I was just reading an article about Ken Jennings, the über-nerd who had the all-time winningest streak on the TV game show Jeopardy! It seems that brainy fucker has successfully turned being a TV nerd into a career — WTF!! Why didn’t *I* think of that?!
Well, actually, I did. Back in 2004, I decided that I should go on Jeopardy! myself, to prove to the world how smart I was/am. In those days, no one knew me as anything more than an alcoholic bimbo…so I had a lot to prove.
Anyhoo, I passed all the tests and made it onto the show just fine….but UNFORTUNATELY, as luck would have it, my appearance coincided with the run of….wait for it…. none other than Ken Motherfucking Jennings! ARRRGH!! Talk about having the deck stacked against you. I think he was on his 14th show or something like that when they pitted my pathetic ass against him. Ugh!!
Rather that go through all that nonsense again, I’m just going to repost some excerpts from my old blog that I had back then…in which I documented the whole miserable process. If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to be on Jeopardy!, or if you’ve ever been curious what it’s like when an alkie bimbo from Vegas goes on Jeopardy!…you just might find it interesting. ENJOY!!!
Everybody, you know how I’ve been saying for a long time how I want to try and get on Jeopardy! to win some money? Well, the only problem was that I never got my lazy ass around to going out to Burbank for an audition. But thank God the other day their crew came into Vegas for some local tryouts, and I was able to go over and take the test to see if I have what it takes!!!! Now this was a really big deal, because I had to get my ass out of bed at 8am to schlep over to the first audition, where the first 1,000 people in line got to take a 10-question pre-test, just to winnow out the chaff from the good stuff and see who was qualified to take the actual audition test.
What a bunch of freaks! You never saw such a bunch of Vegas morons, and yes, I was the biggest one of all! Actually, I was secretly stoked because for once in my life, I was the cutest, youngest person in the room. Yahoo! The rest of the crowd was nerdy shlumps and wannabes, so I really felt good about myself and my prospects. Especially when the TV channel started filming, and this lady from the newspaper interviewed me as to why I wanted to try out for Jeopardy!: “I want to prove to the world that I’m not a bimbo.” And that’s the sad truth! I figure that in today’s TV-opiated world, the best way to show all the schmucks and a**holes I know that I have a brain is by going on Jeopardy! That explains to them, in a language they can understand, that I’m a real smart cookie.
So I took the pre-test, and it was pretty tough! Only about 100 people passed, and thank Christ I was one of ‘em. Just to give you an idea, here are the questions they asked on the pre-test (not even the real test, mind you):
- The star Betelgeuse is located in this hunter’s constellation
- This 19th-century President’s middle name was Birchard
- This Francis Ford Coppola film was based on Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness
- This author wrote about the character Sam Spade
- Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at this university
- Celery, apples and walnuts are tossed with mayonnaise in this salad
- Mike Meyers starred in this “un-fairy-tale”
- Spider-Man’s alter ego
- Santiago is the capital of this country.
- I forgot #10. But those are tough questions, don’t you think?!!!!!!!
So then the next day I had to go take the real test, over at this one off-Strip casino, and I had to get up at 8am AGAIN! But now I was ready. See, right after I passed the test the day before, I had gone over to the library right away to bone up on my two weak areas, Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. Actually I have many weak areas, but those 2 are the ones they always seem to ask you about on the show (and happen to be 2 things that I find INSUFFERABLY BORING!!!!!!). Meanwhile, I studied all the State Capitals and State Nicknames, and then right before I took the test I ate a Balance bar to get my brain flowing. So I was ready to rock, and thank God I passed the test again! And this time it was REALLY hard! They asked us not to reveal what questions were asked, so I won’t tell you those details here, but suffice it to say they ranged from topics as diverse as Destiny’s Child to that motherf*cker himself, Shakespeare (my studying didn’t help me there, unfortunately).
But what was really amazing and worth getting up at 8am for was that they had told us to come dressed as we would for the actual show, so you can imagine what all the freaks and geeks were wearing. Tweed! Sweaters! Crummy suits and ties!!!!! Not me, though. I was cool as a cucumber in my plaid micro-miniskirt and my favorite go-go boots… plus I made sure to stick on my lucky decorative Bindi jewels (I’m back with the Bindis, and I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on them!). So not only did I blow ‘em away with my amazing range of knowledge, but I also stood out from the crowd. You could tell everyone thought I was a real bim with no chance in hell, but guess what, suckaz?
About 20 people ended up passing, so then we all had to take part in a practice game where we had to buzz in and answer in the form of a question and all that stuff. After that we had to do the little interview bit, just so they could discern who was interesting and comfortable in front of an audience. Hey, if that’s not me, then I don’t know who it is!
After that they just threw our applications in a big bag and said “We’ll call you when we need you.” They might never call, or they might not call for months. Or they might call tomorrow! That’s the magic of Jeopardy! You just never know. Meanwhile, I’m speed-reading Hamlet and Lysistrata. UGHHHHHHHHHH! I knew I should have paid better attention when I was at the palace of Knossos this past summer. Oh, well!
Actually, to be fair, it wasn’t all nerdy old men in sweaters and tweed who passed the audition – they only made up about 90%. There were also a few fat younger chicks, including this one in fishnet tights. She was pretty cool, I’ll admit. Then there was this one really canny Asian b*tch, who I’ll have to watch out for. Actually, I have to watch out, period – there are a lot of smart motherf*ckers out there, even in Vegas! I was shocked, but it’s really true. Hopefully, if I get picked to be on the show, it’ll be up against two dumbasses – but I don’t know how likely that is, considering that there were 20 really smart people even in friggin’ VEGAS! Actually, I don’t even expect to win at all. I know I’ll freeze up or get a bunch of whack physics questions or something, but hey – even the third-place “winner” walks with a cool $1,000. Not a bad price for your dignity! Besides, I’m not telling ANYONE – ANYONE! – when I get called to go on. I’ll just wait to see how well I do. If I bail, you’ll never need to know when the episode airs. On the other hand, if I do okay, I’ll let you all know right here when to watch.
The other amazing thing about all this was, I was stone-cold sober the entire time. Yikes! But hey, it was early morning, and I’m not quite that big an alkie yet. I wanted to sneak out while they were grading our tests and knock back a Bloody Mary or two, but I was like, “No, Sarah Jane! Prove to them that YOU CAN DO IT sober!” So I did it, and it sucked. You can bet your sweet bippy that if I get called out to LA for a real show, my flask is coming with me.
Hey everyone, you know how I successfully auditioned for Jeopardy! last week, but didn’t get my hopes up because they told me it might be months before they called me – IF they even called me at all?? Well, guess what? Those motherf*ckers barely waited for the weekend to be over before calling my slumbering ass first thing Monday morning! I have to go out there NEXT WEDNESDAY and be on the show!!!
Listen, I am really freaking out about this. Remember how shocked I was to see how smart the other people trying out at the audition were? Well, my plan was to use the intervening months before I appeared on the show to STUDY, STUDY, STUDY – classical mythology, Shakespeare, Oscar winners, world capitals, etc. etc. etc. Now it turns out I have less than ONE WEEK to cram all that bullsh*t into my head! It’s not going to happen, I fear… so I’ve abandoned that plan in favor of a new strategy: to NOT THINK ABOUT IT at ALL, then show up with a buzz on and hope all goes well. So far it’s working!
Seriously, I watched an episode of the show on TV the other night just to see what was going on, and I almost sh*t bricks. Maybe it was just the categories they had on that night, but I didn’t know ANYTHING! That’s the problem with Jeopardy!… it’s all the luck of the draw. If they end up having categories you know about, you’re in. If not… you end up looking like an ass and a bimbo in front of millions of people! I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen, but just in case… when the contestant coordinator asked me how many audience members I would be bringing, I said, “ZERO! I’m not letting anyone see me go down!!!”
Now hopefully I won’t “go down” at all. I don’t expect to win, but so long as I end up in 2nd place, or at least in the black, I’ll be OK. Like I said before, 3rd place walks with $1,000, so I figure it’ll be worth it – although when you think about it, after the g.d. government gets its share, I’ll be left with just enough to cover the cost of booze to sustain me through the whole ordeal. So I’ll be lucky to break even!
Meanwhile, like I said my strategy has been to not think about it at all, so that’s just what I’ve been doing….
Well, I know everyone’s just dying to know what happened to me when I appeared on a certain well-known game show the other day, so I’ll just let you know right up front: I LOST, just like I predicted!!! But the manner in which my loss went down is very amusing and interesting, so I’ll tell you all about it. Meanwhile, everyone get out your Weird Al Yankovic CDs: “I lost on Jeopardy, baby!” That motherf*ckin’ song has been stuck in my head ever since it happened!
As you know, I had very little time to study for the show, being as I had only passed the test to get on there a week ago. So my stated strategy was to just not think about it and then show up with a buzz on! Well, that didn’t work out too good. I flew out there on Tuesday night and started boozing as soon as the plane left the runway. My good friend DJ Spot picked me up and was good enough to ply me with a constant supply of extremely potent white Russians all night long as we rolled around Hollywood, picking up last-minute supplies for the Dick-n-Jayne [a sort of fake-band I used to be in…see video at the end of this paragraph] photo shoot which was to follow my appearance on the game show. Like for instance, we had to go to this one stripper store on Hollywood Blvd. to get a custom-made black vinyl bikini top in the smallest legal size, and Spot was cool enough not to mind that I wore it around the rest of the night over my pink sweater. I was trying to start a trend, so watch out for any stars or fashionistas wearing bikinis over sweaters in the near future! Anyhoo, after that we went over to the venerable Rainbow bar & grill, this old-time heavy metal hangout on the Sunset Strip where all the heavy metal stars used to hang out, but the only personages of note in there that night were David Spade and Slash, the guitarist for Guns ‘N’ Roses, both of whom I’ve already encountered in the course of my wanderings – Slash at the Sally Dingdong show, of all places, and David S. at the Rainbow on a different night. So that wasn’t too exciting… but let me tell you, they make their drinks with an extra kick out there. I’m used to these sh*tty Vegas cocktails, where everything is run by the casino and shot out of a gun, so having a real Cali-style cocktail was a special treat. I got nice and toasted, and forgot all my apprehensions about the next day. I was able to pass right out around midnight, in plenty of time to get up at 4:30 am (that’s normally my bedtime! No wonder I lost on the f*ckin’ show).
Well anyhoo, I got all dolled up and ready to go, and here’s where Spot really had my back. Not only did he drive me all the way down to the studio (a long way from his house), but he devised an ingenious plan for me to sneak some Potent Potables onto the lot. I was afraid to bring my flask, because one time I went on the Warner Bros. lot and they searched **everything,** so what Spot came up with was getting some of those bottled Starbucks drinks from the supermarket, pouring out the coffee, and then re-filling the bottles with a Starbucks-colored mix of Kahlua, vodka and milk! In other words, a very strong white Russian. He even packed me up a fake decoy lunch, with a sandwich and stuff in a paper bag, just so the drinks would blend in. The only problem was, after all the previous nights’ white Russians, I hardly felt like drinking again already!!! So I just chilled out until I finally felt ready (around 9am!) to get the party started.
By then I was already up to my ass in official Jeopardy business like filling out forms, going over my amusing anecdotes for the chat portion, and sizing up the competition, which was really freaking me out! Now I don’t want to give too much away, but the returning champion from the last game was this unbelievable robo-Mormon dude from Utah who was on an unprecedented winning streak of many, many games. They used to have a 5-game limit, but now you just keep playing till you lose, and there was no end in sight for this guy. Believe me, everyone in the room crapped their pants when they heard the news. That’s where my “Starbucks” came in handy… since he was a Mormon, I figured he didn’t drink. Advantage: Sarah Jane! Actually, I didn’t know for sure he was a Mormon, but he was from Utah, he was blonde, and he looked like every single member of my friend Turquoise’s family [Turquoise was my Jack Mormon BFF back then]. But it turns out I was right. I figure that the reason he kept winning was that God was on his side – being as He is going to get 10% of his winnings (due to the tithe Mormons give to the Church). Of course He saw to it that Robo-man won!
The rest of the contestant pool was made up of all manner of squares, except this one freaky bald dude who is in a Bollywood cover band. That’s not to say they weren’t all nice people, but still. I really stood out like a sore thumb, which you may or may not see for yourself some day. I was wearing this hot pink tight-fitting sweater, a pink micro-mini schoolgirl skirt, and some go-go boots. The hot pink really contrasted nicely with the blue background of the set, let me tell you… especially since both my opponents were wearing this boring crummy khaki color. The makeup guy made me take off all my glitter, though. I tried to get him to at least paint on some fake cleavage, to distract and pysch out my opposition… but then I remembered that we were talking about an extremely single-minded Mormon, so what would be the point?!? Anyhoo, even though I totally sucked on the show, all the people on the set were like, “That’s OK! You did great… and you looked adorable!” Big f*ckin’ deal! Anyone can look adorable. I wanted to prove that I was smart!! Unfortunately, though, I did just the opposite. That Robot man was so motherf*ckin’ quick on the buzzer that I barely managed to get in 5 or 6 answers the whole entire game! In fact, he made both me and the other lady contestant look like ding-a-lings, which I really felt bad about. It seems like men always win on those shows, and I wanted to reprazent for my girlz. Oh well!
Now by the way, before you go blaming my loss on my “Starbucks” drinks, listen up, squares. You know I never drink to the point where I lose control… I am a Lady Alcoholist, as you no doubt remember, and alcohol is my friend… not my saboteur.
Besides that, the way it works is they tape 5 shows a day, and I had to sit through 2 other shows being taped before they got to me. By then my buzz was gone, and I was miserably, bone-chillingly sober. Yuck!
So anyhoo, after sitting around the studio watching this robo-Mormon tear everybody apart, it was my turn to get up there and lose. They kept on telling us, “Come on, guys… remember, ‘Everyone is beatable!’” But come on. This guy was not only really smart (I guess he used to write questions for some quiz kids-type thing) but he had many previous shows’ worth of experience on that f*ckin’ buzzer! Even when I knew the correct answer, that f*cker beat me to it 99% of the time. Oh well! Actually, I should have known it was going to be bad from the start. I spazzed out while writing my name on the screen like they do, so I looked like a freak from the get-go! Then we had to record these hokey messages to be played on our local affiliate stations at the time of our show’s airing. Basically it was supposed to be a shout-out to your hometown, so I freaked everyone out with a wigger-esque “Wazzup, Vegas!” and really sealed my fate.
But anyway, I’m not telling anyone here what the airdate of the show is until a later date – if EVER! You see, I feel it mis-represents me. I ended up looking like a total bim who only got on because of my wackiness. As an example, during the first segment of the show, EVERY SINGLE question was answered (correctly) by the Mormon. The other lady and I weren’t able to buzz in ONCE! Now to be honest, my timing wasn’t the only reason I didn’t get in – I also didn’t know many of the answers. They all happened to be about sh*t I don’t know. But I didn’t want to look stupid, so I kept on pretending to buzz in and get all “frustrated” when he beat me to it. Just a little insider info for you!
Well, during the commercial break the contestant coordinators came out to advise us on how to buzz in faster and stuff, so we were better prepared for the second segment. But first came the dreaded “chat” with the contestants… you know what I’m talking about. Where the host comes out like, “So, Cletus, I understand a hippopotamus was your wet nurse. That must have been quite an adventure!” Well, I wasn’t really freaking out about that, because if there’s one thing I can handle, it’s chit-chat with strange old men. But the host of the show (you know who… actually, he seemed like a very classy guy) seemed like he was really freaked out by me! I must admit I was pretty nervous, so I acted even weirder than normal, but still… come on. We chit-chatted about my hobby of sneaking into hotel pools, and then he moved right along to the normal contestants. Whew!
As I mentioned, me and the other lady got a few wussy jabs in on the second round, but by Final J.Party it was all over. Guess who was $20,000 ahead going into the final question???? There was no hope, so I wagered it all on “Famous Americans…” and got the motherf*ckin’ question wrong!!!! To make matters worse, the other lady got it right, which really made me look like a bim. But then, thank God, the robo-Mormon’s answer was the same as mine, so we went down together, at least. But incidentally, I have only read about 10 books on the “famous Americans” in question, so I really should have known the answer. But believe me, it’s hard to think when that corny music is playing!!!
Well, after we all shook hands with the host and stood around “chatting” over the credits, it was all over and I grabbed my $1000 and booked the hell out of there!!! But not before this one kid who works for the show tried to pick up on me via a message sent through one of his co-workers. I gave him the address of this website, just so he realizes what a freak I am. Hey, I just thought he should know what’s what, before he gets any ideas!
Now actually, I was supposed to hang around the set all day watching all the games and enjoying lunch in the studio cafeteria, because DJ Spot had a lot of errands to run and was pretty busy. But it’s a cold world, let me tell you – they booted my sorry ass off the lot as soon as I lost. They wouldn’t even let me go to lunch at the cafeteria! How glamorous would that have been, to eat sliced tomatoes in a cafeteria on a movie studio lot????? But instead, I had to schlep my “goody” bag of promotional items down the street to Starbucks, where I had a real coffee drink and then finished up my other fake one for good measure. Meanwhile, I was shouting and hollering on my cell phone about “@#$%^&!! Jeopardy!” and “@#$%^&! Mormons!!!” I was so loud that one of the baristas was like, “Hey, could you possibly be any louder?!” He said they get people in there all the time who have lost on that show, but they’re usually all quiet about it. Not me, though.
Well anyhoo, I didn’t have much time to worry over my embarrassing loss, because DJ Spot arrived within moments to get me for our big Dick-n-Jayne photo shoot, which we held in this horribly seedy, dumpy motel room down the street from his house. It was one of those motels where crank cookers live, just to give you an idea. We dirtied the place up even more with some porn I had picked up on the Strip in Vegas, plus a few other well-placed items like cigarettes and booze bottles, not to mention this freaky scented fog juice Spot had bought for his new fog machine. I didn’t even know they made scented fog juice (that is the correct industry term for it, by the way), but it turns out you can get Strawberry, Vanilla or Tropical, which helped mask the odor of the room somewhat. Then while we were waiting for the photographer to arrive, we went across the street to this diner to get some dinner. While we were grubbing, interestingly, Jeopardy happened to be on TV in the restaurant, and I saw how f*cked up the morning’s situation really had been. See, on the show they were broadcasting that night, it was 3 average nerds of above-average intelligence. They all buzzed in, they all got stuff right and wrong, and they all had between $6,000-$15,000. If I had been playing on that show, I would have done much better! Plus, they had questions about stuff like Tom Jones. Give me a break! It was all luck, I tell you.
So anyway, after dinner we went back to our motel room and I got made up in my rock-n-roll biker-hussy outfit. Dick went with a charming old-time rockabilly getup, with mirrored aviator shades, and DJ Spot slipped into his dog costume. We goofed around with several poses, playing with some old chewed-up Barbies Spot had picked up at a thrift store, and I have a feeling the photos are going to come out fabulously! I’ll let you know if I’m able to post any on this website, so keep your eyes open for that. Anyhoo, after that the busy day at last drew to an end, with Spot and me relaxing in front of some Rammstein videos on the TV. After that I passed out, woke up at 8am, and flew back to Vegas.
Well, there you have it. That was NINE YEARS AGO…and you can see, I really haven’t matured much at all :-/ I’m still a beglittered miniskirted alkie skeez slumming around Vegas…and meanwhile, that fucker Ken Jennings is living large off his winnings. D’OH!!! Oh, well….at least it makes a good story to tell!
Next time I’ll have to tell you all about the time I was on American Idol. Now that was a laff riot! And then some day I’ll tell you about when I went on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” which was also gooooooood times. Not to come off like Forrest fuckin’ Gump here, but….I really have done all these things, and more!!!!!!!