Ken Jennings

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Ken Jennings
Kenjennings.jpg
Noted Subjects:
Jeopardy!
Current Collegiate Team None
Past Collegiate Teams BYU (1996-2000)
High School Team
Middle School Team None

Ken Jennings is best known for his record-setting run on Jeopardy! that captivated the country in the summer of 2004. Jennings won a still-record 74 consecutive games and defeated numerous other quizbowl personalities, including Leo Wolpert and Jeff Hoppes, in the process. He is currently an editor for NAQT. He (and the various NAQT diehards of the mid-00s who were also interviewed at the time) took his newfound fame as an opportunity to use the mainstream media as the vehicle to settle feuds with ACF from 1995, by crowing that his victory on a game show had resolved some "format war" with which the contemporary quizbowl circuit was unfamiliar. This tactic blew up in NAQT's face when Jennings repeatedly lost on Jeopardy to Chip Beall acolyte Brad Rutter.

BYU Quizbowl

Jennings was part of of the BYU team from fall 1996 until 1999-2000. In 1998, Adam Fine ranked him as the 81st best quizbowl player he had seen play.

Political commentator

Jennings has used his C-list celebrity status to pen several columns on his personal website and in major media outlets such as the New York Daily News, demanding that all criticism of Mormon ideology cease. He showed up to a discussion of Mormon abuses on Brian Rostron's blog and did not answer the question of how much of his Jeopardy winnings were tithed into the Church's anti-gay campaigns. More recently, Jennings has made it clear that he is a celebrity and piddly quizbowl contributors such as Fred Morlan are not, and should think twice before attempting to participate on his endless succession of self-promotional social media outlets. This behavior has attracted derision from the Internet media, as has Jennings's attempts to engage in political humor while remaining coy about his own politics, which have infuriated conservatives on the one hand, while also increasingly alienating liberals as he dives further into the realm of gay-baiting. Jennings's previous declarations that believing in civil rights for sexual minorities is childish, not "classy," and against the right of the Mormon church to dictate who may get married, which is presumably in the special Constitution that Jennings can read with his magic seer stones, wash poorly with his attempts at making light of the issue. Generally, Jennings's long career of defending homophobia in the public sphere makes his gay "jokes" read with much more cringeworthy bite than he probably intends, which as of April 2014 is currently causing a rift among the slightly grown-up John Green fans looking for another "geek idol" to mindlessly worship who up to this point have lapped up everything he says.

Other media

In 2015, Jennings appeared as himself on an episode of Mysteries at the Museum discussing the evolution of road maps. Ironically, this same episode also featured as segment entitled "Attack of the Killer Bees", which one expects he might have had greater in-depth knowledge of, given his background with NAQT.

On the April 2, 2017 episode of The Simpsons entitled "Caper Chase", Jennings voiced himself alongside scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, screenwriter/philosopher Robert McKee, and financial talking head Suze Orman, collectively referred to as "the greatest educators in the world" ... at least in the episode.

Links

Ken Jennings' website
"How I beat Ken Jennings", by James Quintong

National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC

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