Monday, March 6, 2017

"I Lost on Jeopardy" by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Song#:  1961
Date:  06/30/1984
Debut:  83
Peak:  81
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Comedy

Pop Bits:  This parody would be the third single lifted from Yankovic's hit album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. This time around, Yankovic used Greg Kihn's #2 hit "Jeopardy" as the basis for a song about the eternal TV game show of the same name. Although the single wouldn't get very far on the Pop chart, the accompanying video got significant airplay on MTV. The video featured Yankovic competing on Jeopardy! (and losing, big time) and included cameo appearances by Greg Kihn, Dr. Demento, Art Fleming and Don Pardo. Fleming was the original host of the game show and Pardo was the announcer.

ReduxReview:  This is a song that is perfect parody territory for Yankovic; and he didn't have to look beyond the title for inspiration! I wasn't that fond of his previous single "King of Suede" as I thought the song was way too serious for a parody, but this Greg Kihn hit was the right material. Yankovic does another solid parody and gets the bonus of having the great Don Pardo do a guest spot. Yet, once again, the song plays better via video, so I can't say I'd hit the repeat button on this tune. However, he absolutely knows what he is doing here.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The timing of this single was certainly good for the game show. During the time Yankovic was writing the parody, Jeopardy! had been off the air for four years. The show, created by Merv Griffin, originally debuted in 1964 and stayed on the air until 1975. A new version of the show began in 1978, but was cancelled the following year, mainly due to competition from other daytime shows. During both runs, Art Fleming served as host. However, when a syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune became an evening hit in 1983, Griffin redeveloped Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek as host and the two shows got paired up. Both shows have been on the air since. The Trebek version of Jeopardy! would debut just three short months after the release Yankovic's single. The video for the song nearly served as a promotional tool for the upcoming show.


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