Ken Jennings


October 6, 2006

I had a great time at Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me last night. Signed lots of books and blushed a lot at host Peter Sagal’s lavish praise for Brainiac and laughed at all the Mark Foley jokes. I didn’t sign a draconian Jeopardy!-style nondisclosure before the show, but I should probably let you wait until the show airs tomorrow to find out how I did at the “Not My Job” rematch.

Also, maybe I shouldn’t “out” her, but what the hell. Frequent Wait Wait panelist/columnist/blogger Kyrie O’Connor told me she is (like me and Peter Sagal) a Jeopardy! veteran! Unlike Peter, she actually won. “But she got a Jane Austen question wrong!” her sister piped in at that point. Welcome to the club, Kyrie. Her games aren’t in the J-Archive either, as far as I can tell.

Weird encounter at about 10 this morning: I find out too late that wires got crossed and I’m late for a Chicago morning radio show. I sprint over a block to State Street and rush into the Mancow Muller studio just in time. A very big guy holding an acoustic guitar says, “Hey Ken! I’ll be the accompanist for your segment.”

Still a little discombobulated from my run, I say, “Okay, blues riff in B, watch me for the changes, and try to keep up.” It’s what Michael J. Fox tells Marvin Berry and the Starlighters in the first Back to the Future.

Then I look up and see who I’ve been talking to. It’s Biff freaking Tannen. Well, it’s actor-comedian Thomas Wilson, who played Biff in the Back to the Future movies. He looks exactly the same (i.e. he doesn’t look like Old Biff from BttF2 yet). I guess he’s a regular guest on Mancow’s show. I felt like an idiot for my stupid Michael J. Fox quote, especially when Tom’s segment turned out to be a funny YouTube song he does about people making the same stupid Back to the Future jokes to him for twenty years.

If he had rapped me on the forehead and given me a big “Hello, McFly!” right then, I would have deserved it.

Got to go change for my signing among the cognac-sipping bluebloods at the “University Club,” whatever that is. Stop by at noon if you’re in Chicago.

Posted by Ken at 10:12 am