Way back on March 18, I had a very surreal experience watching Jeopardy! I've watched the show enough now that I think I have a pretty good idea what goes through the writers' minds at times, and a lot of the same information keeps popping up in their clues. (I'm not the only one. Ken Jennings and Bob Harris both made the same observations in their books about being on the show, and even Jeopardy! will sometimes have categories about its own clichés.) So watching this episode — another preliminary round in this year's Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational — I almost thought an Oz clue would pop up in a couple of places. For instance, in the Jeopardy! round, one of the categories was Is This Place for Real? This is just the sort of category where Oz could pop up. But no, it didn't. Then in the Double Jeopardy! round, one of the categories was Broadway Musicals. Often, there have been Wicked questions in this category the last few years — but not this time. So when the Final Jeopardy! category, Authors, came up, I didn't think much about it. But then I read the clue, and:
Of course, I knew the correct response right away, but did the celebrity contestants, playing for charity?
Aisha Tyler, who went in with $8000, wrote down, "Who is Faulkner?" She had bet everything, and ended up with nothing. Anderson Cooper, who also had $8000 to bet, simply wrote "Who?" sice he couldn't even come up with a guess. He also bet everything, and also ended up with nothing. The leader going in, Cheech Marin, had $14,200 and, as his response was revealed, admitted that he'd misread the date. He wrote down "Who is Stephen King?" and lost $4000, but he still ended up with $10,200, which was bumped up to $50,000 for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (Tyler and Cooper's charities each got $25,000), and he gets to play in the semifinals in May. The correct response is, of course, "Who is L. Frank Baum?" And despite the bad predictions about earlier possible Oz clues, I got to blog about this game anyway.