On March 30, 1964, Jeopardy! hit TV screens across America. It's been over 50 years and Jeopardy! is still going strong. So let's see how much you know about the iconic game show with some trivia questions!
The Idea for Jeopardy! Came from Merv Griffin's Wife Who Was Making a Joke Inspired by What Event?
Game shows were a huge deal in America until word broke that the networks and studios were fixing the giving contestants the answers to make things more exciting. After the scandal and an ensuing law making the practice illegal, game shows kind of died. But Merv Griffin thought they could still be successful. The idea for Jeopardy! came when his wife, Julann, made a joke inspired by that very scandal: "Why not just give them the answers to start with?" she said. And just like that, a new game show was born. A quiz show where you got the answer and you had to ask the question. They would call it: What's the Question?
Don't worry, they eventually figured out a better name.
Name the Show’s Original Host and Announcer
Though it may seem like Alex Trebek and Johnny Gilbert have been the host and announcer for Jeopardy since the beginning, they actually didn’t show up until 1984. Before that, the team of Art Fleming and Don Pardo manned the respective helms, doing so from 1964 to 1979.
To tie this question to the previous one: Weird Al recorded his song in 1983, a year before Trebek took over. The original show lasted until 1979, meaning that we actually went five whole years without televised trivia. Did Al losing horribly in song form prompt the revival? We like to think so.
What Famous Politician was a Jeopardy Champion Before the Fame? Celebrity Jeopardy is certainly fun, especially because the questions are so watered-down any of us can ace them. But how many people appeared on Jeopardy as complete unknowns, and then went on to become famous in their own right? Senator John McCain did. In 1965, the future Arizona politician appeared on the show and actually won a game. However, his reign on top would not be a long one, as his inability to guess the name of a character from the novel Wuthering Heights led to his topple from grace the very next day.
How Long Does It Take to Film a Week's Worth of Jeopardy! Episodes?
Alex Trebek recently inked a new contract that will pay him $10 million a year, that's not bad for a guy who gets most of the week off. Said Alex Trebek in an interview one time, "We film two days a week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays usually. I go into the studio around 6:30 in the morning. The five games we're going to tape that day are given to me at 7:30 a.m. It takes me an hour and a half to go over those five games. We then have a production meeting. We then go to the studio, I get dressed and made up, we tape, and I'm done by 4:30. I get home around 6 p.m., and that's my day. I leave home around 5:50 a.m. and get home at about 5:50 p.m." That's right, he earns that money working two days a week, and he can tape an entire week's worth of episodes in just one day. However, he changes his suit in between each episode to make it feel like time is passing.
But despite a gig most people would kill for, Trebek has recently indicated he's considering retiring. Who could possibly replace the TV giant? That's one question he doesn't have the answer for.
How Many Times Has Jeopardy! Been Canceled Over the Years? The problem with Jeopardy! has always been the fear that the game is just too smart for people. Who wants to watch a trivia game where they don't know the answers? Despite good ratings, the network would constantly push Griffin to dumb down the questions, and he would constantly refuse. Over the years, the show got bumped around to different time slots and canceled twice. But Jeopardy! eventually found its footing with a new host they hired in 1984: Alex Trebek.