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The Culture Of Now

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    “Jeopardy!”hostAlexTrebeksufferedamildheartattackovertheweekend,throwingmyentireworldintoastateofflux.Iwasfilledwithatonofterrifyingquestions,including(butnotlimitedto):“IsheOK?!,”“[gulps]Whatifhe’snot?,”“Whatifhehastoleavetheshow?,”“Whowouldreplacehimifhedoes?,”and“NOOOOOOOOOO!”Luckilyforallofus,TrebekappearstobeOK.

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    BackinAprilIdidaQ&AwithJeopardychampionPatAntle,whichIreallyenjoyed.I’vebeenafanoftheshowforyearsandyears,soitwasincrediblycooltohearsomeofthebehind-the-scenesstuffthatgoesonthere.OneofthemoreinformativeexchangesinvolvedthecomicallyawkwardchitchatsthathostAlexTrebekdoeswiththecontestantcomingoutofthefirstcommercialbreak.

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    IhavewrittenaboutmyloveofJeopardy!onmorethanafewoccasions.Intheworldoftelevisiongameshows,therearenonesmarterandmoreenjoyabletowatchwithagroup(mostlybecauseitisfuntoshoutoutcorrectanswerslikeaninsufferabledorkandmakeyourfriendsfeelstupid).ButeveryyeartheshowholdsaTeenTournament,anditisaGod-awful,youth-panderingmess.

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    Yesterdayafternoon,onthisverywebsite,somecrankydingus rantedabouttheJeopardy!TeenTournamentandcalledforitsdeath.“WAH,”hesaid.“Everythingisdumbeddown,andsometimestheyreferencepopularmusic,andtheothernight—ANDYOUWON’TEVENBELIEVETHISPART—AlexTrebekevendanced.It’shorribleandIhateit.

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    GuinnessWorldRecordshavefinallytappedAlexTrebek tojointheupperechelonofworldrecordholders.Trebeknowgarnerstherecordfor“mostgameshowepisodeshostedbythesamepresenter”forbeingthefaceofJeopardy! forover6,829episodes.Trebekhasgonethroughnumerousphasesandtransformationssincetakingontheshowin1984,butnowhecanaddrecordholdertohislistofaccomplishments.

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    Theanswer:“In1891,thisEuropeansaid,‘PerhapsmyfactorieswillputanendtowarsoonerthanyourCongresses’.”Thequestion:whois,Idunno,JohnLennon?Thefinalquestiononlastnight’sJeopardy!wasn’teasy,andnoneofthecontestantsgotitright.ButonedidwritedownsomethingcockythatleftAlexTrebekcompletely…unfazed.

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    AlexTrebekisbiggerthanJeopardy!atthispoint.Inthehierarchyofgameshowhosts,it’shimandthenBobBarkerandPatSajakalittlefurtherdown.MaybeonedaytherewillberoomatthattableofgameshowkingsforSteveHarvey,buthismustacheisgoingtoneedtoputinatleastanother20years.

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    BirthdayboyAlexTrebekclaimsthatwhenitcomestotheimpressions thatvariouscomedianshavedoneofhimovertheyears,EugeneLevy’sAlexTrebellonSCTV’s“HalfWits” wasalwayshisfavorite.Whileitreallywasn’tthatgood,itwasprobablybetterthanWillFerrell’simpressiononSaturdayNightLive’sridiculous“CelebrityJeopardy!”sketches,becausethatwasn’treallyanimpressionatall.

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    AllthisJeopardy!talktoday eventuallyleftmeinaYouTubepitofrandomgameshowclipsthatIcouldn’tstopwatching,becausethere’snothingbetterthanagood,oldblooper.Jeopardy!bloopershavealwaysbeenmyfavorite–withallduerespecttomynewfriendsatFamilyFeud–asanymanofaverageintelligenceshouldtakegreatcomfortinwatchingso-calledgeniusesfailatansweringquestionsthatthey’resupposedtoknow.

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    TheTeenTournamentistheoff-brandcerealtonormalJeopardy!‘sCinnamonToastCrunch,buttheweek-longevent,whichmercifullyendedonFriday,cametoanexitingconclusion.AftercorrectlyansweringtherareFinalJeopardyquestionthatdidn’tmakemescratchmyheadlikeanoafinaLooneyTunescartoon,dueling17yearoldsJeffXieandAlanKoolik bothhad$54,200.

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    AlexTrebekdeliveredoneofthebestquotesofthis(orany)yearbackinMaywhenhesaidthis abouthisdecisiontoshaveoffhisiconicmustache:“Itgotsomuchpress,Icouldn’tbelieveit.ThewarswithIraqorwhateveratthattime,andpeopleareallinastewovermymustache.

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    ThingsgetprettyawkwardonJeopardy whenAlexTrebekinterviewscontestants.Itgenerallyfollowsthissequence:1)Alexteasesastory2)Contestantspends30secondstalkingaboutthetimehegotstungbyabeeat5thgradecamp3)Alexmakesawittyresponselike,“Didyoubeehiveyourselftherestofthetime?”4)Audiencelaughs5)Rinse-repeatIt’sbeenlikethatforaslongasIcanremember.

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    IstherearappernamedCornDogg?HowaboutIceBerg?OnTuesdaynight’sepisodeofJeopardy!,thosewackyandwildwritershadacategoryaboutrapmusicians.Itwasasgreatasyou’dimagine.OnecluehadAlexTrebeksayingthewords“BoogalooB.”Iwouldpayseriousmoneytohearhimsaythateverydayfortherestofmylife.

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    JosephGordon-Levitthasbeenactingsincehewas7-years-old.Becauseofthis,heisn’tabletohidefromtheunfortunatehaircutsandembarrassingmomentsofyouthliketherestofuscan.Hisyouthfulsinswererecordedandnowthosemovingimagesrestin thepoorlyguardedgraveyardthatistheinternet,waitingtobeunearthedandmocked.

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    InwhatmayhavebeenapreemptivestrikeatTheSimpsons,StephenColbert’sfinalColbertReportsignoffclosedwithaclassicColberttossbacktoJonStewart,whothenclosedtheshowwithanostalgicMomentofZen.DidTheColbertReportstandaloneprogramevenhappen?WasitalljustonelongDailyShowremote?

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    Twopreliminarynotes:Jeopardy!isinthemidstofitsannualTeachers’TournamentOneofthecategorieslastnightwasHardRockers,andalloftheclueswerelyricstopopularsongsbyfamousrockgroupsThisbringsustotheabovevideo,inwhichAlexTrebekreadsthelyricsto“Girls,Girls,Girls”byMötleyCrüe.

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    Tonight’sepisodeofJeopardy!wasverybad.“Howbadwasit?”ItwassobadthatevenhostAlexTrebekadmitted,“Thiswasnotoneofourgreatestdays.”Infact,onlyKristininthebannerimagehasanythingtosmileaboutafterthisepisode,becauseshewastheonlycontestantwhoadvancedtotheFinalJeopardyround.

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    AlexTrebekisJeopardy.Themanhasbeenthehostofthequizshowfor31seasonsdatingallthewaybackto1984.Buthe’sgettingupthereinage.At74,hisbestyearsarelikelybehindhim,andretirementmightcomeassoonas2018whenhiscontractexpires.SonyPictureshasthoughtaboutthisandsecretlyassembledalistofpossiblereplacements.

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    Unlessyou’reageniusonthelevelofKenJenningsorthatreallylonelycontestant,chancesareyou’llneverenduponJeopardy!.IfyoudogettotestyourintelligenceonAmerica’ssecond-favoritegameshow,youhavetomakethebestofyourtimeinoneofthreeways:win,losespectacularly,ordosomethingthatmightgoviral.

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    Sure, we could talk about Aaron Rodgers dominating Celebrity Jeopardy Tuesday night. We could also mention how he won $50,000 for the MACC Fund ( a great charity by the way ). But no, let’s instead talk about Alex Trebek doing the Discount Double Check. Because yes, that actually happened and yes, it was hilariously awkward.

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