|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
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
Q: I was thinking Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and a Blind and deaf
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
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: But...you're anonymous. And Trebek seems to have a pretty wry
sense of humor, I'm inclined to believe he wouldn't over-react to
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
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
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. http://www.wheeljeopardytickets.com/ 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 j-archive.com 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: J-archive.com 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
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
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?
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 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
• 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
Q: Thanks so much for answering all that. About the 5 shows in a day...as
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 home...so
maybe I dont wish?