Television Critique - Ken Jennings' First Episode on Jeopardy!
If you are a Jeopardy! fan then, there is no need to introduced Ken Jennings to you, the legendary Jeopardy's G.O.A.T. - Greatest Of All Time.
I remember watching some of the episodes he was on back then after he became a national sensation with his 50 odd continuous wins. However, I had never seen the very first episode that started his long road to becoming the G.O.A.T.
Recently, on May 4th, that very first episode was re-aired on TV which was originally aired on June 2, 2004. It was a pleasure to see Ken go up against Julia Lazarus and the returning champion Jerry Harvey, whose two days winnings was $70,002.
The very first answer that was buzzed that night was under the category "EPI"SODES, with the response "What is Epidemic?". How ironic that the episode is re-aired when we are in a pandemic exactly 20 years later.
Funnily enough, Ken thanks Fuzzy the truck driver and two drunk teenagers who had given him a ride few years before this episode was shot when he was stranded in Nevada Desert.
Though Ken Jennings ended up winning that game and 73 more games after, he almost lost that very first win ending his winning streak before it even started. The Final Jeopardy answer was
"She's the first female track & field athlete to win medals in five different events at a single Olympics.". Ken's response was "Who is Jones?".
Host Alex Trebek said, "We will accept that, in terms of female athletes, there aren't that many." If the response had not been accepted, Jennings would have finished in third place, and never kicked off his winning streak. Instead he walked away with $37,201 in that very first episode.
That lapse aside, he has proved time and again that he is indeed the Greatest Of All Time.