Opinion / World

CougMedia’s Resident Imbecile Takes the Jeopardy Test

We all know what Jeopardy is, right? The game show with answers in the form of questions and an exclamation point stylization. (Yes, it’s technically Jeopardy!, but I’m not going to use the exclamation point, because it is stupid.) The one hosted by Alex Trebek, rest in peace. Y’know, Jeopardy. But even without Alex, the show soldiers on. They need contestants, and they want you.

Well, not you in particular. They want a very specific type of person on their show, one that on the surface appears to be a living, breathing human being like you and I, but beneath that fleshy artifice is in fact an android who will be happy to tell you which of Dostoevsky’s novels was published in 1869 (hint: it’s about me.) Therefore you, Dear Reader, have no shot at appearing. Neither do I. But gross stupidity has never stopped me before, so I’m gonna try to get on anyway.

If you want to know how this ends, here’s a spoiler: I do not get on Jeopardy. This isn’t official yet, since at this point in the article I have yet to take the test, but let’s be real. The chances of Yours Truly ending up behind a podium are roughly equivalent to that of my cousin Sara giving birth to an alligator, so temper your expectations accordingly.

It’s a lot easier than you’d expect to apply, though. You take a test online, and if you score well enough, you get in. That’s it! You do not have to write in your Social Security number, or establish proof of residence, or procure a kidney as collateral. You do need an account, but all that is required is a birthday (I have one) and an email (I have one of those too.)

When applying, you may choose regular Jeopardy, or College Jeopardy. I chose the latter for two reasons:
1) I am [checks student ID] a college student.
2) College Jeopardy should be a helluva lot easier.

While I will still have to compete with androids in order to get on the show, at least I’ll only have to beat out the embryonic ones. Selecting College Jeopardy also narrows down the field an awful lot, since most people applying are in Jeopardy’s target audience – that is to say, middle-aged adults. The odds have shifted in my favor, but not monumentally. I still need to channel my inner android if I want to succeed.

Jeopardy also requires a picture in order to take the test, so I provided this one:

The suit was strategic. I wanted to present myself as a young, intelligent college professional, which I of course am not. I want to write on the internet for a living, but I can’t let them know that. They need to think that I am studying to become a history professor, or maybe that I’m on scholarship to play quarterback at Ole Miss. Both are more impressive than my actual ambitions.

Anyways, I took the test. The following disclaimer is displayed above the start button:

Sorry Jeopardy, but I’m going to ignore that. What’re they gonna do about it, stop me from getting on the show? That’s not happening anyway, so I feel perfectly comfortable sharing at least a few of the questions they expected me to answer.

Before the test begins, the website has you sit through 30 seconds of the Jeopardy theme, presumably to get you in the mood, but it actually creates a curious blend of kitschy nostalgia and nervous dread. Then the test begins.

Contestant to the right of them,
Contestant to the left of them,
Trebek in front of them
Questioned and queried;
Stormed at with Daily Double,
Answer: who is Edwin Hubble?
Into the jaws of Death,
Through the cognitive rubble
Rode the six hundred.

Book Blooper
The test (and the show) is designed to cover a very broad spectrum of topics, so naturally, I was completely out of my depth for a number of questions. Like this one.

I was a little off the mark here. I guess the Alaska part made me think of “The Call of the Wild.” “Paper Towns” was not written by JAck london. It was written by John Green. Granted, the two are very similar writers (both of their names start with J) so you can understand my confusion.

Cosmic Conundrum


I like to think that I know a good deal about astronomy. For example, there are a great many stars in the sky. Hundreds of them, in fact! Some of them are bigger than others. Some have funny names, like Muphrid. You have the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. There’s probably some other constellations too. The Moon is not a constellation. The Moon is a planet. If you disagree with me on any of this you are wrong.

Ugly Incident

This was one of the few answers I got right. I’m sure the fine folks at Jeopardy (and maybe Langley) will be intrigued by my knowledge of domestic terrorism. On an unrelated note, here’s a “Simp Saturday” post from Instagram user @donaldsweetmemes.

Court Calamity

Which one? Most of y’all probably know the answer to this question, but I do not, due to the fact that aside from the outcome, I could not care less about trials. Trials are boring. The only way to make a trial interesting is to make it into a movie, and even then there’s only one good trial movie, and it stars Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci did not preside over Trump’s impeachment trial, and therefore, I did not care. As far as I’m concerned, this was a far more newsworthy 2020 event.

International Inaccuracy

I feel really stupid about this one. Trying to recall my central European geography, I thought of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, but none of those were correct. It was only after the test was done that I remembered: Hungary. I forgot Hungary. God, I’m an idiot. Editor’s Note: Bucharest is not the capital of Hungary either. Bucharest is the capital of Romania, moron.

Adobe Evocation

I know this because I’ve been to that museum. My high school went on a weekend field trip to Ghost Ranch during my freshman year. The goal was to learn about modernist Southwestern art, but I think most of us learned a lot more about each other’s saliva. At least, my classmates did. I did not engage in any tonsil hockey, because I had food poisoning, and the only thing less desirable than kissing a 15 year old boy is kissing a 15 year old boy who has just blown chunks all over the Georgia O’Keefe museum 10 minutes prior.

The art was lovely.

Man in Black

uhh, johnny cash

50 questions came and went, and the test was over. If I had to guess, I’d say I got about half of them right. Maybe a few lucky guesses will push my score up a quadrant. Regardless, I’m probably not getting in. I was informed by a pop-up window that even if my score is high enough, I will be put into a lottery, and the winners of that will advance to another stage of testing. Best case scenario, I’ve signed myself up for a month-long process of examination and scrutiny. Only the cream of the crop will claim that prestigious title: Jeopardy Contestant. Oh, the honor!

I couldn’t be more excited to not get on the show.

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