Ken Jennings


November 6, 2007

A random spin through the old mailbox.

Are there any plans for an “all Ken Jennings’ Jeopardy! appearances” dvd? I think that would be very fun. I’ve seen the Jeopardy! dvd out and it just isn’t very satisfying.

(Julia is lucky my spam filter doesn’t kick out all email with “isn’t very satisfying” in the subject line.) This call would be up to Jeopardy!, obviously, not to me. But I’m guessing there isn’t much of a market for a six-DVD set of three-year-old episodes of a syndicated game show, sorry. I too was left unfulfilled by the current Jeopardy! DVD, for purely selfish reasons–they include all four of the games I lost, but couldn’t find room for one that I actually won? The first Trebek show from 1984 was cool to see, though.

Andrea asks, about the ongoing alphabet border in my daughter’s room:

Ken– I read that you’re up to H now but…did you think of painting the letters/characters on masonite cut to size or, even better because then you could have the wall paint colour show through, a thin plexiglass sheet? Then when Caitlin has learned the alphabet and/or wants AC/DC posters up instead, you could give them away or move them to your room.

I did, but I really wanted them to look like part of the room, not just craft-store panels that I’d picked up somewhere. When Caitlin wants to hang AC/DC posters, I figure I’ll just paint out B-for-Babar and replace Eloise with the Cat in the Hat. Presto, A-C-D-C.

But yes, point taken–I’m working in full knowledge that my hundreds of hours of work will be painted over someday all too soon, wreathing the entire project in the bittersweet recognition of the transitory nature of life and youth and childhood, etc. etc. The Winnie-the-Pooh murals I painted in Dylan’s room in Salt Lake City when he was born have almost surely been painted over now by the new owners, who have no young kids.

Oh, well. Easy come, easy go.

I get a lot of stuff like this, but not usually two in one week.

The book I have written has no equal. None like it in the world. I will teach you to memorize cocktails. You team with me and we will make $$$$$$$$$… I am the best there is, and I can prove it. Anxiously waiting to hear from you. The Best To YOU, YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND ANIMALS.

My wife and I recently finished writing an inspirational dating book for LDS singles. We would like you to read through it to potentially endorse it.

I’m going to suggest that these two authors combine their books. Let’s face it: wouldn’t a lot of these sober young Mormon singles be getting married a lot sooner if their dating manuals were full of bartending tips?

Meg is an IMDb browser after my own heart.

I was leafing through IMDb as frequently happens when I intend to look up one actor or movie and I saw that Amy Poehler had the rare distinction of having two movies open on the same night: Mean Girls and Envy. A quick Google search found that Michael Caton-Jones with Shooting Dogs and Basic Instinct 2, Virginia Madsen with The Astronaut Farmer and The Number 23, and Chris Rock with The Longest Yard and Madagascar share this distinction. Interestingly, Jude Law did not accomplish this in 2004. It might take some actual research to find others but I hadn’t thought of this distinction before and thought it could be a good question.

I think it’s a little obscure for a Question Seven…but still fascinating. Anyone want to suggest others? Or, even better, tell me exactly how Meg was searching so effectively for these on-line? I’m impressed/mystified.

You may have seen this post over on the message board from Negotiatior:

woothead.jpgI went to Woot’s headquarters for a job interview and wondered what this strange head was doing sitting in the corner. I took a picture, and didn’t think about it again. While searching Google Maps for a better route if I accepted the job, I saw a picture of the foam head. After a little research, I found myself here. I decided to wait until I turned down the job before I posted the picture.

Hey, I always wondered what happened to the Big Foam Head. Someday it’ll be in a huge crate in the Woot warehouse, right underneath the crate containing the Ark of the Covenant.

Scot has his own theory as to why some readers might have passed on Brainiac in hardcover:

Look at the picture of you at the rostrum, then the title. It could make one think, if they were merely shelf-scanning at Borders: “What an arrogant guy he is, calling himself a Brainiac. I’ll pass…”

Believe me, this was the source of much back-and-forth with Random House. My editor and I had originally agreed the title had to take the focus off of me as the author, but that all went out the window when (a) editorial higher-up decided they didn’t want any title with the word “trivia” in it, and (b) sales wanted a more Jeopardy!-celebrity-centric cover. I told myself that “brainiac” is pejorative enough that the title wouldn’t necessarily sound like ego, but in hindsight, I wonder too.

A pair of Jeopardy! question from Will:

You had to go back and forth between Salt Lake City and L.A. for the show tapings. How often did Jeopardy! pay you? After each show? Biweekly?

I wish! Typically, Jeopardy! contestants get a check in the mail about 120 days after their show airs, so it could be six months or more after they played the game. In my case, my shows spanned two seasons, so I got my winnings in two installments, which is unusual. Even more unusual: Alex paid me the first check himself, by whipping it out of his breast pocket at the end of show three of a five-show taping day. I honestly felt for a second like I was going to faint.

Also, you said Alex puts on a new tie for a show. What about returning contestants? Do you wear the same stuff?

For this, I’ll refer you to an excellent 2006 bestseller with a slightly arrogrant title. Page 87, to be specific. By the way, I’ve come to regret the lack of an index in Brainiac, so I’m going to be posting one of the website later this fall. Oh boy, an index! Now that should boost traffic!

Posted by Ken at 1:32 pm