Jeopardy FAQs

And the answer is... what was the question again?

Q: What do you think of Wheel of Fortune?
A: Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are actually sister shows and taped right across from eachother. Most of the crew work on both shows. But yeah, Jeopardy is like the nerdy brother that cared about homework and his gpa, wheel of fortune is the slutty red-headed sister that only wanted to get an abortion because the babby was interfering with her drinking habit, but it was a sin to had an abortion, but then she found out God would forgive her, so she did and then gave shout-outs on the facebook. ...

Q: Do you work on both shows?
A: No, I only worked on Jeopardy!

Q: If you leave off the exclamation mark does your OCD kick in?
A: haha not my ocd, but sony's does. Theyre very particular about that exclamation mark.

Q: I'll take penis mightier than the sword for $200 sir. Oh, was Sean Connery ever on the show?
A: Sean Connery was never on the show. I dont think Alex has met him either if i remember right. That would have been awesome to see though.

Q: I was thinking Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and a Blind and deaf Chimpanzee.
A: Actually there was an april fools episode where Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy! and Alex Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune.

Q: If Jeopardy is all legit, sad to say, this is going to be a boring question :( Sorry.. Not Boring, but I had such high hopes for something dirty.
A: Haha uhmm ok... Trebek and Jennings were secret lovers, and they planned the whole winning streak so they could run off to vegas and blow it all in a weekend full of hookers and blow!
Edit: For legal clarification, this statement is entirely false.

Q:'re anonymous. And Trebek seems to have a pretty wry sense of humor, I'm inclined to believe he wouldn't over-react to this.
A: No, Trebek wouldn't care.. I dont even think he uses a computer. I did an anonymous just in case there are grey areas about the non-disclosure agreement. But the answers i give are pretty much readily available to anyone that attends a taping.

Q: I saw a show once that said Trebek has a passion for sprinkler systems. Do you know if there is any truth to that? Ever had any conversations with him about it?
A: This is in fact true. He loves being the handyman around his house. He says his hobby is "fixing things". So yes, often he will talk about working on his sprinklers or repairing something around the house.

Q: How does one get to be a Jeopardy writer?
A: Not sure! Wasnt one. Sorry.

Q: Do you kick ass when you go to a quiz with your friends?
A: Hell yeah. Jeopardy! has given me the superhuman strength to crush fools at trivial pursuit.

Q: So they should, but sometimes they don't, so they don't? (Being serious, I have always wanted to know this)

A: Well they should, and if they were, then they should've. But if they werent then maybe they shouldnt have in the first place?
sigh.. ok fine! I dont know!! I DONT KNOW!! <sob> Hold me?
Actually i really dont know the answer to that, i was told pretty much the same thing that i told you. I guess i never asked the right people. Sorry! :(

Q: Did you have much interaction with contestants? If so, did they usually come off as intelligent, or just good at trivia?
A: No one on the crew is allowed access to the contestants. If we walk past them we can give a friendly smile or nod, but we are not allowed to interact with them on any level other than that. Only the contestant coordinators, the legal team or the producers have contact with them.
Actually, the only time we see the contestants before hand is during the practice sessions we do with all the contestants to make sure they have a feel for the game. During that time you can usually tell who will do well, but sometimes u are completely surprised.

Q: Why are you a former crew member? What is your favorite kind of cookie?

A: Former because they dont actually have a lot of tape days to work. I needed a steady income. White chocolate macadamia nut. They usually had them at the craft services table.

Q: I applaud you for possessing the ability to leave a job with free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.
A: Ugh, yeah that was one of the better perks. There was always a craft services table that had food and snacks and drinks that they would cycle out depending on the time of day. Then they gave us meal tickets to eat lunch at the cafeteria on the lot. <Which actually was very nice>

Q: Ah. I take it you left not that long ago and that you were able to visit the new commissary.
A: Yeah i just stopped at the end of last season. You work at sony?

Q: What happens when we go to commercial break and then come back and there is some sort of discrepancy? Is that the contestant's time to complain about the answer being possibly correct?
Does Trebek ever hang out after work or at parties with the crew?
Does Trebek know your name? Is he personable enough to say "hey alex" "hey amallardwithacold" in the hallway?
Tell us some crazy stories...

A: Honestly most contestants dont complain about an answer, it is usually caught by the judges before anything and researched completely before making a judgment. If a clue is judged being correct/incorrect after the fact, they will wait until a daily double is reached before making any scoring changes.
Trebek usually leaves fairly immediately after work. He doesnt usually hang out and mingle. He will usually attend the company parties though.
Haha no I dont think Trebek knows my name, or a lot of peoples names for that matter, but he would be nice enough to say hi in passing.
I wish i had crazy stories to tell you.. but its all pretty straight forward. :(

Q: I knew a guy in undergrad, he was a top ChemE student and seemed like an honest guy. He claimed he tried out for college edition and got every question right but was not chosen because some girl who got nearly everyone right was chosen instead because she was better looking, any truth to this?
A: Have you watched jeopardy?? No one is selected for their looks! ;) Looks dont play a big part, but personality can sometimes get you an advantage over another contestant trying out. Or other factors, but definitely not looks.

Q: There was a bangin Asian chick on there monday. She made cute faces.
A: "Cute" was few and far in between on Jeopardy!. Fairly attractive contestants were called "Jeopardy 10s". They couldnt be measured by the normal scale.
Just kidding female jeopardy contestants!! You were all beautiful and charming! :\

Q: It seems like in recent years that the questions have gotten easier and I'm pretty sure it's not because I've gotten smarter. Is there any truth to this?
A: Eh depends. Questions are easier on some of the teen and celebrity tournaments. But in general i think they have made an attempt to reach a broader audience. Everyone feels smarter when they get a question right on jeopardy, that makes them want to keep watching. So they dumb them down periodically, or they include more pop culture references. <That is not their official response, just the way i see it>

Q: I'm a web developer who loves Jeopardy, but I cried when I saw this. Its the OFFICIAL website to get tickets to jeopardy/wheel of fortune.

Do you know who maintains this? I really want to talk to them so I can fix it. Jeopardy deserves better.
A: Haha yah ive seen that atrocity. I have no idea who is responsible for that. Ive never had to recommend somebody go there for tickets when i worked there so i didnt see it til after.

Q: Got any funny stories that you can tell? And why aren't your answers in the form of a question?
A: One time, the two top winning (dollars won) contestants ever on jeopardy!, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter (won the most total money ever on jeopardy) stopped by to view a taping. During the break Alex decided to chit chat with them and asked them what they have been doing with the money they won, Jennings, a devout mormon, mentioned that he was helping out in the community, donating, buying bibles and such.. Then Trebek asked Rutter. His response: "Hookers and blow Alex, hookers and blow".

Q: You ever meet any of the Clue Crew? I kinda have a thing for Kelly :)

A: Yeah, the clue crew are there for almost all the tapings, unless they are off vacationing in some exotic location to tape a 10 second clue. Bastards! Kelly is definitely a cutie. When i started there were 5 of them, but due to the budget cuts and what not it went down to 4, then to 3.

Q: Are the Clue Crew actual clue writers or just pretty for the camera?
A: Just a pretty face.

Q: Kelly is soooooo cute! Please tell me she is not married! :) Do you think alex would be super good at jeopardy? I honestly think I would pay money to see him play - just to see him on the other side would be worth 10 bucks.

A: I think Kelly is single but dating. You can see her in person if you like, she is at most of the tapings. Alex would be great at jeopardy because he knows most of the content but he says that at his age his response time would be just too slow to compete.

Q: How did you like working at Sony?

A: Working at sony was great. Got to walk through the stages to see whats filming.. get to see famous people walking around. But best of all, discounts on sony merchandise and movies!

Q: Does anyone else read as much as I do? I love Jeopardy. Are there Jeopardy groupies? I would imagine this to be a gaggle of really hot librarians. If there is no such thing, don't ruin this fantasy for me. Just lie!
A: is not affiliated or run by Jeopardy!. I was amazed when i first saw that site how dedicated people were to the show. So i cant comment on the hotness of the people that run that site, but as for the staff and writers here, they are all 10's, some even 10.5! And its mandatory that everyone wears bathing suits to work and is freshly oiled up. Casual fridays?? Pshh how about casual every-friggin-day-of-the-week??

Q: How much ambient flatulence is in the air (on average)?
A: Not much, its kept so cold that any offensive odors are quickly crystalized, grabbed by gravity and promptly swept away by the maintenance crew.

Q: Is the studio really kept cold?
A: Yes. Pretty much any stage/set you go to has to be kept cold due to the enormous amounts of heat generated from the lighting. Bring a sweater!

Q: From a behind the scenes perspective, how were the celebrity tapings different from the normal ones?
A: Not much different actually, except the celebrities would crack jokes or do funny things during the rehearsal shows.

Q: Have any of the contestants actually had an interesting story to share after the first commercial break? If so, please share.
A: That depends, how interesting do you find homemade macaroni jewelry or someone that collects pewter figurines?
Q: Very.
A: Then boy do I have stories for you!

Q: Having been a huge fan of Jeopardy in the 90's as a teenager, but now living without a TV, any attempt to watch it over the last ~5 years has demonstrated to me how debased and advertising-driven the show has become.
This is due to two things I think:
a) the degradation of the contestants, and particularly the audience, such that questions about "culture" (i.e. movies, pop music, products) come to dominate when questions of substance (history, geography, biology) would be the terrain of battle in the past. Most everyone will know who lady gaga is and can answer a question about her, few will knew about Louis Bonaparte or any other obscure figure - audiences don't like feeling dumb.
b) the push to make the show more profitable by including advertising in the clues. I believe Jeopardy is ultimately owned by Sony, and as such you will see a ton of questions related to Sony films, products or simply ads for other companies that purchase placement. This makes my desire to watch completely zero.
Overall, this is extremely disappointing for someone who enjoyed Jeopardy as a challenge - now it's about 80% filler/advertising and 20% decent questions. I find this unacceptable. My question, finally, is:
• Is it the case that the staff/crew of Jeopardy are equally frustrated and annoyed behind the scenes about this dumbing-down of the show as well?

A: Who told you to say these things?? WHO?!? LIES! LIES!...except for the parts that are true.
Only God can judge! -Tupac.
But yeah.. i think youre right.

Q: How did you get the job?
A: Random really. A friend of a friend was asking if anyone knew how to work on computers, so i went in for an interview and discovered the company worked on gameshows. So i started on another show and did other bits for shows here and there and then went to jeopardy.
I started on a show called Crosswords. Ive done another show called Bingo America. Done stuff on Deal or No Deal, worked on a gameshow in canada called Test the Nation, done "gameshow" segments on Jimmy Kimmel a number of times. And a couple other little gigs here and there.

Q: Has anyone ever made it through the screening process only to heckle Trebek celebrity Jeopardy! style? If it has happened, did they just remove that contestant and find a replacement? Does Trebek ever bang the contestants?
A: I've never seen anyone really heckle trebek, ive seen some contestants that have acted a little odd or make ridiculous bets or gave strange answers that make u wonder what theyre doing. But its an extremely hard and long process to get on the show and i would think that someone wouldnt go through all that trouble just to blow it on purpose, especially with the opportunity to win significant amounts of money. shrug.

Q: As of late, I have noticed Jeopardy has been working in lots of questions that tout well known brands. Does Jeopardy get paid for doing this?
A: I'm sure they do. They are working a lot more advertising in throughout the show. Sony took a big hit during them "tough economic times". Guess theyre trying to make up for it.Yeah, there are those blatant partnerships, but there are more subtle clues that seem to pop up more often. It definitely is including more product marketing. Also along the same line of a shift in clues, Jeopardy! started to be broadcast in Canada a few seasons ago, so you will notice a lot more canadian clues since that happened.

Q: It's been broadcast in Canada for over 20 years. I remember when I was 4 or 5 watching it with my uncle in Toronto. I don't know if you're referring to some sort of weird network syndication or something else but the show has been there for ages.
A: Yeah its been available on satellite providers but just a few years ago became available on cable through the CBC. And with that the content had to contain more Canadian trivia. Heres a quick little article where Alex answers a few questions about it and other things.

Q: What sort of prep/continuous cleaning does it take for the set to keep the constant "sparkling clean" look?On that same note, what changes were made when the show went HD?
A: It actually doesnt take too much maintenace actually. Every few weeks the floor is polished. The plexi is cleaned when necessary and everything is dusted periodically. The whole set was changed when we went hd. HD LCD screens are used in the podiums now with new graphics and the video wall was changed from tube monitors to LCDs.

Q: Do you/did you know Merv Griffin?
A: I actually never met him. I was lucky enough to work on the last gameshow he developed called Crosswords, but he passed away before i got to meet him.

A couple of questions:
• How long did you work on the show?
• What were your primary duties?
• Were you there on the last Celebrity Jeopardy!... Pat Sajak seemed extremely confident and intelligent, how is he in real life?
• How were the other celebrities? Were they nice/friendly/witty? Any good stories from that?
• Do the contestants ever try to debate their answers after loosing in Final Jeopardy?
• Has any contestant gotten really upset over a loss or wrong answer?
• Do you have a favorite show or contestant?
• Seems like the College, Celebrity, etc shows are a bit easier than the regular shows...any truth in this?

I worked on the show for a little under 3 seasons
Overall function was to maintain the computer equipment that runs the show. Main duty was controlling the scores on the podium.
Yeah I was there for Sajak's taping. Never had any interaction with him directly, but from what i did notice and heard, what you see is what you get pretty much.
The thing with being a crew on a show or working on a lot is that its pretty frowned upon to approach celebrities and chit-chat or ask for photos/autographs. Its our job to act professional and stick our work, so unfortunately although we may see a lot of celebrities, we have little to no interaction with them unless they approach us. The impressions we get of them are formed from their interaction with the producers, stage managers or their handlers. But honestly i have never seen any of the celebrity contestants be anything but extremely nice and friendly. They all seemed to love Jeopardy as much as anyone else and were grateful to be a part.
I have never seen any of the contestants debate anything publicly while i worked on the show. Part of their agreement to be on the show is that the producers have the final word and they have to ultimately accept it. Now as to whether they had debates with the contestant coordinators or producers behind closed doors is not something i am aware of.
Most contestants keep themselves pretty well composed. Occasionally you will see some of them noticeably flustered and some will accidentally let out the occasional curse word. Edited out of course. :)
The thing about working on the show is that your usually so focused on your task that you dont actually pay as much attention to the show as you would watching it from home. You are just concerned with making sure the show goes smoothly and try to get them all done for the day. So it becomes hard to really develop favorites. For instance if someone wins 5 shows and youre watching at home, youve seen that person for a week and maybe started to like them. For me, ive done all those shows in 1 day and then weve already moved on to the next contestants. The show takes on a whole different form than before i used to work on it and just watch it on tv. You get a bit burned out on it. I can honestly say i did not watch an episode of jeopardy on tv while i worked on the show.
Yeah the shows were 'dumbed' down just a bit for college and a little bit more for the celebrities. And a lot more pop culture questions are added. That is not the official jeopardy stance so they wont tell you that, but its a pretty obvious observation.

Q: Thanks so much for answering all that. About the 5 shows in a an example, the lady that won last night...Alex said "Well looks like you'll have a nice weekend in LA, see you Monday." How does that work. I'd imagine that it rarely actually coincides with the day...right? And they're filmed what...about 2 months ahead of time?
A: Yeah pretty much. Every episode that is taped already has a date that it is set to air and they let Alex know the day of the week it will be before he goes on stage so that he can play to that. He is very good at his job and will make little references to the day at the beginning and end of the show. Kind of funny to watch in person because you will see two episodes taped back to back and in the second one alex will talk about hoping everyone enjoyed the weekend. From time to time he will make some minor mistake and they will either have him re-read it or edit it out later. It varies on how long it actually takes to get to air, sometimes it can take from 1-2 months depending on if its early or late in the season, it takes longer the later in the season it is, since there is a large cache of shows built up since we taped 2 weeks of shows each week.

Q: Did you get some jeopardy groupie love?

A: I wish.. but most of the groupies were from the local retirement maybe I dont wish?

This web site is not affiliated with Jeopardy, Sony Pictures Television, or Alex Trebek.
Alex Trebek Jeopardy Game Mechanics ken jennings miscellaneous facts about Jeopardy The Fans Speak