I was on Jeopardy so long ago that Friends was still on TV and no one took pictures of their food. I'm currently back playing on their "Battle of the Decades."

I'm now the author of the Junior Genius Guides for kids. They're fun!

(Twitter proof.)

Edited to add: Thanks everybody! I can't be with you here anymore but you can always follow me on Twitter or do my "Kennections" trivia puzzle in Parade or my Friday news quiz on Slate. Today we have John Hodgman! You don't have to do any of that stuff, though. We can still be friends.

Comments: 1338 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

uhhhhmmmm670 karma

Do you ever find yourself accidentally introducing yourself as 74-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings to people you meet? Does your wife call you 74-time Jeopardy winner Ken Jennings in bed? Have you ever considered legally changing your name to 74-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings?

WatsonsBitch1056 karma

When I was first on in 2004, my son stopped calling me "Daddy" and started calling me "Ken Jennings," like the announcer on TV. Pretty damn adorable.

But it's less adorable when people on the street do it. "Hey, Ken Jennings! Nice to meet you, Ken Jennings." Have you ever seen the Jim Jarmusch movie Coffee and Cigarettes where GZA and RZA keep calling Bill Murray "Billmurray"? I have been living that movie for a decade.

Edited: fixed the movie title for your IMDb-ing convenience.

reticulated_python257 karma

Out of curiosity do you listen to GZA or RZA or anyone else in the Wu-Tang clan?

Because that would be really awesome.

WatsonsBitch1351 karma


EpicDivorceMan154 karma

I too have first and last name syndrome, even my closest friends identify me by my first and last name. Will you be the celebrity spokesperson for the awareness campaign?

WatsonsBitch370 karma

I think they got Charlie Brown already.

jgannon472 karma

Do you think the hoe/rake question was a deliberate set-up, or did the writers just not think it through very carefully?

WatsonsBitch1032 karma


I never got to ask, because contestants are always kept carefully segregated from the writers. I'm assuming set-up, since if they do ANY play-testing at all, somebody probably would have said "hoe" at some point, just like I did.

I'm still sort of annoyed that I didn't get credit.

MysticBounce463 karma

Trebek said your record will likely stand "forever". Is he a time traveler, immortal, or some sort of reverse vampire?

WatsonsBitch749 karma

I can only assume Alex has been visited by alternate-future versions of himself from the Legion of Super Trebeks, and somebody (Alek Trebekovich, the Trivia Tsar of Earth-Я? Robotrebek of 60,000 AD?) spilled the beans.

operation_hennessey449 karma

What are your dream categories if you got to choose all six ?

WatsonsBitch1629 karma


charld383 karma

When you and Brad went against Watson it seems like either of you alone could have beaten him (it?). To me it looked like the two of you split the answers humans were good at and Watson got all the ones robots are good at. It's like you were George HW Bush, Watson was Bill Clinton, but Brad was Ross Perot. Thoughts on this assessment?

WatsonsBitch1454 karma

That's exactly right. It should have been one human against two Watsons. Or one human against 100 duck-sized Watsons.

Rtrock381 karma

Do you know the names of the eight-year-olds who made your fancy sweater, Ken?

WatsonsBitch438 karma

Ha, that audible gasp you can hear from the audience in that game is mostly me I think. That's the most awkward Jeopardy contestant interview I've ever seen...and that's saying something.

Tom is a bit more of an alpha frat-boy type than most Jeopardy champs--or at least likes to appear that way--but he seems like a good guy in person. I think that conversation got away from him a bit.

dalek-khan294 karma

Hi Ken. I'm a trivia enthusiast as well and would like your advice for handling myself in social situations.

If, during a conversation, someone makes a factual error, is it best to ignore it and move on or to correct them as politely as possible?

WatsonsBitch995 karma

Yeah, there's a lot to recommend about the trivia-fan personality (endless curiosity, weird conversation) but the urge to constantly correct people is my least favorite of their tics.

You should consider two things: the Stakes (S) and the Offensiveness of the Correction (the OC, bitch). A low-stakes error ("I think Cedric Diggory was a Ravenclaw") is less likely to be corrected than a high-stakes one ("Vaccinations cause autism.") An low-Offensiveness correction is one that isn't aimed at embarrassing the other person or asserting your own superiority, but adds something interesting to the discourse. ("I just read that there's actually a desert bigger than the Sahara. Know what it is?") If S/OC is less than 1, keep your mouth shut.

TL/DR: basically if you're starting more than one sentence with "Actually..." in a conversation, nobody likes you.

RoswellSpaceman286 karma

Hey Ken! Do you happen to play QuizUp? If so, what is your win/loss ratio like and how many games have you played?

Thanks for doing this AMA.

WatsonsBitch476 karma

I am a pretty solid QuizUp player, and no you can't have my username. I reviewed it for NPR a few months ago.

There is some category I literally never win and I can't figure out why. "Name the Painter" or something like that. It's my personal white whale. Every so often, I play that like 5 times in a row, go 0-for-5, and then I'm like, f that, okay, James Bond Movies here we go.

absparekh279 karma

Ken! How did Alex feel about this picture?

WatsonsBitch442 karma

Everybody gets a quick portrait with Trebek. Usually people don't fool around, but another "Decades" player, Stephanie Jass, had fake mustaches for her and Alex to wear, which I thought was a pretty funny idea. So I decided to get a selfie and Alex played along.

Props to him for doing duckface.

gorobogo262 karma

What are your thoughts on Arthur Chu? Villain or just clever?

WatsonsBitch779 karma

Media circlejerk. Arthur is a great player and didn't do anything that lots of other multi-day champions (Dave Madden, Roger Craig) hadn't done before.

respite262 karma

How do you pronounce the "!" in "Jeopardy!"?

WatsonsBitch1793 karma

In my case, it's pronounced, "Paid for my house."

pimfram256 karma

After taping an episode, have you and the players ever gotten together, gone to a bar, and completely destroyed everyone else at trivia?

WatsonsBitch625 karma

Ha, this actually happened after the Decades tournament. Everybody hit O'Brien's in Santa Monica and just laid waste to it Mother of Dragons style. Sadly I had dinner plans elsewhere.

AlmostAGinger247 karma

Hey Ken, I think you're hilarious and always love reading your AMAs, such a huge fan. You've turned me into a trivia fanatic, I've even gotten my friends hooked on doing bar quizzes.

My question: Will they ever put your epic Jeopardy run on DVD?

WatsonsBitch1799 karma

I can't think of anything that would sell better than 30+ hours of a game show from a decade ago where everyone knows the outcome of literally every game, burned into a dying physical media format. Guaranteed smash hit.

Go_Big225 karma

This AMA would be a lot better everyone phrased their questions in the form of an answer.

"These types of food were offered back stage to Jeopardy contestants."

WatsonsBitch191 karma

What are donuts and fresh fruit?

You also get a chit for lunch in the studio commissary if you haven't already lost by lunchtime.

4a4a212 karma

Ken, What aspect of Mormon culture do like the most? And the least?

WatsonsBitch506 karma

Great question. I love the community-building angle of Mormonism. When Joseph Smith talked about "building Zion," he didn't just mean trying to make people nicer to each other. He was actually drawing street plans and starting businesses. Zion for him was a real place, like Zion in The Matrix (but without the raves I am guessing). Let's be honest, that didn't turn out so great for him, but the legacy of that today is that Mormon congregations and communities are still incredibly tightly knit. There's no professional clergy, so everybody pitches in. If somebody's out of work or in the hospital or whatever, people mobilize. Small-town America stuff, the kind you thought didn't exist anymore.

The down side of that tightly knit community, though, is that it can become insular. Mormons tend to see the outside world as the enemy: scary, ominous, doomed. "The World" is shorthand for any bad news you can think of. I'm a pretty optimistic guy by nature and have a hard time seeing the world that way. A key Mormon tenet is that all people are literally brothers and sisters. If that's true, we should be out in the world doing good, not building this bunker mentality you sometimes see.

tibataw74 karma

To me, the community aspect of Mormonism has always been one of the most terrifying. I like the anonymity I get by living in a city. I would never want to live in a small town, where everyone knows each other's business.

WatsonsBitch217 karma

Ha, there are plenty of Mormon introverts. It's more like, you can keep your head down all you want, but if it ever hits the fan, like 100s of people have your back.

MyNameIsntPatrick205 karma

How do you memorize the trivia and facts you've learned over the years?

PS I love your books and following you on Twitter. Thanks for the laughs!

WatsonsBitch708 karma

Almost without exception, the know-it-alls you see on Jeopardy are not Rain Man-style savants. They don't sit at home memorizing the almanac. They are just interested in things. Crucially--and bizarrely--THEY ARE INTERESTED IN EVERYTHING.

Think about how easy it is to remember a fact when you're interested in the subject. You don't have to actively study lyrics of songs you like or names of players on your favorite team or characters on your TV show (unless it's Game of Thrones, I guess). That stuff just sticks. We are wired to remember stuff effortlessly...if we want to.

So for better or for worse, it's mostly a question of motivation. If you can convince yourself that a subject is interesting, facts will start to stay. That's my theory anyway.

RadicalBender189 karma

Did anyone actually answer all seven of the My Little Pony questions correctly from this week's Tuesday Trivia/April Fool's Joke?

WatsonsBitch768 karma

Yes but they are all registered sex offenders. :(

(Context: I do a weekly email trivia quiz on my website and there was a fake April Fools quiz this week. Sign up in the left sidebar here.)

LethalMutiny184 karma

What did you guys actually talk about when you were on stage when the credits were rolling?

WatsonsBitch683 karma

I think I've said this before here, but it's the world's most awkward social dynamic. Two of you are shell-shocked and pissed-off, one of you has just realized they're going to have to go back and do it all again in ten minutes, and one of you is a crotchety quiz show host who just wants to get home before the Lakers game starts.

Typically Alex talks about the Final Jeopardy clue, whether he thought it was easy or hard or what. But he doesn't care. As soon as the stage manager says "We're clear," he disappears in a puff of smoke to change into a different Perry Ellis suit.

Surely_Jackson298 karma

I was on last year, and after I won (the correct answer for Final was Barbra Streisand) I told Alex that a kid in junior high used to tease me that I looked like Barbra Streisand. Alex leaned close and said "you should mail him a dollar and tell him to buy himself a Coke."

WatsonsBitch404 karma

I want to collect a bunch of these Trebek credits conversation stories and publish them in book form. They are like Zen koans.

reddishangel178 karma

You killed it with that $8000+ bet on the Daily Double in round 2 last night. You could tell the other two were like "fuck guess I'm playing for second now".

WatsonsBitch296 karma

More players should bet big on Daily Doubles. I was looking at some numbers a while ago and my career DD percentage is like 85%. Most other good players probably hover around there too. On the other hand, my Final Jeopardy conversion is surprisingly low, like 50-60%.

So why try to put a game away on a hard question when you could put it away on a much easier one? Last night's Daily Double was in a books category (thumbs up) in one of the "easy" rows of the board (another thumbs up). It takes cojones but you gotta go big there.

sfbing172 karma

On the 'game show host' topic: Does Mr Trebek have potential wrong answers in advance? He often seems to have great insight into an incorrect association.

Edit: fixed punctuation.

WatsonsBitch416 karma

No, he's just smart. When he's like "Ah, no you were thinking of the 100 Years War, not the 30 Years War," he actually knows all that stuff.

uhhhhmmmm147 karma

Was it weird going back to the Jeopardy! set now that you are a minor celebrity? Did you feel that the other contestants treated you differently?

WatsonsBitch337 karma

For reasons legal and otherwise, the ethos that underpins Jeopardy is that the contestants are all exactly equal, interchangeable cogs in the machine. Every so often, a contestant will be unusually memorable and it's weird how the format and the fans kick against that. Arthur Chu becomes a villain and what's his crime? Choosing the clues in an order you don't normally see? Come on.

I guess I'm now one of those guys that violates the Jeopardy aesthetic of forgettability, but it works out okay. For the most part, the mood backstage was "Hope I don't have to play him!" We still hung out and chatted pretty normally. I did feel like I had more to lose than anybody else. If some dude named Arjun shows up on Jeopardy and loses, well, big deal, on any given night 2/3 of the players lose. Nobody's even going to notice. But if I lose, annoying drive-time DJs have something to talk about.

anwl21138 karma

Is there a question you're sick of answering, but defeatedly answer anyway out of sheer, irrepressable Mormon politeness?

EDIT: Also, is there a question you've been dying to answer, but are never asked?

WatsonsBitch659 karma

Did you lose on purpose? Yes, dummy. I had a job where I was making like $70K an hour and I was like, meh, this is only ok, what if instead I just quit?

swedishchefette136 karma

Hi Ken! From one Jeopardy champ to another (though you're definitely in a different league), thanks for the inspiration! I read your books to prepare, and they helped quite a bit. Nice buzzer/mic drop btw.

You probably get asked the same questions over and over, so I'll ask some others:

What's your favorite Muppet? What's your favorite Jeopardy category? What's an obscure piece of trivia about you?

WatsonsBitch351 karma

  • Rowlf the dog. Rowlf seems like the classic "you-could-have-a-beer-with" Muppet. The anti-Elmo.
  • Anything where Trebek gets to rap
  • I first learned the word "penis" on May 19, 1980 when a neighbor kid told me "Mt. St. Helens blew its penis yesterday!"

stile99129 karma

Have you taken up H&R Block on their free taxes for life offer?

WatsonsBitch460 karma

I have! But it's all part of a plan to gradually work my way into their system and bring it down from the inside. I play the long game, and I never forgive.

moviehawk128 karma

The Battle of the Decades has featured some truly strange interactions between Alex and the contestants. How, after almost 100 "chit chat" segments, do you still manage to be interesting and not weird in those 15 seconds?

WatsonsBitch441 karma

Uh, you are remembering selectively. Some of them I'm sure were pretty weird.

One time Alex, without warning, was like, "I'm tired of asking you stuff. Is there anything you want to ask me?" Talk about the hot seat. I was finally like, "What did you have for breakfast this morning, Alex?"

True story: he said, "Diet Pepsi and a Baby Ruth." Breakfast of champions!

toadfan64119 karma

Have you spent all of your winnings yet?

WatsonsBitch636 karma

The "TREBEK" grill on my teeth wasn't cheap. Those are real diamonds.

aurisor115 karma

If you could have any 3 historical figures, alive or dead, to play in your ultimate jeopardy game, who would you choose?

Assume we could find a fair set of questions for them.

WatsonsBitch403 karma

Anne Frank vs Hitler. So satisfying for the home viewer. I don't care who the third player is. Wolf Blitzer.

Snowblindyeti149 karma

Anne frank would likely lose though. The nazis stopped her education fairly young and I really wouldn't want to watch hitler beat a young Jewish woman at jeopardy.

WatsonsBitch148 karma

Pretty sure you guys are all overestimating Hitler's Jeopardy skills but who can say. Now I know what I would do with a time machine...

sspequod107 karma

What does Alex Trebek smell like?

WatsonsBitch313 karma

Knowledge. And Old Spice.

broline100 karma

Who is the worst possible replacement for Alex Trebek?

WatsonsBitch343 karma


Pokevenger99 karma

Do you think you could ever host jeopardy or any game show in that matter?

WatsonsBitch304 karma

"Game show host" is such a punchline of a profession that nobody realizes how hard it actually is. Sure, Trebek has all the answers in front of him, but he still has a harder job than the contestants. He has to run the game for the three contestants and the home audience. Like a baseball game where one guy has to umpire all the bases AND call the game, both play-by-play AND color.

Just because Howie Mandel has been carefully retrained in government labs for years to be able to host a game show doesn't mean that it's easy. I don't know if I have the chops. But I'd love a shot.

uhhhhmmmm138 karma

Do you feel like you have a good enough Pillsbury Doughboy impression to take over for Alex?

WatsonsBitch150 karma

I'm still having flashbacks to that.

Dirty_Bean92 karma

Ken, big fan here!

I own all of your books and two of them were actually signed by you after I sent in my own Kennections puzzle to Parade and it got chosen, so thanks for that! It's actually one of my proudest achievements.

My question for you: What color would a Smurf turn if you choked it?

WatsonsBitch383 karma

Congrats on your win! Parade magazine still runs my "Kennections" trivia puzzle twice a week. I cleverly put my name in the title so they can't fire me without finding a replacement Ken, ha ha ha! I'm safe unless Ken Jeong has a catastrophic post-Hangover career dip.

As for the Smurfs: we know from episode 5.35 ("Smurfette's Rose") that Smurfs have red blood. (You probably already suspected this from their red tongues and occasional purple blushes.) So let's assume that they have hemoglobin-based blood like mammals. Cyanosis (bluing of the skin) in humans is much, much less noticeable in more heavily pigmented skin. Since we already know that, whatever the blue pigment is in Smurf skin, it masks capillary blood pretty well, I think their skin color wouldn't change at all.

TL/DR: A choked Smurf would still look perfectly smurfy.

JakeMcK88 karma

Just wanted to say you're one of my favorite people on twitter. Where do you come up with all of your jokes?

WatsonsBitch440 karma

They're all from Sinbad's original run on Star Search. Can't believe nobody has picked up on this yet.

DuchySleeps85 karma

Besides the obvious, what do you think is the main difference between a winner and a loser on Jeopardy?

Or is the game really as simple as recalling shit quickly?

WatsonsBitch195 karma

Every night, you have three people who can recall shit quickly. Essentially the only thing the contestant tryout is designed to measure is Recalling Shit Quickly.

In my experience, it comes down to who is loose and having fun. I saw a lot of people come into Jeopardy obsessed with the outcome (how much will I win?) rather than the experience. And it's an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The best players are the ones who are just trying to have a good time. They're relaxed and play better.

phil27617136 karma

One-show loser here. IMO, the game is the buzzer. For anyone out there that missed that, THE GAME IS THE BUZZER (plus that RSQ referenced above). And don't think that being a gamer in your mid-20s is going to be enough. It wasn't for me. After my experience, I developed a new-found admiration for your buzzer skills. Mine seemed to come and go during my game - I was over 80% in the J round, then had a 12-question dry spell in DJ. Watching you routinely beat people over the head with that thing is seriously impressive.

WatsonsBitch266 karma

Buzzer is huge. It's not speed, which is probably what gets gamers. It's all rhythm and consistency. You have to be able to get into the mind of the guy who flips the switch and activates the buzzer. (If you buzz too early, when Trebek is still talking, you get locked out for a fraction of a second.) You never meet The Guy. But he's listening to Alex's voice just like you. When's he going to flip that switch? You need to be ringing it at that exact second. It's tough. That's why you always see people on TV flailing around with their buzzers...they're buzzing too early and it's frustrating as hell.

lohtragm84 karma

Last night you threw the clicker down with authority at the end of Double Jeopardy. No question here, just wanted you to know that I loved the move.

WatsonsBitch116 karma

I was just putting it back in its holder! Although a full-on mic drop would be pretty funny.

skinsballr83 karma

How did you feel about not telling everyone about your winning streak on Jeopardy! as it happened, as the episodes are recorded and aired later?

WatsonsBitch223 karma

I totally recommend this. If your friends and family all know the outcome, the show itself is totally anticlimactic. If you keep your mouth shut, they'll be on the edge of their seats.

It was tricky in my case, because I kept having to fly down to LA half a dozen times before my shows started airing. People would call me on my cell phone and I'd have to pretend to be at work when I was really driving down the 405 to Sony studios. Plus it's hard to borrow 74 different neckties from friends without telling them what you need them for.

RandomhouseMD82 karma

What is your favorite board game? Trivial Pursuit is not an acceptable answer to this question.

WatsonsBitch226 karma

What is that game where if you don't get all the tiles on the board in time, it explodes and vomits little yellow Tetris pieces all over your kitchen table? Do they still have that?

Anyway, that, I still have stress nightmares about it.

m0bab80 karma

Can you remember any moment growing up when you realized how much you love trivia/learning? For example: a time you stated a very specific fact to a friend and got a weird look, like "How do you know that?"

WatsonsBitch333 karma

Hahaha, I tried to check out an atlas once from the library when I was like five and my mom and the librarian had to explain that you couldn't check them out, they were for reference. I thought they were for pleasure reading, because I was a pretty @#$%ing weird five-year-old. Normally you have to do a lot of homeschooling to turn out a kid that weird, I just got lucky I guess.

javabunnyworker80 karma

Do you have a favorite way that you wrote your name while on the show?

WatsonsBitch335 karma

I think I once wrote KEN made out of dozens of little KENs, but that was really stretching the limits of 90's-era lightpad technology as artistic medium.

One time I wrote my name upside-down; I got asked to redo it because NO FUN ALLOWED ON JEOPARDY FOLKS.

TableTalkWontPickMe65 karma

What was going on in your head when you saw the "our friend Watson category? PS: My schools band was mentioned in the music category last night

WatsonsBitch231 karma

I thought Watson would be reading the clues, like sometimes they have Neil Patrick Harris or Ken Burns or whoever. I was much happier to learn it was just about people NAMED Watson. Because screw Watson the computer.

therealrealrealshady63 karma

Do you go to any local trivia nights where you live and if you do, how much does everyone hate you?

WatsonsBitch166 karma

So far everyone is too intimidated by my partner.

ujustgotjammed63 karma

How do you watch Jeopardy? If you know the question/answer, do you say it out loud around family? Do you keep track of your score?

WatsonsBitch280 karma

I can't really watch at home anymore, nowadays every time I hear the music or Trebek's stentorian Canadian tones, the adrenaline spikes, like it's game day all over again. BACK IN 'NAM.

Being a Jeopardy contestant for 6 months is great but it sort of ruins the game for you as a viewer.

pepsiguy2458 karma

What's your favourite memory behind the scenes of Jeopardy?

WatsonsBitch203 karma

After my final game, Trebek came back onstage in his shirtsleeves (which NEVER happens, I didn't even know he had arms) just to say goodbye. He was a little choked up and I was so touched. I'd been wondering for a long time if I was starting to piss him off by sticking around so long, like a guest that won't go home.

ymeme52 karma

Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test (personality test)? If so, what is your type?

WatsonsBitch428 karma

I am a PBNJ.

Full results here.

Zackpassman51 karma

Any consideration on taking over for Letterman?

WatsonsBitch203 karma

No way, Jerry Seinfeld will just stab you in the back. Or so I learned from season 3 of Louie. By the way, how great was David Lynch in that?

artful_dodger50 karma

Ken, huge fan. My ex-gf got me your knowledge for everyday book and it happens to be signed by you but made out to Jeff, not my name. Don't know why Jeff would of gotten rid of it, but would you scratch his name out and put mine in if I mailed it to you?

WatsonsBitch123 karma

Sure, send with SASE to Ken-Jennings.com PO Box 55744 Shoreline, WA 98155

antimarkovnikov46 karma

Hey Ken! I'd first like to thank you for turning me from an occasional viewer of Jeopardy! into the obsessive fan I've been for the past decade. I've got a few questions for you...

• In the Battle of the Decades this year, you're competing on equal footing with everyone else (i.e. no instant byes to the finals) for the first time since your original run 10 years ago. In January's taping for this week's shows, how did that fact affect your attitude going into it and the pressure you faced, with the possibility of getting knocked out in the first round?

• In the past you used to write and edit academic questions for NAQT and staff at some of their national championship tournaments. Is this something you still do (or plan to do), or is that more or less behind you ever since you've progressed to greater things?

• Your appearance as a guest panelist on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! was pretty awesome; was that a one-time deal, or do you think there's a possibility NPR will ask you to come on again?

• Any plans for the 10th anniversary of Zerg Day?


WatsonsBitch67 karma

  • I actually preferred it. Getting slotted into the last round of that 2005 tournament was a mixed blessing at best. Everyone else had been playing hard for weeks; I was coming straight out of training camp.

  • I still edit some questions (movies, theology, can't remember what else) for NAQT. That used to be my one trivia-writing outlet, but of course, now I have the books and a bunch of other stuff.

  • They actually called a couple weeks ago to have me on the panel again, but I was on a book tour and couldn't do it. SO BUMMED, I love Wait Wait.

  • Tape date or airdate? I don't know when America celebrates with the bonfires and effigies of me.

radio_radio45 karma

Hi, Ken! On March 28th, you tweeted an apology for breaking up Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. How did you dismantle the marriage of such a power couple, Ken? Which celebrity relationship will you be breaking up next? Possibly related: is Dan Savage a good kisser? What about Alex Trebek?

And finally, the question on every Jeopardy fan’s mind: what the fuck was up with the sweatshop guy?

WatsonsBitch86 karma

This is apropos of nothing but I totally had a dream last night that I was in a car with Blythe Danner (Gwyneth's mom) and she seemed not to know about the breakup. I didn't know how to tell her. Thanks for taking this trip with me into the darker reaches of my psyche.

I have never kissed Alex but I bet he knows what he's doing. How great would it be if Alex just started kissing all the women on the show every night, like Richard Dawson used to.

GayTheDayAwayWithMe38 karma

Hi Mr, Jennings! My mother got me a book about you, but I have yet to get around to reading it, is it any good? I think you wrote it.

WatsonsBitch177 karma

It is very good, according the barn full of Bangalore college students that I had write it.

mikey30102931 karma

Hi Ken. When you answered questions on "Battle" last night, it seemed like you strained to remember a few of the answers after you buzzed in. Do you actually need to try hard to remember the answers, or do you just stall a little bit to pretend the question is hard so you're not completely steamrolling the other contestants?

WatsonsBitch93 karma

No, I think most good Jeopardy players buzz in often on some "HEY I KNOW THIS" reflex, knowing that they'll have 5 seconds to rummage around for the answer. That happened last night with "What are drupes?" Suddenly the word just appeared, as I was about to say something else.

Other times you have an answer ready, but if you have a few seconds to double-check it against the clue again, why not take your time?

On Daily Doubles, honestly, you sometimes build suspense. More fun for the home viewer, more heartbreaking for the other players.

Doades30 karma

Ken, is there anything you would recommend for me to do if I want to go on Jeopardy and beat your record? 'Cause I plan on it, bro.

WatsonsBitch156 karma

Fun fact: no one who calls people "bro" has ever won a game on Jeopardy. (Except that sweatshop guy Tom from two nights ago.)

AnotherAlex9427 karma

What subject do you want to learn more about?

WatsonsBitch114 karma

I was just reading the other day about this big rubber boom in the early 20th century where all these little Amazon towns, Sloth-Taint, Brazil or whatever, suddenly became world-class metropolises with billions of New Money dollars pouring in, like Dubai in the jungle. (Then synthetics were invented and the whole thing immediately collapsed.) What the hell? I had no idea, that sounds awesome. Let's all go learn more about that.

terattt23 karma

In your opinion is most of being smart just having a really good memory/recall?

WatsonsBitch93 karma

No, but they're more closely linked than you would think given the stereotype of the fact-filled Mensa type who never seems to have a job. There seems to be a feedback loop thing where people with good analytical skills remember facts better, and a better master of facts means you can synthesize them into good decisions and become a better, more analytical thinker. And the more things in your head, the more combinations you can make between them, and that's the seed of creativity.

jess_a_manic22 karma

I am interested in this as well. It seems that (and it may be availability bias working) as people grow more intellectual they begin to see less of a need for God. Do you still identify as a Mormon?

WatsonsBitch48 karma

I think there is plenty of evidence correlating education with lack of religiosity, though it's hard to say which way the causation lies.

From what I remember, Mormons actually buck the trend here. Among people who identify as Mormons, education seems to increase their religious observance.

get_innocuous4 karma


Favorite thing about Seattle? Favorite music right now? of all time? Favorite quote?

WatsonsBitch18 karma

Going to see Neutral Milk Hotel tonight! So excited.

zwashburn363 karma

Hi Ken. I just wanted to say that I totally jerked it while watching your Battle of the Decades episode last night. Does this make me weird?

WatsonsBitch14 karma

It's only a half-hour show but if you're in your twenties or younger you can probably still go for the True Daily Double. Good luck!

UPSguy2 karma

Ken, would you ever do an ama in /r/LatterDaySaints?

WatsonsBitch4 karma

Why can't those people get off their rameumptoms and come over here to /r/iama?