Jeopardy III: Losing Their Religion. Again.

July 1, 2023
Posted by Jay Livingston

I didn’t see this when it happened nearly three weeks ago. None of the three Jeopardy contestants knew “hallowed be thy name.”

Nor, until now, was I aware of the distress and outrage it provoked.

For me, it was déja vu.

I was on Jeopardy fifty years ago. At the studio, before the taping began, they had some of the contestants do a practice round. Presumably, this was to help us feel comfortable with the cameras and lights and other aspects of the set. I was not one of those selected, so I sat nearby and watched. One of the categories on the board was The Bible.

“OK, let’s go,” came the voice from the control room. They ran through a few questions, and then a contestant, after answering a question correctly, asked for The Bible.

The plate with “$10"* on it slid up revealing the question which the host then read: “In the Book of Matthew, he says, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

Silence. Nobody rang in. Then over the speakers came the deep voice from the control room: “They don’t come any easier in this category, people.”

* Yes, $10. The dollar values of questions then were 1/20 what they are now. For more on my Jeopardy appearances, see these earlier posts.

Not Ken Jennings, But . . .

Jeopardy II: Audiences — à la Goffman and ABC-TV