Back in February of 2007, I read two books about what it takes to be a Jeopardy champion. While I am no slouch in filling my brain with useless trivia, I really admire the guys and gals that can do it under the hot stage lights in front of uber-cool Alex Trebek. In the comments, Josh Fruhlinger of the Comics Curmudgeon blog mentioned that he would love to get on Jeopardy. Well, his dream came true.
He took the online test and finally made it. He and his lovely wife went out to California at their own expense (Jeopardy only pays the travel expenses of returning champions) and put the buzzer in his hand. His episode aired Tuesday night and Josh arranged for a watching party at PJ’s near the Johns Hopkins campus.
I got there to find a small crowd already gathered and I sat with some of Josh’s relatives and other blog readers including fellow Comics Cardinal Zippers the Mule. By the time the show started there were at least fifty friends of Josh and shanghaied bar patrons watching the big screen. We cheered his every right answer (and there were a lot) but the reigning champion was just a demon with the buzzer and got all the Daily Doubles. Josh’s only serious faux pas was not realizing that the Maryland state fish, the rockfish, is also known as a striped bass.
Despite his excellent play, he was
And while his ‘question’ of “Who is Dubcek?” was close, the right answer of “Who is Golda Maier” eluded him. Still, Alex Trebek was impressed by the good guess as well as Josh’s fine fashion sense.
After the show Josh gave a brief tale of how the taping went and how little the contestants are allowed to hob-nob with Alex. He took some questions and everyone congratulated on his close brush with game show riches.
After the show, Josh sat down and we talked about all sorts of things like the nature of internet celebrity, the inner workings of Wonkette, and the ubiquity of internet porn. Despite being fellow Baltimorons and having had e-mailed each other in the past (I had even sent him a wedding gift), we had never met face-to-face. He didn’t even know my real name, but he recognized me immediately from the many pictures of myself on my blog.
One of my mantras for the internet era is that there is no level of fame too low to not have a cult of personality. And Josh deserves one since he has such a great attitude and sharp sense of humor. Now in addition to his roles as World Famous Comics Blogger and Occasional Wonkette Contributor, he can add Failed Jeopardy Contestant to his list of titles. And that is a genuine accomplishment I am sincerely envious of. Thanks for letting me live that thrill vicariously through you, Josh.
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