Thursday, July 27, 2006

Now who is trying to kill Kenny?

I have to admit, when I was watching Ken Jennings run on Jeopardy, I was having a serious hate-on for the "borderline" genius. If you don't recognize the name, during 2004 and 2005, he went on a 72 game run of winning the popular game show. This streak made him somewhat of a celebrity, not seen on game shows since the opening days of tv with game shows such as Twenty One. Anyone who is a fan of the 1994 film Quiz Show knows what ended up happening with that show.

Getting back to Jennings, whether it was the overly bland exterior, the arrogant way in which he would write his name differently for each game or just his encyclopedic knowledge of everything from movies to religion. I just couldn't stand him.

If you remember, the question that got him was in the category Business and Industry. The answer was "most of this firm's 70 000 employees seasonal white collar employees work only four months a year." Ken answered "What is FedEx". The correct response was "What is H&R Block". Nancy Zerg did win that game but her streak only lasted one day as she lost the next day.

Since ending his run, he has been shopping a game show idea tentatively called Ken Jennings vs. the rest of the world. He had been working with Comedy Central on a game show idea previously but was told at the last minute that they were not interested after the show The Colbert Report started garnering big ratings in the post Daily Show slot.

Jennings also has a pretty funny blog that is one of my daily stops along the internet each day. It is this blog that has gotten him in the news lately. On July 19, he wrote an entry entitled "Dear Jeopardy". In very tongue and cheek fashion, he made some recommendations to change the long running game show. He made reference to host Alex Trebek indicating the following:

"Finally, Alex. I know, I know, the old folks love him. Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000 (I see your engineers still can’t get the mustache right, by the way.) "

On July 24, he wrote an entry where he apologized for the remark, writing the following:

"Also, from our July 19 column: we regret the insinuation that Mr. Alex Trebek is a robot, and has been since 2004. Mr. Trebek’s robotic frame does still contain some organic parts, many harvested from patriotic Canadian schoolchildren, so this technically makes him a “cyborg,” not a “robot.” regrets the error."

They New York Post, in an article by Michael Starr than ripped Jennings for criticizing the show that made him a household name. They clearly missed the fact that IT WAS A JOKE.

Jennings than wrote about this article in his July 25th blog entry first criticizing Starr for creating a non-story out of nothing and criticizing Jeopardy fans who were filling up the message board of his blog with nasty comments.

This story has since been picked up legs as both FOXNews and AP are reporting details of the Jennings-Jeopardy debate. The Huffington Post recently posted an article defending Jennings which is also a pretty good read.

This all makes me wonder whether Jennings really is a genius and all of this is a ploy just to keep his name in the news.

Unrelatedly, since yesterday was Mick Jagger's birthday:

Top 5 Rolling Stones Albums
1. Exile On Main Street
2. Sticky Fingers
3. Let It Bleed
4. Beggars Banquet
5. The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers)



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