Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lawyers On, If Not In, Jeopardy!

Posted by Alan Childress

Lawyers and law professors have been well represented on game shows over the years, and have been -- my impression is -- quite successful on Jeopardy!  I do know (by emails) one undefeated five-time champion:  Pat Healy, a lawyer and an indexing editor, among other positions, for LexisNexis. (His great work on my own book will be sold May 17, more later.)  Critical legal studies scholar Peter Gabel is the son of Arlene Francis, who regularly appeared on the panel for What's My Line?, and of an occasional guest panelist, actor Martin Gabel. (Peter was a surprise mystery guest once, too, and stumped his mother.) And Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski appeared on The Dating Game. Was he the catch?

Of course, in the early days, the two most famous game show participants were a psychologist (Joyce Brothers) and a literature prof (Charles Van Doren), the latter more like infamous, in the excellent movie Quiz Show.

Readers can post their own examples of law profs in action, but one you did not hear about is my own appearance, 21 years ago next month, on Concentration, with Alex Trebek. You did not hear about it because I told almost no one, which tells you a lot right now.  Suffice it to say that at the end, Alex was not speaking to me anymore, and the last words I heard were from the housewife from Pamona who remarked, after having trounced me, "And he's a professor, too!"  This as my seat was gliding away from her and Alex (who earlier had corrected her when she said "anxious to" when she meant "eager to"; pedantic twit).  It appeared to be gliding but in fact some Teamster off-camera was pulling me as a dolly.

More on that someday, but really this is a week to celebrate other game show moments.

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Ha! I'm going to have to share this with my wife! Can't argue with an undefeated five-time champion, although I'm sure she'll put me in place real quick:)

Posted by: Thomas | Apr 29, 2010 12:29:13 PM


Wow there is a story there! Really--I mean, "pedantic twit"?? 21 years later and you still have it in for Alex Trebek, one of TVs most beloved characters?? I want to hear more.

Posted by: Bill Gallagher | Apr 29, 2010 4:21:18 PM

Oh, wait, there's more, Bill! Maybe not from me, but from someone we both know?

Posted by: Alan Childress | Apr 29, 2010 5:03:31 PM

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