KEN JENNINGS UPDATEKen Jennings, who, by all indications, will indeed close out the season of Jeopardy on Friday a winner with an unbeaten streak of 38 games and total winnings of $1,246,660 (plus whatever he wins tomorrow), was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno ce soir, and Ken Jennings showed off his little Totoro doll that brings him good luck, to which Jay said something along the lines of "Well, I hope he's lucky because he's not getting anywhere with his looks."
Ken also said something that kind of blew my mind: he Googles himself about two times a day. Yep, just like with my hits from NBC.com searching for "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage", I've been getting some hits from a certain IP address in Utah, so, I think that by now I can safely surmise that, while I wouldn't claim Ken Jennings or Pierre Bernard are regular readers, if I write something about them, they'll see it sooner rather than later, so I can address them in second person.
Woo-hoo! Two pseudo-celebrities, both of whom also happen to be fellow anime geeks to some degree, read (some of) what I write! (Actually, three, if you count Stephen Lea Sheppard from Freaks and Geeks and The Royal Tenenbaums, who I've mentioned in passing a couple of times, though he's an actor in actual scripted TV shows and films so I don't think it's fair to call him a "pseudo-celebrity".)
Hi Ken!... umm, think of something to say... can you send me some Totoro stuff?
Yeah, I found your top movies list. I know I'm one of the minority of anime fans who was fairly indifferent about Spirited Away (I think Miyazaki peaked with Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro), but, for your 2002 list, you didn't like Lilo & Stitch enough to even rate it as an "honourable mention"? :'( 'Twas better than at least Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Ice Age (both of which still were pretty good, and I have Ice Age on DVD). If you get a chance, please watch my favourite anime film, Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, which I'd hope to see on your 1984 list. I'm writing a review of the new DVD edition which I'm hoping to get posted at somewhere important, but you can read my old review of the original DVD edition of Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer.
Did you know that I actually tried out for Jeopardy once myself? WPTZ-5 in Plattsburgh said there were going to be tryouts in Montreal in the spring of 1993, and I had just turned 18 the October before, so I sent in a postcard to the station and actually beat the odds, since they advised that only about 1 in 100 people who send in a postcard to the local tryouts actually get selected for the next stage, and got invited to fill out the quiz at an auditorium in Dawson College (which I would later attend for a couple of years). Unfortunately, there were 50 or 60 questions, many on subjects a lot more obscure than on the regular show, and I seem to remember that I only got about 30% of them, and you needed to get something like 60% to even get to the mock-Jeopardy stage, so my Jeopardy delusions ended there. But one bonus was that Alex Trebek was in town (he is from Ottawa after all, only about 100 miles away) so people got to ask him questions, and, since this was 1993, half the questions were about the episode of Cheers wherein Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberg) swept the first round and "Double Jeopardy" but answered, in "Final Jeopardy", "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"
to the question-in-the-form-of-an-answer "Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz, Lucille LeSueur" when the proper answer-in-the-form-of-a-question was "What were the real names of Cary Grant, Tony Curtis and Joan Crawford?"
I do have some useful advice for you: whatever you do, DON'T quit your day job. I'm quite close to someone who won the Canadian Lotto 6/49 in 1997, but it was a week with the minimum prize, at the time $2.2 million Canadian, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of money I'd guess you'll have when it's all over (dunno how much you'll pay in taxes, but I'm also taking into account the exchange rate), should you go back to L.A. in August to shoot more episodes. (I'm aware that the first ten episodes of Jeopardy in September were also taped last winter, so your loss may have been filmed already.) Anyhow, he didn't spend money like a madman, buying a mansion and a couple of Ferraris; he stayed in his house and just renovated it. However, he did quit his job in order to start his own software company, thinking he could spend just enough on his computer programme idea to get a good enough prototype to attract investors, since it was the late 1990s and the perception was that venture capitalists were throwing around money like it was confetti on New Year's in Times Square. But, while the V.C. guys acted like they were interested in his product, when it came time for the V.C. guys to loosen the purse strings, the purse strings stayed clenched shut like... umm, you're a Mormon so I shouldn't use any sexual analogies... umm... clenched shut like clenched-shut purse strings. So he was just burning money on office space while not actually getting any income and $2.2 million really doesn't go as far as it used to, so, within 6 years, he was out of cash. And he attempted to get patents for his software, but Microsoft has much better patent guys that can always make it seem like they thought of something first, and he's too old to find work easily. Just a cautionary tale for you, though you're a good two decades younger than he was when he won.
RexKix (with the Professor Frink avvie) has been chronicling your progress on a daily basis in this RottenTomatoes.com thread, so say "Hi" to him.
Who is the sacrificial lamb contestant I've felt most sorry for? D. Hamada on Thursday's show 'cuz she's cute.