Over the last several years, Jeopardy! has remained relevant by serving as a breeding ground for intellectual personalities. First, there was Ken Jennings, the charismatic brainiac who won 74 games in a row—the show’s longest winning streak—and took home more than $3 million. He’s since published a number of well-liked books and remains a joyous presence on Twitter. Then there was Arthur Chu, the Machiavellian wunderkind who enraptured the nation by juking the Jeopardy! system and now regularly writes for a number of publications when not having documentaries made about his life.
It’s unclear where we’ll end up when it comes to the game’s newest superstar, Austin Rogers, who has already racked up $257,700 in winnings over the last week. As notable for his thick, lustrous beard, unkempt hair, and low-key zaniness as he is his intelligence, Rogers looks like James Murphy had he gone to grad school, while his performative arrogance places him somewhere between Zach Galifianakis and Martin Prince. We’re not complaining; it’s good TV.
Although Jennings and Chu drew plenty of haters during their run at the top, no one is more poised for a full-blown heel turn than Rogers, who only needs to turn the dial up a few notches to become the kind of villain we love to hate. After all, he reveals himself in this interview with Good Morning America to be that most hated of intellectuals—the guy who doesn’t own a TV.
May your reign be long and filled with terror, Austin.