Tuesday, March 28, 2006

How Am I Supposed To Know About Sandy Bloody Dennis's Broadway Career?

I wanted to be Connery

I am not Jeopardy material. I don't know what I was thinking. But when America's favorite dinner time quiz show constantly trails its first ever online contestant pre-test I couldn't resist. Alright, it was just a pre-qualifier to see who would move on to a live action audition at a later date, but we can all dream a little, can't we?

Tonight was the appointed night for East Coast aspirants. At 8pm I had to be at the computer but at 7:30 I figured it wouldn't hurt to brush up a little by watching the real show on TV. One of the "Double Jeopardy" categories tonight was "The BBC's 100 Greatest Britons List"- man, why couldn't I just skip the test and go and tackle that category in front of the hot lights and Trebek?

It was a lucky thing that I was watching the show as just prior to the last commercial break before "Final Jeopardy" they announced the online contest again and reminded would-be contestants that they had to register. Register? Bugger me! I was up the stairs and into the office faster than someone who is particularly fast when running up a flight of stairs!

I checked eligibilty: You are not eligible to be a contestant on JEOPARDY! if you have appeared on a game show/dating show/relationship show/reality show in the last year or three game shows/dating shows/relationship shows/reality shows in the last 10 years, ok, didn't apply to me.

Passing this online test does not make you eligible to appear on JEOPARDY! or guarantee you a spot for a tryout on JEOPARDY! This is a preliminary screening only- fine, fine.

On the night of your test, be at your computer and online 15 minutes before the test begins. Don't wait until the last minute! Thanks. Would have been helpful to know that 16 minutes ago.

Still, I made it in time. I submitted my registration information and clicked to start the test. Boy, was it ever wicked official- a countdown clock, a real air of "do not turn over your papers or touch your pencils until I say so", and the Jeopardy music as the last 10 seconds ticked down.

50 questions drawn from 50 categories. A 15 second time limit to answer each question. No need to type the answer in the form of a question unlike on the show but an admonition to watch your spelling. I know I got the one about Oliver Cromwell right. The others? Ehhh. Who knows?

I certainly won't. According to the website, Jeopardy never reveals scores from tryouts. I won't even get a commiserations email telling me I didn't make the grade. In fact, Jeopardy is so Ayn Rand-ian they won't even give a time-frame within which they will notify the elect: people even more deluded than me could be waiting in vain for the blessed email for weeks only for it to never come. They could neglect their families and their health, and die. In the Jeopardy universe, only the strong are worthy of respect and encouragement. The rest of us are but dust under the wheels of Trebek's juggernaut.

My only consolation is that I at least was able to master the mechanics of answering the questions even if I didn't get enough right. The time I tried to qualify for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? by using a touchtone phone I damaged my right thumb and almost fell down the stairs.


Ancient Clown said...

Give this a try if you please.
GOLD Medal Games
your humble servant,
Ancient Clown

Debbie said...

This post is soooo funny.
What a relief because I thought it was going to be about Sandy Dennis who is about the most annoying actress to watch.

"Come to the 5 and dime jimmy Dean" was a broadway play she was in BTW.

I hope you get in and kick some pompous trebek ass. And if you get on but don't make it to the final round you should run up to Mr Trebek, grab those cards , rip them up and throw them at him because he is powerless without those index cards... and powerless without that moustache, but don't do anything to the moustache.

youthlarge said...

not jeopardy material? that means the rest of us aren't even let's make a deal material. how do you think you did?

i aspired to be on jeopardy in high school and i think i could have been a contender back then. now, not so much.

weasel said...

I dunno. I think I may have got about 40 out of 50 but I'm fairly convinced there are people who do this sort of thing for a living who beat me into the ground. I did see when I googled the Jeopardy site that there are websites full of tips on how to qualify and how to be first with the buzzer if you make it on. The contest was for the whole east coast so probably 1000s took part. This is where the maths kick in:

Jeopardy is on 6 nights a week. Even without re-runs, teen tournaments, or tournaments-of-champions there are therefore a maximum of 313 appearances by the 3 contestant podiums a year. Given that on each show one person progresses to the next taping, that would leave only 209 contestant opportunities for the whole North American continent (Canadians are eligible too).

Not a chance.

Debbie said...

Don't think negative! You can do it.
When you get on the show and Trebek walks over to you so you can share something interesting about your life you should give us all a shout out!!!;)And you should bring Chewie as your luck charm

Wes said...

You could try for the new "Deal or No Deal" show. No trivia questions at all.
I have to say, though, that I don't agree with your usage of Ayn Rand. She was capitalistic and preached selfishness, but she wasn't quite dictatorial.

weasel said...

Wheel of Fortune might be even better: no choosing briefcases, just guessing words.

I apologize about Ms. Rand: I was trying to imply that Jeopardy is an embodiment of the cold soul of the Darwinist market rather than suggesting a Saddam like capriciousness on their part. Besides, at college all the Rand-ians dressed like escaped extras from the non-nightclub scenes from Cabaret as opposed to avuncular yet stern Canadians in grey Men's Warehouse suits.

JL4 said...

You know...if you sent them that math breakdown they may just jump you into the show without your test results.

Jim said...

Wisdom Weasel on Jeopardy would be so unbelievably cool. We could all have Jeopardy watch parties and live vicariously through our blogging compatriot.

I concur with you that there are people who probably do this for a living.

MPBN should launch a trivia game show about Maine. We should start an email campaign.