Reasons to Visit L. A.

Volume 6, Issue 124; 02 Dec 2003

Fade in on Sony Pictures Studios, where Jeopardy! is taped before a live studio audience. An audience that, on this day’s taping, will include me.

I’ll take “Reasons to Visit LA” for $200, Alex.

Deborah Walsh

Fade in on Sony Pictures Studios, where Jeopardy! is taped “before a live studio audience.” An audience that, on this day’s taping, include me and my mother-in-law, Ginny.

The exciting event that draws us across a continent is Deb’s selection as a contestant on Jeopardy! If you’re unfamiliary with Jeopardy!, it’s a TV game show and contemporary pop culture icon in the United States. Alex Trebeck provides a panel of three contenstants with the “answers” to a series of questions. Each question has a monetary value and the contestant that rings in fastest and knows the right “question” gets the cash.There are a few other subtleties, check out the Jeopardy! web site if you want all the details. For example, if the answer is “This man was the first person to walk on the moon,” the correct question is “Who is Neil Armstrong?”

Deb is the ideal contestant. I say this, not only because she’s smart as a whip and cute as a button, but because she knows the question to just about every damn answer when we watch it on TV. (On an average day, when the categories aren’t top-heavy with those few topics about which I know quite a bit, I’m lucky to get a half-dozen questions.)

To get here, Deb battled through a placement test, an interview, a practice game, and a couple of rounds of random selection. Twice. She passed the tests and everything in Boston a couple of years ago, but ultimately wasn’t selected. So last June we drove down to NYC for another round of testing and selection. This time, we’re in! And by “we”, I mean “Deb”. I cheer from the sidelines, act as practice quizmaster, and provide moral support.

I’m writing this on the morning of the taping. Jeopardy! tapes five shows a day, two days a week about three to four months in advance of when they’ll air. It’s been great fun so far and I hope Deb has a blast.

Deb’s first show will air on 23 Feb 2004. We’re all sworn to secrecy about the results. So the butterflies will be out of my stomach sometime this afternoon, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer.

Cross your fingers, everyone!


Saw Deb on Jeopardy this week. I think she did very well, compared to the uber geek returning champion she had to face...

—Posted by Scott Hudson on 25 Feb 2004 @ 04:54 UTC #