May 5, 2010

The lawprof on "Jeopardy."

Going back to that Saturday post reminds me to link to the rest of the "Jeopardy" series by my colleague Shubha Ghosh. Part II:
At various points during the green room briefing, each of the contestants was called into a side room for make-up.  Our make-up artist also does Vanna White and had just come back from a shoot in the Philippines with the hostess and famous right of publicity plaintiff.  Between applications of powder and eyeliner, I learned that make-up artists in Los Angeles are all free lance and look around on a day by day basis for gigs like the one in Jeopardy.  I wish I had more time to talk with the make-up artist, and not only about how better to highlight my features....
Ha ha. (Shubha is a guy.)
... I have to admit my heart skipped several beats as the door was opened and a short walk down the hallway revealed the Board and the glaring neon blue and silver of the contemporary Jeopardy stage.  Recent repeated viewings of the broadcast had imprinted  the design, totem-like, on my brain.  The set had a familiarity beyond the television viewings....
Part III:
... We saw how the Board was set and  reset, where the videoclues were displayed, how the sidelights came on and off indicating when we could buzz in... We practiced a game with easy questions, some involving Sony products, to get used to the feel of the buzzer, the flash of lights, the cadence of the questions as they filled the sound stage. I fumbled with the buzzer, kicked myself for not getting “what is a walkman?,” and ever so briefly worried whether I had on too much make-up....
Part 4:
... At one point, the judges stopped the game for an interminable period of time to see if my answer “prehistorical” was close enough to what they wanted “prehistory.”  What the…?...

At the end of it all, a dollar separated me from a tie with first place....

As they tape the end credits, the contestants stand on the stage next to Alex Trebek and engage in banter.  Alex asked me what kind of law I was involved with, and I said intellectual property. “That must be really interesting with the Internet and all, “ he said.  “Yes, the Internet and other things,” I replied, launching into a law professor shtick on the reasons intellectual property is interesting. He interrupted me: “Well, I think all you need to protect intellectual property is a good gun.”  I stared back at him: “Yes, well, that seems to be how the rap industry operates.”  Blank stare back.....
Wow, awkward banter with Alex Trebek! How many people get to do that?

15 comments:

Glenn Howes said...

I did the awkward banter thing with Alex Trabek once. On the most disappointing day of my life.

BAS said...

I was in the audience once to support a friend. It was the worst headache of my life. You sit in the dark staring at the brightly lit stage for hours. They had do overs when no one got the final question right and everyone got a zero! My friend hated Alex because he played favorites or something. You would have to pay me a lot of money to be in the audience again, and Alex did not sound like much fun.

JAL said...

I was having heart failure when my then fourth grader was in the county spelling bee.

(He missed vacuum. And no -- he didn't say anything about chicken talons before he answered. Mmmm. Think I should send that video to him.)

I don't know how they concentrate in that kind of setting.

halojones-fan said...

I can't help but think that "Wheel Of Fortune" is worse, though. It's hard enough to watch that junk--oh look, another sequence of five spins that come up "Bankrupt" or "Lose A Turn", CAN YOU STAND THE EXCITEMENT

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pm317 said...

".Ha ha. (Shubha is a guy.) "

Shubha is a female name by convention. (but the meaning of the word is auspicious, so gender neutral).

sonicfrog said...

As someone who closely follows IP lawsuits fairly closely (sort of a hobby, as I'm a Linux user... SCO vs IBM, Novel, and all Linux users)I find Trabek's banter pretty funny. Wonder how he would do on Jeopardy as a contestant. I'm have this sneaking suspicion that he wouldn't do nearly as well as we would expect.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

"Wonder how he would do on Jeopardy as a contestant. I'm have this sneaking suspicion that he wouldn't do nearly as well as we would expect."

Years ago on a night shift far away, I heard Larry King ask Alex Trebec that very question on his radio show. Alex Trebec said he thought he would do well on the answers, but probably wouldn't be fast enough on the buzzer.

Toy

Flexo said...

Be careful around that Alex Trebek -- he's a Man in Black (as revealed in The X-Files).

Andrew said...

"Blank stare back....."

I grew up in the same town as Alex Trebek. The blank stare is our official look along with our catchphrase, "I don't get it."

chuck b. said...

I know a guy who won $30k on that show. He wrote about it on his blog too. That was a long time ago. And before him I worked with a woman who bought a car with the money she won on Wheel.

GMay said...

“Well, I think all you need to protect intellectual property is a good gun.” I stared back at him: “Yes, well, that seems to be how the rap industry operates.”

For everything else, there's Mastercard.

Who knew Trebek was a right wing troll? Bravo Alex, bravo!

HDHouse said...

I was part of the GE College Bowl in 1967. I thought that trumped the Jeopardy Green Room.

Guess not.

kentuckyliz said...

I don't think Alex is looking for witty banter. Rap response funny!

Shubha said...

Ann, Thanks for the prop. I am going to write an aricle based on the legal issues raised by contests in general. Not just game shows but all situations that can be described as a tournament (bar exams, employment, law school, elections). In any case, I am glad I did it once.