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Late time slot jeopardizes show viewing

Answer: My favorite television game show.

     Question: What is “Jeopardy!”?

     Billing itself as America’s favorite game of answers and questions, the quiz show has been around off and on since 1964. The current version of the show, which airs in syndication with Alex Trebek as host, has been around since 1984.

     Since it does air in syndication, finding it on local TV through the years has been somewhat of a challenge.

     When I was in school, I enjoyed having it come on in the late afternoon around 4:30. That fit my schedule for the most part and I rarely missed an episode.

     Currently, the show comes on after midnight on WAPT and I know of some fellow fans who are not happy about that time slot.

     I’m somewhat of a night owl, although not as much as I used to be, so I can still watch if I remember and am not doing something else. (Sorry, but I’m not taking up space on my DVR for the show; I don’t like it that much.)

     The theme for this past week’s show has been “Washington Power Players.” The show was in Washington for the finals of its annual Teen Tournament and stayed over to help some D.C. celebrities raise money for their charities.

     I have to say I was more impressed with the teenagers.

     I don’t want to sound trivially snobbish, but I was amazed at some of the questions the “power players” failed to get right. As an old Southern phrase goes, I’ll be embarrassed for them.

     I tend to not like “power player” shows, celebrity tournaments and the like.

     The special contestants, of course, try hard, but let’s just say there’s seldom anyone even close to resembling a Ken Jennings in the bunch. Jennings, you may recall, was a 74-time winner and amassed more than $3 million in winnings.

     My issue is not necessarily with the questions the “gimmick” show contestants get wrong, but with how many answers they leave on the board. The game board has five answers in six categories for a total of 30.

     While regular show contestants race to uncover all 30 answers, oftentimes even talking over Trebek, the celebrities and their ilk meander and mutter and generally goof around while playing. Sometimes whole categories remain untouched and it annoys because I feel cheated while trying to play along at home.

     By now, some of you may be wondering whether Big Mouth here has ever considered trying out. The answer is yes, but thought about is as far as I’ve ever gone.

     For one reason, I’ve never been close when a contestant search bus or whatever has come around. And I’m often not aware of or have been busy when an online contestant test has been given.

     I like to think I would do well on the show … provided I got the right categories. Those would include a good bit a science fiction stuff, sports, U.S. history and many of the “Starts with” a certain letter and similar word games the show has.

     But knowing my luck, I’d be faced with categories such as Opera (I’ve never been to a performance), Potent Potables (I don’t drink) or something called Before and After. It hurts my brain sometimes to come up with something like Blackhawk Down Under, which would be a word play referencing the war movie from a few years ago and Australia.

     Of course, if I didn’t wind up with some goofy categories, I’d probably be up against another Jennings. That’s not something I’d relish either.

     I think I’ll just keep watching from the comfort of my couch. Provided I don’t fall asleep.

     That’s all for now.

     Write to Managing Editor Matthew Coleman at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602, or send e-mail to mcoleman@dailyleader.com.