Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jeopardy! or...Shakespeare sucks

Well, after 10 years, I finally did it: I tried again to get on "Jeopardy!".

The last time I tried, I didn't get on, but I did get invited by them to appear on Inquizition, the Sci Fi Channel's version of "Jeopardy!". Why does the internet say that Inquizition was on the Game Show Network? Hmph. Whatever. Bottom line is that I won first place, there, and used the money to go birding in Canada, eh.
My friends saw that episode, but I never did.

Back then, the way you tried out for "Jeopardy!" was to show up in person at the Sony Paramount Studio in Culver City, and take the written test. I wore a suit & tie.
Now they have this thing called the internet, so the way to try to get on Jeopardy is to take their on-line test. Knowing that I had to park my ass in a chair, and seriously study because of today's deadline was good. I needed that kind of pressure.

What I studied to get onto "Jeopardy!"

1. United States capitals

2. Canadian Capitals

3. the Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, & Lithuania. Oh, and you need to know their capital cities.

4. British monarchs: you need to know the difference between Edward VIIth and Edward the VIIIth.

5. Henry VIIIth's wives: (a) their names, (b) who lost their heads, (c) who he divorced, (c) who died horizontally.

6. the Great Lakes

7. United Stats presidents

8. the Civil War

9. the War of the Roses (the Lancasters vs the Yorks)

10. Shakespeare

Oh shit, Shakespeare.

Here's the deal: the people who run "Jeopardy!" looooove Shakespeare's plays. If you don't know the plots and characters of all of his his plays, don't bother to audition. Period. All of them. Period.
So tonight, despite the fact that I have been studying Shakespeare's plays, they got me with Banquo. Shit, they nailed me.

I hate Shakespeare

Okay, here's the deal: the Tragedies? Good stuff. Hamlet? Strong shit. Did my uncle kill my dad so that he can become king, and sleep with my mom? Is my mom in on it? Amazing.  But the comedies? Gag me with a thesaurus. Shakespeare's comedies are way the hell too complicated.
And contrived.
And confusing.
Shakespeare was so lazy that he just used the same names over and over again in various plays, and these characters were not the same character. He's got guys named Antonio and Bassianus and Bassiano all over the damn place.
So...did I get onto "Jeopardy!"? Honestly, I have no idea. I don't feel too good about my score. But then again, when I took my board exam in Nuclear Medicine, I was worried that I had failed, and I got 94%.

They don't tell you your score. I just sat there, staring at my computer screen, and their web site informed me that nobody ever gets told their score, and that even if I got a passing grade, I would have to get selected randomly among those who passed the test, then drive in to Culver City for a written test, an on-camera fake Jeopardy game, and an interview to make sure I don't come across on camera like a pervert with a criminal record.

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