So it turns out that 74-time “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings is ridiculously hilarious. He may have recently lost at “Jeopardy!” to IBM supercomputer Watson, but Jennings firmly secured his place as the world’s greatest geek yesterday by posting an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) interview to Reddit.com. Thousands of questions from Reddit users poured in, and Jennings (aka “WatsonsBitch”) answered as many as super-humanly possible. Here are 11 of Jennings’ most awesome answers:
1. On his Reddit username, “WatsonsBitch”:
“Lots of people think it’s a Jeopardy reference, but actually I was thinking of that time Watson and I were cellmates in prison, and it kept raping me.”
2. On using marijuana:
“Never been high — except on a drug called Ken Jennings! (Warning, Ken Jennings may cause drowsiness, nausea, ‘housemaid’s knee,’ night blindness, paralysis, or death. Ask your doctor if Ken Jennings is right for you.)”
3. On being a highly logical person of Mormon faith:
“I thought this might come up. Normally I would think you were a jackass for telling a stranger ‘Hey, your religion sucks!’ but luckily this is an AMA, so all courtesy bets are off.
“It’s true that, from a rationalistic point of view, Mormonism has plenty that is crazy-seeming about it, but then again, so do all religions. To me–even me, a guy who tends toward sensible, naturalistic explanations for things!–that is what gives religion its charm. All I know is that my faith makes me happy and makes me a much better person.
“That doesn’t mean I agree with everything all Mormons do (for example: the ‘Soldier of Love’ video by Donny Osmond) or even everything the institutional church has done. People are flawed. But in general, Mormons are salt-of-the-earth when the chips are down. They have your back. Even the South Park guys know that.”
4. On the discrimination of homosexuality in Mormonism:
“Fair point; see ‘I don’t agree with everything all Mormons do’ above. Personally, I am all about the gays.”
5. On proving he’s not replicant:
“Nice try! You can’t win 74 straight Jeopardy games without also learning how to pass the Voight-Kampff. Nexus-6 babeeee.”
6. On how his life has changed most since becoming a Jeopardy! superstar:
“Old people can’t keep their dry, lilac-scented hands off me. Man, do old people ever love Jeopardy. I can’t go anywhere in public
where there might be old people, like Hallmark stores or cemeteries.”
7. On whether or not he hired writers to make his AMA so hilarious:
“Bruce Vilanch is hiding under my desk right now. Unfortunately he’s not writing jokes for me, if you know what I mean.”
8. On what he’s bad at:
“I can’t sing. I’ve never beaten my wife at bowling. I have the same $8 haircut I had when I was five.”
9. On “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, in poetry:
“There once was a host named Trebek, Whose mustache was sexy as heck. It would have been weird If he’d grown a big beard, Like Conan, or Riker on Trek.”
10. On how to prepare for a go on “Jeopardy!”:
“Congrats! You will be joining an elite club of virgins.
“Preparation: my book Brainiac is okay for that, but Bob Harris’s book Prisoner of Trebekistan is better. (Mine is less Jeopardy-centric.) Mike Dupee’s out of print How To Get on Jeopardy…and Win is best of all. But I think the title might be a little on-the-nose, don’t you?
“Read The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Know world capitals. Know US presidents and their dates. Remember: by the odds, most first-timers lose, so be determined to have fun no matter what. You will also play better that way.
“Don’t wear a sweater, you will look like a tool.”
11. On weird Mormon trivia:
“1. Christian Aguilera was born Mormon. Not our finest effort.
“2. The original proposed name for Utah, ‘Deseret,’ isn’t related to “desert.” It’s a Book of Mormon word (and therefore etymologically iffy to nonbelievers) meaning ‘honeybee.’
“3. Mormon congregations are called ‘wards,’ and dioceses are called ‘stakes.’ Some of our houses of worship used to therefore be called “stake houses,” but this turned out to be too confusing. (Especially because there was no salad bar.)
“4. Mormon scripture strongly implies that the apostle John, as well as three Book of Mormon disciples, never actually died but are still kicking around someplace. Awesomely, this leads some Mormons to repeat urban legends about ‘the three Nephites’ miraculously appearing to help little old ladies, repair the cars of stranded travelers, etc.
“5. My Sunday school teacher, when I was a Mormon teen, once memorably advised us that ‘There’s nothing more overrated than sex, and nothing more underrated than a good bowel movement.’ It totally worked…I don’t remember a single other sermon from when I was a kid, but I think about this guy exactly once a day, and then again once a week.”
In addition to being the longest-running champion on “Jeopardy!,” Jennings is also the author of three books, Brainiac, Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac and Maphead. To get more Jennings, you can follow him on Twitter, or check out his website, Ken-Jennings.com. (/Jennings love-fest)
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