‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings Details How Being on Show Is Like ‘Olympic Fencing’

by Clayton Edwards

Ken Jennings is a Jeopardy! veteran. Jennings started his quiz show career in 2004 with 74 consecutive wins. During that time, he set the record for the longest winning streak in the history of the show. Additionally, he took home over $2.5 million. After that, he appeared on the show several more times, appearing in tournaments, and finally earned the title of Greatest of All Time in 2020. Later that year, Jennings joined the show in an official capacity. He currently serves as a segment producer for the iconic quiz show.

With all of that experience, it is safe to say that Ken Jennings has a deep understanding of the show and its inner workings. At the very least, he is a great source of information about Jeopardy!. It has been over fifteen years since he first stepped on the stage. However, he still remembers what it was like to be there for the first time.

Recently, Ken Jennings did an interview with So Mini Ways. During that interview, he talked about parenting, his trivia career, and more. At one point, he opened up about what he wished more people knew about Jeopardy! and compared it to Olympic fencing.

Ken Jennings Compares Jeopardy! to Fencing

The interviewer recalled attending a taping of Jeopardy! in the early 2000s. They noted that the theater was very cold. Then, they asked Ken Jennings what he wished more people knew about what goes on during tapings of the show.

The first thing that Ken Jennings noted was that they tape five episodes of Jeopardy! in one day. That alone is pretty surprising. It makes all of those multiple-day win streaks a little more impressive.

However, Jennings said that the most surprising thing that many people never think about is that most of the contestants on the show have never played the game before. In fact, for regular episodes only returning champs have stepped on the stage before. To bring his point home, he said, “Imagine watching Olympics fencing and seeing the athlete pick up a sword for the first time.”

Those contestants aren’t just competing in the show for the first time. For many of them, it is their first time on television. So, they’re on one of the most popular game shows on the planet. At the same time, they’re in front of a television camera for the first time. The level of pressure they’re under during those tapings is higher than most people realize.

Ken Jennings went on to say that people don’t take this into consideration. As a result, they are too hard on Jeopardy! contestants.

So, keep that in mind the next time you’re watching Jeopardy! and someone misses what seems like an easy question.