Jeopardy (song)

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"Jeopardy"
Single by The Greg Kihn Band
from the album Kihnspiracy
B-side "Fascination"
Released 1983
Genre Rock, dance-rock, power pop
Length 3:47
Label Beserkley Records
Writer(s) Greg Kihn / Steve Wright
Producer(s) Matthew King Kaufman
The Greg Kihn Band singles chronology
"Happy Man"
(1982)
"Jeopardy"
(1983)
"Tear That City Down"
(1983)

"Jeopardy" is a hit song released in 1983 by The Greg Kihn Band on their album Kihnspiracy. It is the band's first and only Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching #2 in May 1983 (behind Michael Jackson's "Beat It") and also hitting #1 on the dance charts for two weeks a month earlier. The song is written in the key of D minor. The song switches to the relative F Major Key in the song's Pre-Chorus.

Track listing[edit]

7" single[edit]

  1. "Jeopardy" (3:47)
  2. "Fascination" (2:43)

12" single[edit]

  1. "Jeopardy" [dance mix] (6:45)
  2. "Jeopardy" [instrumental version] (6:32)

Music video[edit]

The song was featured in a surrealistic music video depicting a wedding disintegrating into a nightmare.

Plot description[edit]

A bride-to-be gets out of her car screen right and enters a church. Soon afterwards a groom-to-be (portrayed by Kihn himself) gets out of another car screen left and enters an adjoining church. Entering in the groom's back entrance, he is readied for his impending marriage (to another bride) by his parents, who nudge him into the church's main hall. Inside the main hall, a children's choir is seen singing the song's first chorus, the minister, the rest of the groom's family, as well as the groom's ushers (portrayed by Kihn's band). The (other) bride is led by her father, who rather forcefully gives her to Kihn. As the minister recites the vow questions, Kihn turns his head backwards multiple times, as he cannot help feeling that something is amiss at the ceremony. He looks at his parents and notices that they are handcuffed together. The minister asks Kihn for the ring. He looks at this bride's parents and sees that the hands that are being held together in a handshake of friendship merge and morph into a bone-destroying blob. The minister asks Kihn for the ring again. He looks at his aunt and uncle and notices that they are literally joined at the hip. The minister asks Kihn for the ring a third time, this time using sign language. He reaches into his coat pocket and finds the ring, puts it on the bride's hand and takes off the veil. The bride proves to be a zombie, who lets out an earth-shattering screech. (This is a possible reference to Bride of the Monster.) Kihn screeches in horror at the sight. The entire congregation turns into zombies (possibly referencing Night of the Living Dead) except for Kihn, who makes his first attempt at escaping. Just as he is halfway down the aisle between the church's pews, a gigantic, tentacled monster emerges from the church's podium. The monster pulls him to the center of the church. Kihn, in retaliation, breaks off a piece of a pew and uses it as a spear. He pokes and cuts into the tentacle with the "pew spear," and the monster goes back down into the floorboards. Kihn then uses it like a guitar and sings the last verse to the crowd. He then makes a second run for the door, the congregation coming after him, and this time he succeeds. Next is seen what looks like a successful end to the proceedings, but it is revealed to be a movie watched by burning skeletons of the bride and groom. The screen dissolves to reveal that this has all been a dream of Kihn's. Kihn then takes a bottle of champagne and sneaks out the back way of the church. He jumps into a convertible and glances over, just in time to see the bride-to-be from the video's beginning running away from her own wedding. He pulls in front of her, and she gets into his car. (Its license plate reads "LIPS.") They pop the cork of the champagne bottle and ride off into the sunset.

Video production[edit]

Exterior shots of the video were filmed in San Francisco's Mission District.

Parody[edit]

Main article: I Lost on Jeopardy

A parody of the song, titled "I Lost on Jeopardy", was released by "Weird Al" Yankovic in 1984. Kihn appeared in a cameo in the music video for Yankovic's parody, driving the car into which Yankovic is thrown into after being "ejected" from the Jeopardy! game show. Art Fleming and Don Pardo, host and announcer, respectively, of the original version of Jeopardy!, also make a cameo appearance.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[1] 4
Germany (Media Control Charts)[2] 18
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[3] 21
Bangladesh (VI)[4] 22
South Africa (South African Top 20) [5] 6
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 17
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 63
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play [10] 1
Preceded by
Thriller by Michael Jackson (all cuts)
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
April 9, 1983 – April 16, 1983
Succeeded by
"Angel Man (G.A.)" by Rhetta Hughes

References[edit]