Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oz in Jeopardy!

It took a little while for Oz to show up in the new season of Jeopardy! — the thirtieth (!) since it's revival with Alex Trebek hosting. But when they did, on the October 9 episode, they did it big. The category for Final Jeopardy! was:

This did not cause my Ozzy sense to start tingling, but the clue was another story!
Thirty seconds after listening to the famous "Think" music, the first response was revealed. It was from Theresa, the challenger in the middle, and she wrote:
Of course, that was wrong. She'd bet a modest $1,801, and ended up with a grand total of $6,799. Next up was Amanda, the challenger at the right hand podium, who looked down and shook her head as her response was revealed:
Yup, still wrong. She'd bet $7,201, and ended up with a final score of $2,799. Finally, the returning champion, Jason, showed the world that he'd written:
Wrong again (and spelled wrong as well, but so long as it doesn't change the pronunciation, they forgive those — which is a moot point in this case anyway). It was then that Alex told the contestants that the cabinet files were labeled A-G, H-N, and O-Z, the last one spelling Oz. Jason had bet $4,801, which gave him another win and an extra $10,399.

Before anyone gets pedantic and wonders about the veracity of the filing cabinet story, the way the clue is written indicates that it's what the creator claimed. Sure enough, there's an interview out there somewhere in which L. Frank Baum says that he got the name from the labels on his three-drawered filing cabinet. No, we still don't know if that's really the case, or if he just made the name up (which is, in my opinion, much more likely).

One week later, on the October 16 show (a game from which I was unable to grab screnshots due to technical difficulties), one of the categories in the Jeopardy! round was Filmographies, in which you have to identify an actor based on the films he or she has appeared in. For $400 came this clue:

"127 HOURS",

Mat, the challenger in the middle, rang in first and correctly asked, "Who is James Franco?" Even though Franco played the title role in Oz the Great and Terrible this year, I was not planning to feature this clue, until the $1000 clue in the same category was revealed a bit later on:


Jane, the other challenger, got in first and said, "Who is Natlie Portman?" Not a bad guess, but not the right answer. Stuart, the returning champion, next rang in with, "Who is Milan Kundera?" Yeah, good question, because I've never heard of her. Finally, Mat snuck in, and correctly replied, "Who is Mila Kunis?" She was one of James Franco's co-stars in Oz the Great and Powerful, that's who!

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