Really no one picked the 6th category Happy Black History Month, everyone, courtesy of last night’s all-white College Jeopardy panel! In the second round of play, the contestants sailed through five of the categories—including “International Cinema Showcase,” “Weather Verbs,” and “Kiwi Fauna”—but avoided the sixth like the, ahem, black plague. That category was “African-American History.” In other words, these kids were more confident in their knowledge of weird animals in New Zealand than black human beings in America.

You might not typically think of Jeopardy! as a source of opinion on the hot-button political issues of the day, but on the Jan. 21 edition of the game show, a saucy clue challenged that perception. Under a category called “Civil” the $800 clue read as follows: “Some opponents of same-sex marriage say, hey gay folks, how about these? Wouldn’t these be good enough?” The correct answer, of course, is “What are civil unions?”

Jeopardy! dropped some serious truth about how ridiculous it sounds to offer civil unions as a consolation prize. Hell yeah. 

Behind the Category - Aladdin on Broadway

We’ve been fortunate to tape Jeopardy! clues on the sets or with the casts of over a dozen of Broadway’s biggest shows. From “Phantom of the Opera” to “Wicked” and most recently, “Aladdin”, our goal is to put the Jeopardy! viewer in the middle of the action of these Broadway hits.

One challenge for us, when we tape with a Broadway show, is to figure out exactly how much we can expect our contestants and viewers to know, as they may not have seen the production. When we approached the producers of Aladdin, we thought this show in particular would provide us with enough material for an entire category, since so many people are familiar with the Disney film, the underlying book/material upon which it’s based, as well as the show’s success, both commercially and at the Tonys. So, the cast members agreed to come in one Friday afternoon, record their clues for us, and then put on a performance that evening.

Our arrangement with Disney Theatrical allowed us to try something unusual…have the actors present Jeopardy! clues, in character, supported by video clips of musical highlights from the actual production. Until now, Jeopardy! had never done this, so it was a little bit of a risk. As you can see from the enhanced production values and engaging game play, the risk paid off. We hope everyone enjoyed the category, and our thanks to the entire production team of “Aladdin on Broadway”.

And who knows what show Jeopardy! will feature next?

Written by Supervising Producer, Rocky Schmidt