Danger! Fans go wild as Ken Jennings shows off rare memorabilia belonging to Art Fleming, the game show’s original host
DANGER! Fans got a rare look at what clues originally looked like thanks to Ken Jennings.
He revealed on Twitter that he was given a piece of the game board from back when Art Fleming hosted the show.
Ken, 48, tweeted on Saturday: “Wanted to show off this cool gift from my friend Stan.
“An early 70’s cardboard clue by Art Fleming Jeopardy!. The right answer? We may never know,” he joked.
The notice was in yellow type and read, “‘Peanuts’ character now calling himself ‘Joe Cool’ and ‘BMOC’ – ‘Big Mutt on Campus’.”
It didn’t take long for fans to figure out the clue was just a classically complex way of asking about “Snoopy.”
But what was so nice was that the all-too-familiar Korina font (which Jeopardy! now uses) in white with a dark blue background was nowhere to be found.
In fact, it was so cool to discover that the now-digital clues displayed on-screen were once printed out on giant cardboard – fans just didn’t know.
Followers marveled at how different the clues looked at the time, with one commenting, “Oh my god.”
“What a fabulous gift!” wrote another fan.
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“The comma right under the closed quotes makes me happy,” joked another.
The show has known (or notoriously) angered some hardcore grammarians by now putting punctuation marks outside of the quotation marks.
“That is so cool! I wonder how many of these survived,” gushed a fourth.
“I just want to know how they made these. Was it screenprints? Some kind of tempra ink stamp print?
They must have had a really interesting production line to make hundreds of these for each taping,” wondered a fifth.
“There’s ‘HOW TOO LITTLE’ ‘QUICTION MARKS’ in my ‘OPINION’,” rapped a sixth.
“IT IS LOST”
The longtime Jeopardy! Spectators looking to relive or even learn about the original era might be hard pressed aside from gems like this one.
On the weekly podcast Inside Jeopardy! admitted producer and former Clue Crew member Sarah Foss that the game show lost all — yes, all — episodes from that 20-year era somewhere along the way.
“We don’t even have the first episode of the show,” Foss recently said on the show’s podcast.
The only episode they have is “The Original Pilot,” which “never aired.”
“It’s just one of those things, tapes used to be so big and so heavy and over time we ran out of space or disk space to store them, all these older programs. It has been lost.”
“If only we had known that I would love to go back and watch so many special episodes,” lamented the producer.
In the original version, contestants were allowed to keep all the money they accumulated during the game, regardless of whether they finished first, second, or third.
In the early ’90s, the runner-up and third-place consolation prizes were changed to include various merchandise provided by the sponsors.
In 2002, second- and third-place finishers were awarded $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.
They still get that today, which the late Art might not be thrilled about if he were here.
Art opened up about this change in an interview with NBC back in the ’90s.
“You could be in second place, just $1 off the top, and you’d get a year’s supply of dog food.”
All in all, Art wasn’t Ken or Alex when it came to trivia, and he admitted it himself: “If I didn’t have this sheet in front of me, you wouldn’t find me within a mile of this studio.”
3. JENN ERATION
Art Fleming hosted Jeopardy! when it began in 1964 until 1979 during the day on NBC – he died in 1997.
Alex Trebek hosted from 1984 until 2020, when he tragically passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80 – his run kick-starting what is considered a modern-day iteration of the show.
Still the game show’s most successful contestant of all time (74 wins in 2004), Ken was named host in 2022.
Johnny Gilbert, 94, – the voice of “This is Jeopardy!” — started alongside the late Alex and is the longest-serving staffer — he’s still the announcer for Ken and co-host Mayim Bialik, 47.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/7252008/jeopardy-ken-jennings-rare-clue-detail-art-fleming/ Danger! Fans go wild as Ken Jennings shows off rare memorabilia belonging to Art Fleming, the game show’s original host