Ken Jennings made a career out of being insanely good at trivia. Most people see him as both fascinatingly smart and just a tad infuriating for that same reason. Either way, he’s the shining star of “Jeopardy!”
Time on ‘Jeopardy!’
He first appeared on “Jeopardy!” in 2004. Unlike any other contestant, however, Jennings was the star of the trivia show for an amazing 74 consecutive episodes. At the time, the show allowed returning champions to appear an indefinite number of times.
His longstanding reign over the show garnered huge viewership for the show at the time. By the end of his time on the show, when he was defeated by an H&R Block question on November 30, Jennings had earned $2.52 million. He even got the coveted role as the guest host of the show directly following the death of beloved host Alex Trebek.
This is about 17 years after his initial appearance. This shows just how much of a long-lasting impression he’s made on the show.
While many “Jeopardy!” fans found his run to be entertaining, what did some other people think?
Ken Jennings Nickname
According to his official site, Ken Jennings got quite a bit of attention after his time on the show. He was a guest on shows like “The Tonight Show,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and even “Sesame Street.”
He remembers two very different ways of framing his time on “Jeopardy!” On one hand, Barbara Walters had called him one of the ten most fascinating people of the year. Similarly, The Christian Science Monitor dubbed him “the king of Trivia Nation.”
On the other hand, Slate called him, “the Michael Jordan of trivia, the Seabiscuit of geekdom” in an article. While still a compliment, it’s not framed quite so kindly. ESPN even went as far as to call him “smarmy [and] punchable” and claimed he had “the personality of a hall monitor, the kind of guy everyone hides from at a Christmas party.”
The author of the article talked about how Jennings gives people a bit of an internal conflict. People are both impressed with his knowledge but also undeniably irritated by his success, smarts, and exuding confidence.
“I’m obsessed with the Jeopardy Guy. Watching this Mormon assassin emerge as the MJ of nerds has been the highlight of my summer. He’s earned the coveted No.1 spot on my TiVo Season Pass, as well as acronym status: the Sports Gal and I refer to him as the JG. I wish I were kidding. Watching him pocket a million-plus during his astounding 35-game winning streak — still going as I write this — we alternately revered him and hoped Alex Trebek would punch him in the face,” the columnist wrote.
Surely, the writer would be equally in awe and anger over the fact that Jennings would go on to be named the G.O.A.T of “Jeopardy!” too in 2020.