Opinion: Jeopardy! Needs New Blood

Although the gameshow Jeopardy is one of the most watched, it’s also extremely old-fashioned. For example, two-thirds of all players only gain set amounts of money instead of their actual winnings. A contestant who really earned one dollar might walk away with two thousand times as many.

In addition, the system which is used to “buzz in” could use some work. It rewards youthful contestants with excellent trigger fingers while punishing the chronologically advantaged. Some contestants, like Julie, from an episode a week ago, might have been able to snag those 60s questions if only there were a fair way to do it.

It is undeniable that the sole reason for this is none other than Jeopardy’s signature voice and representative– Johnny Gilbert, the most unoriginal member of the production. He can’t think of anything better to say than “This is Jeopardy”, which most people probably know already. He is less original even than the writers of the show, who reuse old answers and questions when they run out of ideas. For example, one answer that has been given five times under the category of “Starts With A W” is “This animal has tusks.” The question obviously is “Who is Walter White?” Four of the five times, it has been a Daily Double, further rewarding youthful pop-culture infused delinquents.

The least problematic of the show’s crew is Alex Trebek. When the show once tried to replace him with an ex-Elvis impersonator, there were riots in the streets. Although his job may seems simple, there are some side elements that factor in as well. Mainly, Trebek must spend as much time as possible slowly congratulating the contestants and sharing an additional factoid that no one cares about. The purpose of this maneuver is to make sure there are unused categories to infuriate the writers, hopefully making them quit their jobs.

All in all, the show should be wiped out to make a clean slate, so to speak. The writers must be ditched as they are too reliant on puns and quotation marks. More importantly, it is time to replace Johnny Gilbert with a lesser-known Johnny, such as the extras casting coordinator from Home Alone 3. Maybe then, Jeopardy would truly be a great gameshow.


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