|Art Fleming (1964-1979)|
Alex Trebek (1983-present)
Pat Sajak (4/1/1997, sub)
|Don Pardo (1964–1975)|
Charlie O'Donnell (1977)
John Harlan (1978–1979)
Jay Stewart (1983)
Johnny Gilbert (1984-present)
NBC Daytime: 3/30/1964 - 1/3/1975
|Merv Griffin Productions (1964-1983)|
Merv Griffin Enterprises (1984-1994)
Columbia TriStar Television (1994-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-Present)
|Metromedia Productions Corporation (1974-1975)|
King World (1983-2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007-present)
Jeopardy! is a long-running game show with a backwards format where you have to provide the question to an answer. Currently in the syndicated version, the show is sometimes dubbed as America's Favorite Quiz Show.
Three contestants competed each show, all trying to win money by correctly phrasing answers in a form of a question.
The First Two RoundsEdit
In the first two rounds, the three contestants faced a game board of six categories each with five clues behind money amounts (30 in all). Each round lasts of 6 1/2 Minutes.
On a player's turn, he/she selected a category and an amount, then a clue was read. The first player to ring-in with a correct question won the value of the answer, but if he/she rung in and was wrong, the value of the answer was deducted from that player's score and the other player(s) had a chance at it. From 1964 to 1985, contestants could ring-in at any time while the host was reading a clue; starting in the second season of the current version, contestants were/are forced to wait out until after the clue was read. The player who got the question right or was the last to choose if nobody got the question right got to choose another clue. The round continued until time ran out or if all the clues were played.
For a time in the early 1970s, a cash bonus ($500 on at least one episode) would be awarded to the first player of the day to correctly answer every clue in a single category. Doing so on the nighttime edition in 1974 won that player a Chevrolet Vega. In 1975, running a category won a London vacation package.
In the 1978 revival, the two contestants with the highest scores moved on to Double Jeopardy, while the third place player was eliminated from the game but kept the cash he/she won.
Also, in the pilot for the 1978 version, the game started with each player having 30 seconds to guess as many clues as they could; the rest of the round played as normal.
Money amounts are minimal in the Jeopardy round, while the money amounts are doubled in the Double Jeopardy round. In the 1990 Super Jeopardy! tournament, contestants played for points instead of dollars, though there is a payoff of $250,000 for the winner of the tournament. This was the only version where the second round clue values were not double that of the first.
Here are the amounts for each round and on each version:
|1978-1979 & 1983 Pilot||$25-$125||$2,250|
|1990 Super Jeopardy!||200-1,000||18,000|
At some point in the round(s), the contestant in control will uncover a very special clue hidden somewhere on the Jeopardy! board called the "Daily Double" (Commonly in a high value clue; but one occurrence happens on the second lowest value clue.) On a Daily Double, the contestant who picked it can wager any or all of his/her current score (wagering all is classified as a "True Daily Double"), but must wager at least $5 (which was half of the lowest clue value in the original Fleming version, which was $10). If the contestant has a low score, has a zero score or has a negative score, he/she can risk up to the maximum clue value (which usually happens) on that clue. In either case, only the contestant who picked it can give the response. A correct response added the wager, but an incorrect response or an improperly-phrased response (even if correct and regardless of the round) or no response at all deducted the wager. (It is not told how many seconds is the limit, but it seems to be 15 seconds.) Either way, the contestant then chooses another clue afterwards to continue the game. There is only one Daily Double in the Jeopardy! round, and two Daily Doubles in the Double Jeopardy! round.
Special Daily DoublesEdit
Sometimes a Daily Double clue would appear differently. A Daily Double would have a sound clue after the main clue; this is called an Audio Daily Double. Another Daily Double would show the contestant a picture or a video clip mostly featuring a member of the Clue Crew after the main clue; this is called a Video Daily Double (in the Art Fleming era it was called a Film Daily Double). One last type, called the Celebrity Daily Double, featured a celebrity guest giving a clue about himself/herself.
Starting in 2001, a group of correspondents called the Clue Crew came to effect. On certain clues, one member of the Clue Crew would be at a certain location and give a clue under the selected category.
When the group was first formed, they consisted of Cheryl Farrell, Sofia Lidskog, Jimmy McGuire, and Sarah Whitcomb (Foss). Sofia left in 2004, and in 2005, the group added two new members: Jon Cannon and Kelly Miyahara. Both Jon and Cheryl left in 2007, leaving only Jimmy, Kelly, and Sarah.
One of the Clue Crew members Kelly Miyahara is currently working double duty not only as a Clue Crew member, but also as the announcer of the new Sports Jeopardy!.
In the Jeopardy! round, if contestants forget their phrasing, they will be reminded but not penalized if the response itself is correct. However, in both the Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! rounds, the rule is more strict, and there are no reminders; an improperly phrased response is automatically ruled incorrect, even if the response itself is correct. In both the Jeopardy! and Double Jeopardy! rounds, players who forget their phrasing may still correct themselves before time runs out. For Daily Doubles (regardless of the round), improper phrasing will result in an incorrect response, even in the Jeopardy! round; as before, players who correct themselves before time runs out will be ruled correct. There is one exception to this rule: If the answer is a question in and of itself, giving the answer as is is acceptable. For the Final Jeopardy! round, contestants write "Who is" or "What is" during the third commercial break; this rule has been in effect since at least one instance a player wrote down the correct response but didn't phrase it properly. Other phrasings such as "Is it" or "Might it be" are acceptable, so long as the rule is adhered to.
Spelling & PronunciationEdit
A general rule is that misspellings are acceptable, so as long as the pronunciations are not altered. This has happened on shows such as on June 25, 1999, October 14, 2005, July 31, 2013, and October 14, 2013. Titles, however, must be spelled to the letter; instances of these mistakes include January 21, 2011 and November 7, 2012.
On all runs of the Fleming version and the first season of the Trebek version, contestants could ring in anytime a clue was exposed. However, from the second season on, contestants could ring in only after a clue has been read, as ringing in too soon locked out a player for a ¼-½ second. This rule was designed to allow the home audience to play along.
To accommodate this, there are lights that surround the perimeter of the game board that illuminate when a clue has been read, which allows a contestant to ring in. Once a player rings in, he/she will have 5 seconds to respond; each player's podium has 9 lights that indicate how much time remains for a response, and for each second that goes by, two lights dim.
At the end of the Double Jeopardy! round, the three contestants (minus the ones who ended the previous round with zero or a negative score) played the final round, Final Jeopardy! The round started with one last category for that round revealed, and then during the final commercial break, the contestants wrote down how much they wish to wager based on that category and the scores to that point, from $1 to the total money they accumulated in the first two rounds. When the break was over, the Final Jeopardy! clue under that category was revealed, and then the contestants had 30 seconds to write down the correct response, remembering to phrase it in the form of a question. During that time, the iconic "Think!" music played in the background; since 1990 the lights dimmed during that time. When the time is up and the music ends, the questions were checked one-by-one and a correct response added the wager but an incorrect response or an improperly-phrased response (even if correct) deducted the wager. The contestant with the least amount of money reveals his/her response first.
If all three players finished Double Jeopardy! with zero or negative, no Final Jeopardy! round would be played that day, and three new players appear on the next show. So far this has occurred at least once during the Art Fleming era, but not the Alex Trebek era; however, there have been several instances during the Alex Trebek era where all available players finished Final Jeopardy! with zero, which still meant that three new players appeared on the next show. Those events happened on September 11, 1984, April 5, 1985, July 9, 1991, March 2, 1998, June 12, 1998, February 7, 2013, and January 18, 2016.
In the event that a contestant was blind (like Eddie Timanus), the pen was replaced with a Braille keyboard to type his/her response and wager. In the event that the pen and/or electronic pad malfunctioned, players were provided with an index card and a marker to manually write their responses and wagers.
Winning the Game/Returning ChampionsEdit
The player with the most money won the game. If the game ended in a tie, the players who were tied won the game. The winning players returned to play the next day.
During the Art Fleming era, all contestants kept their money, win or lose; when Alex Trebek took over in 1984, only the winning contestant kept the cash while the other players won prizes according to what position they finished. However, starting with the May 16, 2002 episode, the losing contestants also won money (2nd place receives $2,000, and 3rd place wins $1,000). Whatever the consolation prizes are, if losing contestants are tied, the highest scorer from the Double Jeopardy! round was declared 2nd place, and if there was a tie at the end of Double Jeopardy! as well, the highest scorer from the Jeopardy! round was declared 2nd place.
On the syndicated nighttime version from the mid-1970s, the winner received a bonus prize. In 1974, the winner chose one of 30 numbers, 28 of which each held a cash amount or a bonus prize. The other 2 numbers each hid half of the $25,000 grand prize, both of which must be selected. In 1975, the winner received a Chevrolet Vega (the subcompact model) for a score of less than $1,000, a full-size Chevrolet Caprice Classic sedan for winning $1,000 or more, $10,000 for winning at least $1,500 (later $2,000), or $25,000 for winning at least $2,000 (later $2,500).
Originally, champions stayed on the show until they won five games. After a contestant won five games, three new contestants appeared on the next show. From 1997 to 2003, five-time champions also won a new car. At the beginning of Season 20, the five-time limit was removed, allowing contestants to remain on the show until they lose.
If all three contestants finished with $0 or less, they all lost the game and three new contestants played the next day. In the Celebrity Jeopardy! shows, the highest score from the Double Jeopardy! round was declared the winner. In the current version, the first time it happened was on the show's second episode. More recently, the third time it has occurred was on February 7, 2013 during the 2013 Teen Tournament; in regular games the most recent occurrence of it has occurred was on January 18, 2016.
Up until Season 31, in case of a tie with more than $0, in addition to returning on the next show, the contestants who were tied get to keep the cash. On March 16, 2007, history was made when all three contestants were tied at $16,000; it was the first time in any version that a three-way tie has occurred. Since Season 32, players who ended in a tie with more than $0 will be broken with a tie-breaker clue (like in Tournaments), which is resulting in only a single champion being named, keeping their winnings, and returning to play the next day.
On tournament games, if two or more contestants tie with a positive score at the end of the game, a one-clue tiebreaker is played. One final category is revealed, followed by one final clue. The first player to ring in with a correct response wins the game. Contestants are not penalized for incorrect responses, and as a result, cannot win by default. The tournament tiebreaker rule was first noted on Press Your Luck, but no tournaments were played. Those events happened on May 4, 1992; May 16, 1996; May 19, 1997; September 20, 2002; November 13, 2007; May 4, 2012; and the last tournament tiebreaker occurred on August 1, 2014. If a finalist finishes Double Jeopardy! with a $0 or negative score on either day, that contestant is eliminated from Final Jeopardy! as usual, but their score for that day is recorded as $0. Instances of these include February 19, 2004 (2004 Teen Tournament finals game 1), February 21, 2014 (2014 College Championship finals game 2), and May 15, 2014 (Battle of the Decades finals game 1).
Super Jeopardy Bonus RoundEdit
In the 1978 revival, the contestant with the most money after Double Jeopardy won the game right away, and went on to play Super Jeopardy.
Super Jeopardy was entirely different from the regular rounds, for the winning contestant now faced a board of 25 hidden clues (instead of 30) behind numbers 1-5 in place of money amounts, so there were five categories instead of six in this round. In this round, the winning contestant chose a number and a clue behind it was revealed. A correct response won $100, but an incorrect response or a pass blocked that square and received a strike; three strikes, that player was out and the game was over.
Now in addition to the $100 per correct question, giving a correct response also lit up lights around the square with the selected clue. The object of the game was to light up five squares in a row just like in bingo, either across, up and down or diagonally. Getting five a row won $5,000 plus $2,500 for every return trip, win or lose.
In the pilot for the 1978 version, the contestant had 90 seconds to complete the round.
This inspired the Gold Rush (later Gold Run) bonus round for Blockbusters, except wrong answers just blocked and didn't give out strikes.
- Merv created the show with the help of his then-wife Juliann Griffin. He was in desperate need to create a quiz show but not one network would buy it due to the Quiz Show Scandals of the 1950s. So his wife said, "Why can't you go reversal and do a show where you can give the answers and the contestants give the questions?" Merv said, "I can't. That's why & how everybody went to jail." Juliann: "That's not what I meant, I meant like this: '5,280.'" Merv: "How many feet in a mile?" Juliann: "'79 Wistful Vista." Merv: "Was that Fibber & Mollie McGee's address?" That's when the light bulb came on. So Merv pitched the idea to NBC, and they agreed to air the show.
- The original name for Jeopardy!, due to how the format worked, was called "What's the Question?" It was an unexcitable title, and NBC executives confirmed it by saying, "Merv, there are no jeopardies in the game. It needs more jeopardies." Merv didn't completely listen; he kept hearing the word Jeopardy. "Jeopardy? WOW! What a word." So he told the network executives, "I heard what you're saying and we've decided to change the name; from this day on, the name of the show will be called 'Jeopardy!'" And the rest is history.
- Alex Trebek produced Jeopardy! for its first three seasons.
- This is the 2nd game show where Johnny Gilbert and Alex Trebek made their appearances.
- Ken Jennings is the highest winner on the show with $2,522,700 won.
- The Muppets (from Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, or Fraggle Rock) have never appeared on the show as contestants, but the Sesame Muppets appeared on the 4/4/06 episode to promote their Season 36 "Healthy Habits for Life" initiative as honorary Clue Crew members. The first-round category was "Sesame Street Eats". When players chose to answer clues in that category, they were shown a short clip of Trebek on the Sesame set, talking with the Muppets about healthy food. Big Bird, Elmo, Rosita and Oscar appeared, as did a dozen Muppet Eggs.
- In the first two seasons, the show did 195 episodes per year. Since the 3rd season, the show does 230 episodes every year.
- Whenever the show airs 230 consecutive episodes, encore presentations of current tournaments replay for the summer season.
- The College Championship quarterfinal games use Wednesday's Opening Spiel since 2000.
Jeopardy! in Popular CultureEdit
- Jeopardy! was briefly spoofed in the 1982 movie called Airplane II: The Sequel featuring original Jeopardy! host Art Fleming suddenly moderating a match with the passengers as contestants.
- Shortly before the current version premiered, the original version of Jeopardy! was satirized in a music video by "Weird Al" Yankovic called "I Lost on Jeopardy", which (like many of Weird Al’s songs) was a spoof. This one is of Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy". (Greg Kihn himself appears at the end of the video.) Al himself played Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, and some categories referencing him were used on the regular show.
NOTE: The song also referenced another long-running game show, The Price is Right, for which the actually lyrics are: "Don't know what I was thinkin' of/I guess I just wasn't too bright. Well, I sure hope I do better/Next weekend on the Price Is Right-ight-ight."
- A spoof of Jeopardy! is seen in the live musical stage show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out of Our Shells Tour where the turtles play their own version of the show and briefly mention its host Alex Trebek.
- A spoof of a Jeopardy! episode is seen in one episode of Beavis & Butthead. A clue is heard that says, "Doctors say that people need one of these once a year," to which Beavis responds, "What is a shower?"
- In 1990 Jeopardy! was featured in the long-running sitcom Cheers. Mailman & frequent bar visitor Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger) was a longtime fan of Jeopardy! When he learned that the show was taping in Boston, he wasted no time in trying and making it to the show. During the show's opening, we saw a brief cameo appearance of announcer Johnny Gilbert introducing Alex. The six categories for the Jeopardy! round were Civil Servants, Stamps From Around The World, Mothers & Sons, Beer, Bar Trivia, and finally Celibacy; Woody (Woody Harrelson) referred to this round as "Cliff's Dream Board". The scene instantly changed from the first round to Final Jeopardy!, and this was where everything went south. The Final Jeopardy! category was "Movies" and the clue was "Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz and Lucille LeSueur"; the correct response was "What are the real names of Cary Grant, Tony Curtis and Joan Crawford?", but Cliff's response was "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"; Cliff, in his cocky manner, risked everything and lost, causing a lady contestant who only had $400 to win. Cliff then protested that they should've accepted his answer. In the final scenes of the episode, Alex walked into the bar (he actually stopped by to get a drink) and Cliff was there (he was completely embarrassed by his appearance & performance on the show at the time); Alex then walked up to Cliff and consoled him about his end-of-the-show troubles and even thought of leaving the show and moving to Tibet, but Cliff (seeing that he worships the show) didn't want Alex to go away, and so he successfully convinces Alex to stay seeing that he makes the show an American institution. When Alex did agree, Cliff's obsession disappeared and he went out to share the news that he saved Jeopardy!; after that, Cliff's friend Norm Peterson (George Wendt) talks with Alex and tells him that it's admirable that he would come all the way over to the bar just to try to make Cliff feel better; Alex then reveals that he didn't know Cliff was at the bar, and that running into him had only been a coincidence, and so he made up the remarks about quitting as improvisation to placate Cliff because "he scares me." Norm replied, "You, too?" This very episode created "Clavin's Rule" or "pulling a Cliff Clavin"; take, for example, a contestant from the real show on a 2000 episode who did that on a "Daily Double". John Ratzenberger would later become a celebrity contestant on Celebrity Jeopardy!
- On Mama's Family, Thelma Harper's (Vicki Lawrence, who hosted Win, Lose or Draw for NBC at the time) friend Iola (Beverly Archer) tried out for Jeopardy! as a way of meeting host Alex Trebek, but after missing a few questions (both on Shakespeare) Thelma was the one who made it to the show. When she got there, Thelma did terrible, for she was in the negative zone up until Double Jeopardy! where she got two right (the first she stumbled into the correct response, and the second was about The Three Stooges) causing her to get out of the hole with +$100 and allowing her to play Final Jeopardy! in which the category (as luck would have it) was "Shakespeare". The final clue, however, had nothing to do with any of Shakespeare's plays; it was "the name of William Shakespeare's only son". Thelma, naturally, did not get the clue right; her response was "What is Bubba" which cost her all but one dollar. The lady player on her left, however, who also responded incorrectly, did. The champion at the time (who also responded incorrectly), from not wagering a lot of his winnings, remained champion. (The correct response, incidentally, was "What is Hamnet?") Thelma thought she was going home with Lee Press-On Nails, but actually, as announced by Johnny Gilbert, she won a trip for four to Hawaii, which pleased Mama, who announced she's taking her worthless family with her. This was sort of a lead-in to a two-parter which followed. NOTE: Vicki Lawrence as well as her character Mama would later appear as celebrity contestants on Celebrity Jeopardy!
- Jeopardy! was briefly mentioned on an episode of Perfect Strangers where Balki & Larry competed on a game show called Risk It All (which used set parts from a real game show called Fun House, produced by the same company as Perfect Strangers). It was made when Balki was upset about not playing the stunts since cousin Larry only wanted to answer the questions. Bob Goen portrayed the host in that episode.
- Tiny Toon Adventures paid homage to Jeopardy! with the spoof Gyp-Parody!. The show was hosted by Buster, and three of the contestants were Elmyra, Byron, and Calamity. Gameplay was the same as the show it's spoofing.
- On The Nanny, nanny Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) appeared as a contestant who (like Mama Harper) was in a negative situation up until Double Jeopardy! where she got the last two right (both of which were about food; her second correct response was on a "Daily Double" clue which she rang in on; normally on the real show, contestants who found a Daily Double don't need to ring in since they're the only ones to answer) causing her to get out of the hole with +$100 and allowing her to play Final Jeopardy!. On the real show, the player with the most money going into Final Jeopardy! had his/her response checked last, but in this episode, it was Fran's response that was checked last as a matter of surprise; prior to her response being shown, Fran went into a long lecture until Alex yelled out her name (one of the very rare times Alex loses his cool) as a matter of moving along causing her to announce her response the same time it was revealed. Fran's question was correct, risked it all and won the game with just $200. This was one of the few shows using this plot in which the protagonist comes out victorious. NOTES: Charles Shaughnessy who played Maxwell on the show & Michael McKean who guest starred in that episode would later become celebrity contestants.
- Jeopardy! made a brief appearance in the opening of the 2000 movie version of Charlie's Angels in which one of the angels Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz) became a five-day undefeated champion. NOTE: Cameron Diaz would also appear on Celebrity Jeopardy!
- Jeopardy! is played in the 1992 Movie White Men Can't Jump. Gloria Clemente (played by Rosie Perez) gets on the show and wins $14,100.
- A 1992 episode of The Golden Girls titled "Questions and Answers", Dorothy (played by the late Bea Arthur) is all excited when she learns that Jeopardy! is having tryouts in Miami as this leads her to begin cramming for the audition test and later proves to be an annoyance to everyone at the audition. In addition, one night while studying, Dorothy dreams that she's a contestant on the show where Alex Trebek moderates a game pitting her against Charlie Dietz (from Empty Nest, played by David Leisure) and four-time champion Rose Nylund...and losing. Also appearing in her dream is the creator/producer of the show Merv Griffin.
NOTE: David Leisure went on to host the unsold game show pilot called Hype later on.
- A 1995 episode of Blossom titled "Who's Not on First", Blossom's brother Joey fantasizes that he is a contestant on Jeopardy! pitted against Blossom and Albert Einstein.
- In a 1995 episode of Beverly Hills 90210, appropriately titled "Double Jeopardy", Brandon, Clare and Andrea vie for a spot on College Jeopardy for which only one of them can win.
- Jeopardy! was briefly mentioned on a 1996 episode of the sitcom Cybill called "Pal Zoey", where Cybill Sheridan's cousin Lyle Clocum (played by Jeff Foxworthy) dreams of becoming a contestant on The Price is Right.
NOTE: In addition, comedian Jeff Foxworthy would later become the host of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, The American Bible Challenge and The American Baking Competition. Also, he would later appear as a guest "shark" on the hit ABC reality series Shark Tank in 2011.
- The 1998 pilot episode of the short-lived revival of Fantasy Island features a spoof of Jeopardy! where a young lawyer named Jane (played by Marley Shelton) who wants to "know everything" so that she can outsmart her sister Regina (played by Lisa Robin Kelly) at Jeopardy!. The two sisters wind up on the Sushi Bar-era set of Jeopardy! hosted by Mr. Roarke (played by Malcolm McDowell) instead of Alex Trebek. Oddly enough, Mr. Roarke's assistant named Ariel (played by Machen Amick) becomes the "lovely assistant" in the spoof.
NOTE: The actual show itself never used a female assistant.
- On a 1998 episode of Baywatch titled "Swept Away", Alexis "Alex" Ryker (played by Mitzi Kapture) wants to be a contestant on Jeopardy! as she makes it on the show. Later, she has to rescue host Alex Trebek as she later knows that she will never get the chance to compete on the show according to its rule where the contestant is not allowed to know anyone from the Jeopardy! staff. However, Trebek feels sorry for her so instead he gives her a lifetime supply of Jeopardy! products.
- Ellen DeGeneres plays an energy-themed episode of Jeopardy! in EPCOT's Ellen's Energy Adventure attraction. In the attraction, Ellen plays the game as a dream she has while sleeping on the couch, playing against a rival of hers from college, Judy Peterson (played by Jamie Lee Curtis). After failing to give a correct response on her first clue, Bill Nye (one of her neighbors here) helps her by showing her various energy sources during the commercial break. Afterwards, she powers through all the clues in both Single and Double Jeopardy rounds. The Final Jeopardy clue in the category "The Future of Energy" is "It is the one source of power that will never run out." Ellen and Bill have never played the game for real, though, not even with the same categories, but Bill did give clues for the show once and Ellen was given a mention in the category "Celebrity Marriages".
- Jeopardy! was spoofed on Sesame Street in its 37th season. Alex Trebek made a special guest appearance, and Telly was a contestant. Besides a different title ("Special of the Day"), the rules of the game are the same as the show it's spoofing. Unfortunately, on the real show, the Muppets so far haven't become contestants.
- Jeopardy! was parodied several times on Saturday Night Live. The first spoof was entitled Jeopardy! 1999, which parodied the Art Fleming version while another in 1993 was seen as a Sprockets skit entitled saD tsI !ydrapoeJ (Das Ist Jeopardy!) hosted by Dieter (played by Mike Myers). Then in 1995, another spoof entitled Gapardy featured The Gap girls as contestants and was hosted by Debbie Luciano (played by Courteney Cox of Friends fame). The most well-known spoof on Saturday Night Live was Celebrity Jeopardy!, which parodied the special event under the same name where celebrities compete for charity and the game's difficulty is significantly reduced. Fourteen sketches aired from 1996 to 2009. In all fourteen sketches Will Ferrell portrayed Alex Trebek, and there were recurring antagonists as one of the guests; in the first three, Norm MacDonald played Burt Reynolds, and in the remaining sketches, Darrell Hammond played Sean Connery after MacDonald left the show. MacDonald did make two return guest appearances as Reynolds. In 2014, a sketch entitled Black Jeopardy! featured mostly two black people and one white person as contestants as well as a black Alex Trebek (named "Darnell Hayes") hosting (played by Kenan Thompson). All fourteen Celebrity Jeopardy! sketches took place on a reproduction of the sushi bar set, even though real Jeopardy! was using the metallic set at the time of the last two sketches in 2005 and 2009; however, the Black! Jeopardy sketch took place on a reproduction of the current set.
- Jeopardy! was also spoofed on MadTV. The first sketch, entitled "Schizophrenic Jeopardy", featured three schizophrenic contestants. Another sketch, aired in November 1998, combined Jeopardy! with Magic Johnson's talk show; this sketch was entitled "The Johnson Jeoparty Hour". Johnson had difficulty reading the clues to the players, and the show was cut after "You're Cancelled" appeared in one of the monitors. The third sketch, aired in 2004, was based around Ken Jennings and his memorable winning streak. Ike Barinholtz played Trebek, who rigged the game in favor of two contestants to beat Jennings. The first two sketches were on reproductions of the 1991-96 grid set, even though the sushi bar set was used on real Jeopardy! at the time the second sketch aired. However, the third sketch took place on a reproduction of the 2002-2009 set.
- Jeopardy! is spoofed as Celebrity Jeopardy! on The Chimp Channel featuring Prince, Roberto Benigni and TCC Hunk Brock Hammond as contestants.
- Jeopardy! is spoofed as an improv game on Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza called "Question This!"
- A Jeopardy!-like show called Super Stumpers appeared in a 1993 episode of the classic Nicktoons series Rugrats called "Game Show Didi". In the episode, Didi crams day-and-night for her upcoming appearance on the show as she is desperate to win; however, the Pickles men (mainly Stu and Lou) just want the prize instead. Tommy is curious as to why his mom is acting so out of character. As it turns out, Didi is out to find her "place in the sun". The episode ends with Didi winning the game with a new record of over $1,000,000 in cash due to Tommy stomping the control machine which caused an error of the machine to happen.
NOTES: The host for the show is Alan Quebec which in turn is a parody of Alex Trebek who in turn provides the voice of said character. Didi's opponent named Edmund is voiced by Charles Nelson Reilly of Match Game fame.
- Jeopardy! is spoofed in a 1997 Christmas-themed episode of The Simpsons called "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace", where Marge decides that the only alternative is to try and win money by becoming a contestant on Jeopardy!; however, she performs poorly on the show and ends up with -$5,200. After the show, Trebek and two men approach the Simpsons family demanding that they pay the $5,200 that Marge was in the red (which doesn't happen in real life) and the family runs away. When they get home, they find that everyone in Springfield (including Trebek) has gathered on their lawn and Marge thinks they have forgive them. But while everyone forgives them, they enter the family's home and steal things from it except all the curtains and the living and dining room window sill cushion seats in order to cover the $15,000 debt. In the end, the family playfully fight over a tattered washcloth which is the only thing they have left in the house.
- Jeopardy! has been spoofed on the FOX animated series Family Guy five times. In "Brian: Portrait of a Dog", Peter Griffin becomes a contestant on the show as he buzzed in with the answer of "What is Diarrhea?". In another episode called "If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin", when Peter and Chris pass a collection of television monitors, they see one of them play Jeopardy! on ABC (obviously a semi-reference to the short-lived 1990 spin-off Super Jeopardy!). Another episode, "I Take Thee Quagmire", Mayor Adam West is in Final Jeopardy and his response to the answer "The first spacecraft to land on the surface of Mars" was Kebert Xela (Alex Trebek backwards), making Alex disappear. Adam states that saying his name backwards sends him to the fifth dimension. This same answer actually happened in a real episode in 2007 where a contestant named Jared put the same answer, "Kebert Xela". As a result, he loses everything and ends up with nothing. In "Livin' on a Prayer", a cutaway gag shows Peter getting the answer wrong on Jeopardy! and starts cursing in the process. In "Turban Cowboy", Peter and the guys at the Drunken Clam watch a special edition of Jeopardy! called The Best of Contestant Banter.
NOTE: In the episode "If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin'", they also spoofed the Bergeron era of Hollywood Squares, where it features a character named Jeremy the Terminally-ill boy.
- Jeopardy! is also spoofed in an episode of the popular online YouTube series The Annoying Orange where the title of the show is "Fruit for All!" and is hosted by "Apple Trebek", a parody of Alex Trebek. Orange wins the game despite going away empty-handed.
- In 2011, after their parody of Hollywood Squares Hustler made another porn parody game show movie called This Ain't Jeopardy! XXX This is a Parody. In the film there was a semi-reference clue that read "This long handled gardening tool also means Immoral Pleasure Seeker" in which Pimp Steve answered, "What is a Hoe?" This is a parody from the actual clue from the show itself that read "This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an Immoral pleasure seeker" in which former Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings also responded, "What's a hoe?" For both terms respectively the correct response actually is "What is a rake?" (You can read about the film in the links page.)
- In the 2012 movie The Three Stooges, the think music plays as Moe, Larry, & Curly are thinking of a way to raise money. The music ends abruptly when Curly waddles on the sidewalk.
- The show was also once featured in a story arc of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine, where Larry the Croc competes on a celebrity episode. Larry is seen acting like a drunk at times, but he ends up outperforming his opponents by the end of Double Jeopardy! On a Final Jeopardy! answer defining the zebra (an animal that functions as a main character in the strip itself), Larry responds correctly, but his "Croc-ese" misspelling of "zebra" as "zeeba" is ruled incorrect by the judges, and that, accompanied by his wagering his entire score, leads him to lose all of his money. At the end, he objects, abusing Trebek.
- A 2013 episode of the short-lived talk show revival of The Queen Latifah Show did a spoof of Jeopardy! called Rap Jeopardy! where Queen Latifah challenges Will Smith in the episode, hosted by Alex Trebek. In addition, this is the only spoof of Jeopardy! where it oddly features two contestant podiums instead of three.
Jeopardy!/Quotes & Catchphrases
Jeopardy!/Tournaments & Events
Jeopardy!/List of Personnel
Jeopardy!/Tournament of Champions Competitors
Additional Note: Kelly Miyahara is also the announcer for Sports Jeopardy! for Crackle since 2014.
To see pictures of the many styles of logos over the years click here.
To see pictures of the many intro logos over the years click here.
To see pictures of the many styles of the Daily Double over the years click here.
To see pictures of the dollar values from over the years, click here.
To see pictures of the many looks of the game board over the years, click here.
To see videos of Jeopardy! from over the years, click here.
In the late 80's/early 90's, the show launched a 1-900 number where you could play at home for $5 a minute. The commercial featured Alex Trebek promoting the game. (See below the page for these hilarious outtakes from the commercials.)
The countries that did their versions of Jeopardy! include:
- Arab World
- Belgium (Dutch language only)
- Canada (French language only) (The American edition is airing on NTV, YesTV & CHCH)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
Super Jeopardy! - a 13-episode run that aired as a weekly elimination tournament in the summer of 1990 on ABC pairing with another Merv Griffin game show, Monopoly. The tournament featured 36 former champions, one of them a champion from the Art Fleming era. The big differences on this version were that the contestants played for points instead of dollars, as well as the quarterfinal episodes having four podiums instead of three. The winner of the tournament won $250,000. Second place got $50,000 and third place got $25,000. Semifinalists eliminated received $10,000 and quarterfinalists eliminated received $5,000.
Rock & Roll Jeopardy! - Music version aired on VH1 from 1998 to 2001
Sports Jeopardy! - Sports version airing online on Crackle since September 24, 2014
Since Jeopardy! debuted in 1964, the series has had different theme songs. The most well-known tune is "Think!" which serves as the countdown music during the Final Jeopardy! round. Since the syndicated version premiered in 1984, a rendition of "Think!" has served as the show's main theme. During the first 13 seasons of the syndicated version, the original 1964 recording of "Think!" was retained for the Final Jeopardy! round, but since 1997, there have been different arrangements and re-orchestrations of both the main theme and "Think!" music.
Main (1964-1975) - "Take Ten" by Juliann Griffin
Think Cue (1964-1975, 1978, 1983 (Pilot), 1984 (Pilot), 1984-1997) - "Think!" by Merv Griffin
Main (1978 Open, 1983 (Pilot)) - "January, February, March" by Merv Griffin
Close (1978) - "Frisco Disco" by Merv Griffin (Later used on Wheel of Fortune as a prize cue.)
Commercial (1983 (Pilot)) - "Nightwalk" (Later used on Wheel of Fortune as the second shopping music.)
Main (1984 (Pilot)) - by Merv Griffin
1984-1992 - by Merv Griffin
1992-1997 - by Merv Griffin (1984 theme with bongo track added)
1997-2001 - by Steve Kaplan
2001-2008 - by Steve Kaplan (1997 theme sped up and re-arranged)
2008-current - by Chris Bell Music & Sound Design, Inc.
1984-1989, the theme song used synthesizers and saxophones. Click here to listen.
1989-1991, the theme song had the 1st 19 seconds trimmed off.
1991-1992, the theme song's pitch and speed went down by 5. Click here to listen.
1992-1996, the theme song added bongos to the synthesizers and saxophones. Click here to listen.
1996-1997, the theme song trimmed off another 5 seconds and it begins to fade in.Click here to listen.
1997-2000, the theme song's speed went down by 5, and was completely re-orchestrated, now using piano, trumpets, saxophones, and electric guitars. Click here to listen.
2000-2001, the theme song gets 6 seconds trimmed off and a wind blowing sound gets heard.
2001, the theme song's speed went up by 5, the instruments get re-orchestrated, and it now has a middle section where parts of the main melodies are played with variation before the main melodies return. There were two versions of the theme. One had an introduction similar to the 1997 theme and was used for most road shows from 2001 to 2006, starting with the Celebrity games and International Tournament taped in Las Vegas and aired February 2001, but it was played during the end credits from 2001 to 2005. The other version, with a shortened introduction, was used for regular shows starting with the episode aired April 23, 2001, and used saxophones and electric guitars in the middle section and near the end. Click here to listen.
2005-2008, the version used for regular shows played during the end credits.
Since 2008, the theme song played differently and wasn't like the other theme songs from 1984 to 2010, but it sounded similar to the theme song used 1984-1997. For the first few weeks of the 27th Season, electric guitars were only used near the end. About a month into Season 25, electric guitars were used throughout the entire theme. Click here to listen.
From 1964 to 1975 and reused 1984-1997, the original Final Jeopardy! "Think!" music consisted of a celesta lead in the first verse and a flute lead in the second verse, with timpani hitting the final two notes. Click here to listen.
September 1-12, 1997, the "Think!" cue had only a piano lead. Click here to listen.
From September 15, 1997 to July 30, 2008, the think music was changed to have a piano lead in the first verse and a trumpet lead in the second verse. That replaced the other one, but alternated with it. Click here to listen.
From September 13 to October 15, 2008, the Final Jeopardy! "Think!" music now had a French horn lead with the piano and flute doubling in octaves, accompanied by loud tick-tock percussion; fans called this version the "leaky faucet". Now, both the timpani and pizzicato strings play the last two notes. Click here to listen.
Since October 18, 2008, the think music was remixed to have a more prominent piano lead and de-emphasizing the "leaky faucet" percussion. This alternated with the other one and then replaced it. Click here to listen.
In addition, the music from Rock & Roll Jeopardy! has been used going into and coming out of commercial breaks during the College Championship, Kids Week episodes, and Teen Tournaments since Season 20. In 2006, it was used during Celebrity episodes. Starting in 2007 and lasting into today, it was used during the introductions. The 2000-A College Championship and the 2010-B College Championship used it during the Final Jeopardy! round. When the music from that game show was first used, for in and out the commercial breaks, the commercial cues would be heard. Starting from the 2005 College Championship, when coming out of a break, the ending part of one of the commercial cues would be heard. The prize cue can also be heard when out the commercial break for the Double Jeopardy! round.
NBC Studios, Burbank, California
Hollywood Center Studios
Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, California
Jeopardy! Online (Archived)
Official Sony Pictures Interactive page
Official CBS Television Distribution page
Official Website for Sports Jeopardy!
Info for Sports Jeopardy!
Rules for Sports Jeopardy!
Audition information & sample clues for Sports Jeopardy!
Official website from the president of Spiderdance who's responsible for Jeopardy! Online
Official Facebook page
Official Twitter account
Info on Past Games
Jeopardy: The Database of Champions
Josh Rebich's Jeopardy! Rule Sheets
JEOPARDY!|Matthew Carey Design
Sports Jeopardy!|Matthew Carey Design
Online Portfolio of Colin Kirkpatrick - Projects Jeopardy! 2009 set
Proposed 2011 Jeopardy! graphics package
Jeopardy! IBM Watson Challenge, Stage Design by Jason Minyard at Coroflot.com
Jeopardy! Virtual Set Tour
Jeopardy! New Permanent Set for 25th Anniversary (2013)
#168 - Jeopardy! Porno Parody @ Game Show Garbage
GSNN Extra's Tournament coverageEdit
GSNN Extra's coverage of the 2003 Tournament of Champions
GSNN Extra's coverage of the 2003 College Championship
GSNN Extra's coverage of the 2004 Teen Tournament
GSNN Extra's coverage of the 2004 Tournament of Champions
GSNN Extra's coverage of the 2004 College Championship
GSNN Extra's coverage of the 2005 Teen Tournament
GSNN Extra's coverage of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions