I Lost on Jeopardy

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"I Lost on Jeopardy"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D
B-side "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead" (7" version)
"Mr. Popeil" (12" version)
Released June 4, 1984
Format 7"
12"
Recorded December 12, 1983
Genre Comedy
Length 3:26
Label Scotti Brothers
Writer(s) Original song by Greg Kihn, Steve Wright; parody lyrics by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Producer(s) Rick Derringer
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"King of Suede"
(1984)
"I Lost On Jeopardy"
(1984)
"This Is The Life"
(1984)
"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D track listing
  1. "Eat It"
  2. "Midnight Star"
  3. "The Brady Bunch"
  4. "Buy Me a Condo"
  5. "I Lost on 'Jeopardy"
  6. "Polkas on 45"
  7. "Mr. Popeil"
  8. "King of Suede"
  9. "That Boy Could Dance"
  10. "Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)"
  11. "Nature Trail to Hell"

"I Lost on Jeopardy" is a song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from his second album, "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. The song is a parody of "Jeopardy" by The Greg Kihn Band, and its refrain "Our love's in jeopardy". The parody's lyrics center on the then-former game show Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming; a syndicated revival, with Alex Trebek, began three months after the single's release.

The song became the fourth music video released by Yankovic, and featured a number of cameo appearances including Kihn, Fleming, Yankovic's mentor Dr. Demento, original Jeopardy! announcer Don Pardo, and Yankovic's parents.

The song has been referenced several times on the game show itself, including once as a category on the current Alex Trebek-hosted version, and later when Yankovic appeared on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!. It was the subject of a Daily Double on the April 27, 2012 episode of the show, but the contestant didn't identify the song given the year it came out and some lyrics from it. The song was played over the closing credits on the second episode of Rock & Roll Jeopardy! on which Yankovic appeared.

The song has appeared on several compilation albums, including Greatest Hits (1988), Wacky Favorites (1993), and Permanent Record: Al in the Box (1994).[1]

Track listing[edit]

7" single[edit]

  1. "I Lost on Jeopardy" – 3:26
  2. "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead" – 3:37

(The promo 7" single only contains "I Lost On Jeopardy")

12" promo single[edit]

  1. "I Lost on Jeopardy" – 5:31 (Extended Mix).
  2. "Mr. Popeil" – 4:40

Music video[edit]

The music video,[2] shot on May 24 and 25, 1984 and directed by Francis Delia,[3] takes place on a reproduction of the 1964–1975 Jeopardy! set.

In his game, Yankovic plays against a plumber (Mr. Leroy Finkelstein from Brooklyn, New York) and an architect (Mr. Millard Snofgen from Carbondale, Illinois), both with a Ph.D. The board contains a series of befuddling and nearly-impossible clues from these categories: "T.V. Themes", "Nuclear Physics", "World Geography", "Food", "Potpourri", and "Famous Accordion Players". Although the other contestants manage to get their questions right, Yankovic misses every clue, finishing with a score of -$6,750 and proceeding to give up.

Don Pardo proceeds to tell Yankovic of what he did not win: neither consolation prizes nor "a lousy copy" of the home game. Furthermore, Pardo tells Yankovic that he has made himself look like a jerk in front of millions of people, and has brought shame and disgrace to his family name for generations to come as a result of his disastrous showing while his score continues to plummet and his podium begins to break down. Pardo tells Yankovic that he will not come back the next day and that he is a "complete loser" as the camera cuts to the board, now replaced with cards saying "complete loser". Art Fleming raspberries Yankovic as security guards come to kick him out from the studio. Embarrassed but undaunted, Yankovic hopes his luck will change "next weekend on The Price Is Right", and is literally thrown out from the studio into a convertible driven by Greg Kihn himself, making it Yankovic's only video to feature the original artist who is being parodied.

Radio personality Dr. Demento, the man credited with discovering Yankovic, makes a cameo appearance as a control booth technician at the 1:59 and 3:00 marks.

Trivia[edit]

  • As Yankovic is being taken away from the studio, he clutches his lectern, tearing a piece of wood off. In the original "Jeopardy" video, Kihn tears a piece of wood off a pew as he is pulled toward the center of the church.
  • Yankovic is kicked out from the studio, thrown head-first into a convertible driven by Kihn bearing the license plate LOSER. In the original "Jeopardy" video, Kihn drives away with his would-be bride in a convertible bearing the license plate LIPS.
  • One of the answers reads "Secret ingredient found in Cheez Whiz and crazy glue". The answer is C6H8O2.
  • The answer to Potpourri for $100 is the Lorentz transformation.
  • An answer in TV Themes is the Vitameatavegamin girl from "I Love Lucy".
  • In September 1984, just 3 months after this song's release, Jeopardy! was revived on TV and continues to air to this day.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 81

References[edit]

See also[edit]