Monday, May 04, 2020

My 8 seconds of fame

Last Thursday night on JEOPARDY my writing partner, David Isaacs and I were a clue! Needless to say, it was a thrill. Even more so when one of the contestant got the answer right. Remember a recent clue showed Tom Hanks and no one even rang in. Yikes.

But a mention on JEOPARDY is like we’ve somehow crossed into pop culture. Pretty cool for a couple of guys who spent long nights in a tiny apartment banging out spec scripts in hopes of someday somebody thinking we had talent besides our parents.

So my sincerest thanks to the researchers and writers of JEOPARDY for honoring us with the shout-out. And to Alex. He actually pronounced my name correctly. The last time a celebrity got the pronunciation right it was Tony Randall in 1977.

My only personal encounter with Alex was on CHEERS when we did the “Cliff goes on JEOPARDY” episode. Alex was so funny that we actually wrote him into a second scene. He was the one bar patron who everybody did know his name.

I also want to thank everyone who wrote, texted, liked on social media, and commented on the blog/Facebook/Twitter, etc. I was touched and overwhelmed by the reaction. Some people I hadn’t heard from in years checked in. Most were congratulatory. Only a few expressed utter shock and disbelief.

Again, it’s the power of television – and a pandemic that forces people to stay home.

But it was a definite career highlight. Also cool to be on the same episode as Geoffrey Chaucer.

21 comments :

Mike Barer said...

My cousin, who was a DJ in Seattle, was the subject years many years after he left the business in a game on a different local station called "Dead or Alive".
The contestants would hear the name of a local or national celebrity and guess if they were living or not.
My cousin's name came up and the contestant guessed "dead", thank God, he is with us today.
PS. The radio host of the game, figured that the name was so obscure, that they let the contestant stay on and have another question.

Kosmo13 said...

Also very impressive that you're included in a category called "Totally Awesome 80's TV" rather than "Potpourri" or "Odds and Ends."

VincentS said...

Congratulations, Ken.

Paul Gottlieb said...

Congratulations on reaching a new level of fame! I, too, would like to pronounce your name correctly, but it would be very helpful if you would give us a hint! Are you a "Leveen" or a "Levine?" I'm already in enough trouble with the Levys!

Irv said...

There was also a thread on the New York Radio Message Board about your UCLA project on the History of LA radio. (Not to mention a 99X reference!)

It's been a big week for you Ken!


Richard said...

I don’t have an appropriate comment to make. So here’s an article about Natalie Wood.
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/may/04/what-remains-behind-the-life-and-death-natalie-wood

Buttermilk Sky said...

Also last week, someone identified Janet Jackson as Ariana Grande. For a while in 2004, Jackson was the most famous woman on earth.

Unknown said...

Congratulations to you and David, Ken. I think its a sign, you HAVE to try to get on Jeopardy. Just think of it as the dating game, but you can't make up your own answers.

Michael said...

If only you had begun that Cheers episode with "Whan that Aprille with the shoures shoot/the droughte of March hath perced to the root."

VP81955 said...

The lady in my avatar says "welcome to the club."

https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/44141.html

Mike Bloodworth said...

Being an answer on "Jeopardy" is very prestigious considering that you could have been a clue on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

M.B.

Cheryl Marks said...

So did anyone know who Chaucer was?

John Fox said...

Getting your name right is easy since the creation of Hollywood and Levine ... unless one is totally pun-challenged.

Mike Doran said...

Off-topic, but I gotta get it in:

Internet reports that John Ericson passed over the weekend, aged 93.

Just back from your post of September 17, 2013, featuring 555-GIVE, a modern classic if ever there was.

Should you not bring it back for the occasion, everybody reading this should save that date: SEPTEMBER 17, 2013.

Presented as a public service.

Pete Thompson said...

If you listen to Ken's podcast, you will know the answer immediately...!!!

Kosmo13 said...

So 'Ariana Grande' is the name of a person? It sounds like one of those overpriced coffee drinks that smug, pretentious yuppies and millenials order at the Barnes & Noble snack bar.

Pete Grossman said...

Outstanding! And I'll bet surreal, too. What fun!

Ron Rettig said...

So how much were you and David worth on the Jeopardy board?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Paul Gottlieb: Ken pronounces his name Levine (not Leveen). Clearly, he's wrong, but whatayagonnado?

wg

Roger Owen Green said...

In answer to the questions: Yes, Sarah, the defending champ knew Chaucer ($1000 in nicknames in the first round) as well as the Levine $800 question in the Double J round under TOTALLY AWESOME '80s TV. Yet she lost the game.

Breadbaker said...

It's gratifying that the Jeopardy clue writers used the writing credits, instead of acting or directing, to lead in to the episode titles in the clue. Solidarity!