've not watched it much and the subject matter you choose to read is, um, different.

/teen tournaments
//college tournaments
///teacher's week
 
2014-03-27 10:08:24 AM

lindalouwho: Gunny Highway: dragonchild: No, you don't. I know people with stunning breadth of knowledge and the show would barely test them. But they wouldn't win either, because the show's questions don't cater to them. Or the contestants, for that matter.

The questions cater to the audience. Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

If you say so.

Ha! Yeah, categories like the bible, history, science, geography, can only be answered by Boomers. Well, maybe you're partially right only because we actually READ (past and present tenses) BOOKS on those subjects. You see, geography and science, for example, have evolved/changed A LOT since we were in school. Tho pop culture and trivia are interesting, my generation doesn't care so much what "celebrities" are doing.

My guess is, if you think it's geared towards boomers only, you've not watched it much and the subject matter you choose to read is, um, different.

/teen tournaments
//college tournaments
///teacher's week


A lot of conestants and champions are in their 20s and 30s.
 
2014-03-27 10:10:38 AM

Valiente: dragonchild:

The questions cater to the audience.  Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

And we're done. Nothing succeeds like the intellectual flattery of the nearly bright.


Wut?
 
2014-03-27 10:11:22 AM

lindalouwho: Yeah, categories like the bible, history, science, geography, can only be answered by Boomers.


Jeopardy! only throws out enough science questions to remind their viewers that they do actually have science questions.  Likewise I can't remember the last time they had a history category that didn't prominently feature white men.  I note you mention the Bible as its own topic.  I'll concede it's a historically significant religious text, but you do realize it's not the only one, right?

But this is exactly the sort of thinking the show is designed to encourage, and I don't dispute it's very good at what it does:  Make its viewers think they're a lot more learned then they actually are.
 
2014-03-27 10:11:46 AM
I'll take Swords for $200
 
2014-03-27 10:13:34 AM

Gunny Highway: A lot of conestants and champions are in their 20s and 30s.


We're talking about the audience.  The show wouldn't get nearly the ratings it does if the contestants looked like the show's core viewers.
 
2014-03-27 10:17:38 AM

Gunny Highway: lindalouwho: Gunny Highway: dragonchild: No, you don't. I know people with stunning breadth of knowledge and the show would barely test them. But they wouldn't win either, because the show's questions don't cater to them. Or the contestants, for that matter.

The questions cater to the audience. Baby Boomers are the ultimate creatures of habit, and they like having their egos stroked, so nothing appeals to them like a show that never strays from the routine of making them feel smart.

If you say so.

Ha! Yeah, categories like the bible, history, science, geography, can only be answered by Boomers. Well, maybe you're partially right only because we actually READ (past and present tenses) BOOKS on those subjects. You see, geography and science, for example, have evolved/changed A LOT since we were in school. Tho pop culture and trivia are interesting, my generation doesn't care so much what "celebrities" are doing.

My guess is, if you think it's geared towards boomers only, you've not watched it much and the subject matter you choose to read is, um, different.

/teen tournaments
//college tournaments
///teacher's week

A lot of conestants and champions are in their 20s and 30s.


I understand that. I was reacting to the thought that the show was geared toward boomers. I'm always amazed by the breadth of knowledge of some of those teens and 20somethings.
 
2014-03-27 10:18:46 AM

dragonchild: Gunny Highway: A lot of conestants and champions are in their 20s and 30s.

We're talking about the audience.  The show wouldn't get nearly the ratings it does if the contestants looked like the show's core viewers.


*citation needed*
 
2014-03-27 10:21:02 AM

dragonchild: lindalouwho: Yeah, categories like the bible, history, science, geography, can only be answered by Boomers.

Jeopardy! only throws out enough science questions to remind their viewers that they do actually have science questions.  Likewise I can't remember the last time they had a history category that didn't prominently feature white men.  I note you mention the Bible as its own topic.  I'll concede it's a historically significant religious text, but you do realize it's not the only one, right?

But this is exactly the sort of thinking the show is designed to encourage, and I don't dispute it's very good at what it does:  Make its viewers think they're a lot more learned then they actually are.


You either don't know exactly what you're talking about or you're trolling.

either way 4/10
 
2014-03-27 10:25:45 AM

dragonchild: Gunny Highway: A lot of conestants and champions are in their 20s and 30s.

We're talking about the audience.  The show wouldn't get nearly the ratings it does if the contestants looked like the show's core viewers.


I know more people my age that watch or DVR Jeopardy than people my parents age for what it is worth (nothing).

lindalouwho: I understand that. I was reacting to the thought that the show was geared toward boomers. I'm always amazed by the breadth of knowledge of some of those teens and 20somethings.


That is fair.  We biatch and moan about how stupid television is on this site.  I was just surprised people had this kind of reaction to the show.  I always saw it as a general knowledge quiz show (not to mention to betting strategies and buzzer quickness factors)
 
2014-03-27 10:40:44 AM
I'd think Jeopardy's gotten more juvenile over the last 16 years.

Here's the categories from a 1995 game: Bible Quotations, Sports, American Cuisine, Grover Cleveland, Ranks and Titles, "Lady"s

Now here are the categories from a 2009 game: The Louvre, Earn Baby Earn, Jay Leno's Headlines, Dairy Products, Show Me Your Peninsula!, How Well Do You Know "Me"?

Seriously, "Show Me Your Peninsula!"? I'd expect that on Win Ben Stein's Money, not Jeopardy itself!
 
2014-03-27 10:54:48 AM

dragonchild: lindalouwho: Yeah, categories like the bible, history, science, geography, can only be answered by Boomers.

Jeopardy! only throws out enough science questions to remind their viewers that they do actually have science questions.  Likewise I can't remember the last time they had a history category that didn't prominently feature white men.  I note you mention the Bible as its own topic.  I'll concede it's a historically significant religious text, but you do realize it's not the only one, right?

But this is exactly the sort of thinking the show is designed to encourage, and I don't dispute it's very good at what it does:  Make its viewers think they're a lot more learned then they actually are.


Then start your own farking show, where every category is science.  I'd watch that, but I'd still probably prefer Jeopardy.
 
2014-03-27 11:01:09 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Well, it isn't exactly 50 years. It was canceled a couple times in the 70s due to low ratings.



Frowns on your shenanigans:

www.bbcamerica.com
 
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