What Is Panic?

Early in the week I predicted Andy Richter would win the Celebrity JEOPARDY! match on Thursday, as he was up against actress Dana Delaney and lunkhead CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. I didn’t know just how right I would be.

I didn’t have a particular read on Delaney — as I said Monday, the law of averages would make her at least smarter than Blitzer who is, as mentioned above, a lunkhead — but Richter, like any good comedian, has seemed pretty sharp, which generally means he’s got an accumulation of trivia and otherwise useless information floating around in his head. He put it to good use in the match aired Thursday, racking up more than $32,000 by the end of Double Jeopardy! Delaney had a respectable four-digit score, but Blitzer ended the round with -$4,600, losing nearly a third of that by answering “crash” to a question about mid-19th century financial troubles that used the word “crash” in the clue (the J! Archive should have details in a couple of days). It was almost difficult to watch I was laughing so hard.

In fact, Blitzer mostly seemed versed on food-related subjects, correctly answering “What is Kobe beef?”, identifying “pullet” as chicken, and almost getting Julia Child’s name right before judges came back and yanked his points back for saying “Childs.”

Was it an aberration? Was the series of clues (capital of China, leader of the “Long March,” Chinese city whose name also meant impression of sailors) just out of Blitzer’s experience? Were Delaney and Richter just too damn fast on the button for him to be saved from humiliation?

Richter ran the clip below on The Tonight Show. It’s some behind-the-scenes footage from before the contest, including the practice game where Blitzer muffs a pretty easy Final Jeopardy!, and shows his progress up to that point.