On the average episode of Jeopardy!, three people with excellent memory recall compete to win large cash prizes—but also, to demonstrate to Alex Trebek their remarkable facility for retaining knowledge across a vast swath of topics and concepts. Yesterday was not one of those episodes.
Instead, a bunch of Poindexters got taken out back and thrown in the dumpster by Alex Trebek, after they revealed a complete and utter lack of knowledge about America’s most popular sport, football. These mollycoddled nerdlingers—toplined by Ryan Fenster, a young man on a winning streak despite not knowing multiple Final Jeopardy! questions (shocker, he does a good Mr. Burns impression, too)—went zero for five in a football category, and not just in terms of getting the clues right. They literally didn’t have a single guess, about any of them. Presumably, after being relieved of their lunch money, Trebek waited until the cameras were off, and then pantsed them for good measure.
Notice how the host gets increasingly disdainful of these eggheads, starting right out of the gate with their failure to suggest even the vaguest answer regarding an option play. By the time they’re at the $1,000 clue, he’s all but limbering up his noogie-delivering hand. Let this be a lesson, all you Joe Zilches out there thinking the world has changed to allow for your geek-centric existence: Alex Trebek has no patience for your shenanigans. (Full disclosure: Among three A.V. Club staffers who watched this clip, one person got two right, and another got one. I sort of got the second question by saying, “Texas” instead of “Dallas Cowboys,” which is like partial credit, yeah?)
Of course, the day before, in the category of “2-word song titles,” the clue was: “In 2013 Katy Perry was ‘coming atcha like a’ this, perhaps James K. Polk,” and a woman guessed, “What is ‘coming atcha like an ex-president’?” Which frankly deserves its own sort of special recognition, too.