Alex Trebek Knows He Sometimes Sounds Like a 'Disappointed Dad' on Jeopardy!

 Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

If longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek seems disappointed any time a contestant misses a seemingly simple clue, it's because he is. Or at the very least, coming off as stern and perhaps a little smug is part of his television persona.

As The Ringer once put it, "Trebek has two settings: mildly, politely impressed and Disappointed Dad." Now, in a recent interview with Vulture, Trebek has addressed the perception that he not-so-secretly judges contestants with an air of paternal reproach. As it turns out, he knows exactly what he's doing. "I know that 'You've disappointed daddy' is a tone I'm striking," he said. "It's also, "How can you not get this? This is not rocket science."

The example cited by Vulture is an episode from earlier this year in which none of the contestants could correctly answer a question about football. Trebek said he "had fun with it" by poking fun at their cluelessness. "I looked at the players and said, 'If you guys ring in and get this one, I will die,'" he said. "The gaps in people's knowledge never cease to amaze me. And on occasion, all three players have the same gap. But football? America's game?"

Also among Trebek's pet peeves: When contestants wager too little on daily doubles, and when they jump around within categories. The questions, he says, are designed to flow from top to bottom. "If you jump to the bottom of the category you may get a clue that would be easier to understand if you'd begun at the top of the category and saw how the clues worked," he says. "I like there to be order on the show, but as the impartial host I accept disorder."

Even though Trebek sometimes expresses disappointment in Jeopardy contestants, he admits that he doesn't know everything—which may come as a shock to some.

"People think because I'm the host of a fairly serious, intelligence-based quiz show that I must know all the answers," he said. "I do—because they're written on a sheet of paper in front of me. And audiences are always surprised when they discover that I like to fix things around the house, that I'm not a nerdy person who spends all his time researching information that might come in handy on Jeopardy. But I don't mind surprising people in that way."

[h/t Vulture]

Jabba the Hutt Leaves Tatooine for Your Front Lawn

Amazon
Amazon

From life-sized Yoda LEGO sets to a pair of comfy Chewbacca slippers, Star Wars fans are always showing their love of the blockbuster franchise in unique ways. But now, you can outdo them all by decorating your lawn with a giant inflatable Jabba the Hutt, which you can find on Amazon for $110.

Measuring 6 feet in height by 8 feet in length, this plasticized Jabba isn’t nearly as intimidating without Bib Fortuna by his side—nor as disgusting without a bowl full of Klatooine paddy frogs to snack on—but he lights up! He’s also got a built-in fan for easy inflation and comes with a set of stakes so that, just like in Return of the Jedi, he stays firmly planted. Unfortunately, digging your own Rancor pit for Jabba to lord over probably goes against most municipal building codes, but this intergalactic gangster works great as a solo act.

Think you know everything about Star Wars? Check out this list of 50 facts you might be surprised to learn.

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The Most Successful Entertainment Production in History Might Just Surprise You

Goran Jakus Photography/iStock via Getty Images
Goran Jakus Photography/iStock via Getty Images

Last year, Marvel Studios capped off an unprecedented run of success with Avengers: Endgame, a movie promoted as the culmination of over 10 years of storytelling. The film made $2.8 billion, unseating 2009’s Avatar and knocking 1997’s Titanic down to third place. With nearly $3 billion in ticket sales, you would think Endgame would count as the most successful entertainment production of all time—be it a single movie, book, album, or video game.

It isn’t.

While it earned a staggering amount of money, Endgame is hobbled by the fact that theatrical runs last just a few weeks or months. To really roll in the dough, it helps to have a combination of high ticket prices and a show that runs almost in perpetuity. That’s why it’s another Disney production, the Broadway adaption of The Lion King, that can make a credible claim to being the most financially rewarding entertainment effort of all time. Since debuting in 1997, the stage show has grossed $9.1 billion. (The 1994 film, 2019 live action remake, and merchandising aren’t included in that total. If they were, the number rises to $11.6 billion.)

A theater sign for 'The Lion King' is pictured in New York City in March 2003
Mario Tama, Getty Images

The musical, adapted by Julie Taymor, follows the story of the animated original, with lion cub Simba learning to accept his role as king of the Serengeti Plains. It’s estimated the show has been mounted 25 times globally in nine different languages, with more than 100 million people purchasing a ticket to see it.

Does that make Endgame a distant second? Not quite. Another long-running musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, has grossed more than $6 billion since its 1988 debut. The 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto 5 cleared $6 billion in 2018. And if one were to account for inflation, 1939’s Gone with the Wind made $3.44 billion.

The Lion King does have one asterisk, however. If inflation is taken into consideration, then 1978’s arcade classic Space Invaders comes out the winner. The popular coin-op game—which was later ported over to the Atari 2600—was a smash hit. By 1983, it had made $3.8 billion. Accounting for inflation, it earned $13.9 billion. What’s even more impressive is that unlike big-ticket movies and stage shows, Space Invaders did it one quarter at a time.

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