Rivenbark column: Nation divided since November ... on who should host ‘Jeopardy!’
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
Friends, our nation remains divided on exactly who should be in charge these days. November was a long time ago and still, we are undecided, adrift, unable to agree on who should lead and who should admit this is quite simply not their time.
So, I ask you all to search deep within your hearts for the answer. Should it be Savannah Guthrie or Aaron Rodgers? And what of Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Andrew Yang style longshot whose “hat in the ring” has many “Jeopardy!” viewers saying, “not even if the bum rang my doorbell and gave my family a thousand bucks a month.”
Who will win the people’s confidence and stride purposefully to the, uh, place where you stand while we hear the polished announcer proclaim: “THIS. IS. JEOPARDY!” Yes, well. We didn’t really think it was John Wick now did we? I mean there’s a children’s librarian from Lower Catgut, Arkansas standing there looking all plucky and knowledgeable. Of course, it’s Jeopardy! Don’t you see the cereal bowl of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup balanced on Nana’s lap?
When longtime host Alex Trebek died last November, many of us wondered if he could ever be replaced. Alex was so courtly, so wise, so good at small talk even when the contestant wasn’t. How many times did he rescue someone’s rambling story about having seen a two-headed goat that was, remarkably, not going anywhere?
Because you don’t just replace an American game show ICON like you’d switch shampoo brands, the folks at “Jeopardy!” decided to audition a few famous people for the gig to make sure they made the perfect choice.
The list of candidates is not so much impressive as long. Some are really good at it (the aforementioned Ken Jennings and the show’s longtime producer Mike Richards stand out so far). Others auditioning by guest hosting for a week at a time include Katie Couric, Sanjay Gupta, Bill Whitaker ...
And others? Well, we’ll just have to see.
I’m starting to think I should volunteer for tribute, so to speak.
If kids’ vaccine-skeptic Mayim Bialik got the gig, how hard can it be? I think Alex Trebek, whom I had the privilege of meeting at an event where I was not invited to be on the show (helps if you haven’t had too many “Potent Potables” the night before is all’s I’m saying) must be looking down on all this with bemusement.
Who can fill Alex’s butter-soft Gucci loafers? Since ratings matter most, maybe they should consider going with a more, er, controversial lineup. An old editor of mine put it another way after a newbie reporter filed a dead body story that included gory details toward the end.
“Get the maggots in the lead!” he bellowed. And you thought journalism was easy.
Consider the maggoty ratings gold of current “it” couple, Harry and Meghan.
“Markle, m’love, introduce our contestants today.”
“I’m sorry, Ginger Bear, I just can’t believe all these people are here. Why won’t they LEAVE US ALONE?”
“That’s just the studio audience, pet. They’re not here for us; they are here to watch the show!”
(Sulkily) “Oh. I knew that.”
Or how about deeply dishonest “Aunt Becky”? Lori Loughlin would get the viewers tuning in.
“Here are the categories for today’s show ... Famous Cheaters, SAT vs. ACT, Does It Really Matter, I’m So Stinking Rich, My Daughters Know I Think They’re Stupid and, finally, Stop Making Fun of My Brown Pantsuit.”
Perhaps handsy New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could host a week.
“The answer is: “A good start.” And, yes, the question is “What do you call 1,000 lecherous bosses at the bottom of the ocean ...”
I stand ready to serve. And my two-headed goat story rocks by the way.
Celia Rivenbark thinks Punxsutawney Phil would make a nice stew. Visit http://celiarivenbark.com.