I Lost on Jeopardy

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"I Lost on Jeopardy"
I Lost On Jeopardy2.jpg
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"
Recorded December 12, 1983
Genre Comedy, power pop
Length 3:26
Label Scotti Brothers
Songwriter(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"
"I Lost on Jeopardy"
"This Is The Life"
"King of Suede"
"I Lost On Jeopardy"
"This Is The Life"

"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 an Audio Daily Double on the daytime episode that originally aired on October 23, 1984, when the contestant who got the clue was asked to identify the artist of the song from an audio sample of the song but failed to do so, and the subject of a Daily Double on the April 27, 2012 episode of the show, but the contestant receiving the clue—which consisted of the release year and some lyrics—failed to identify the song.[1] 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).[2]

Track listing[edit]

7" single[edit]

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

12" promo single[edit]

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

Music video[edit]

The music video,[3] shot on May 24 and 25, 1984 and directed by Francis Delia,[4] takes place on a reproduction of the original Jeopardy! set.

At the beginning of the video, Yankovic plays against Leroy Finkelstein, a plumber from Brooklyn, New York and Millard Snofgen, an architect from Carbondale, Illinois, both with a Ph.D. The board contains a series of befuddling and nearly-impossible clues from these six categories: "T.V. Themes", "Nuclear Physics", "World Geography", "Food", "Potpourri", and "Famous Accordion Players". Although the other contestants manage to get many of their questions right, Yankovic lost 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 reading "complete loser". Art Fleming raspberries Yankovic as staff members come to kick him from the studio, tearing a piece of wood off from the podium. Yankovic hopes his luck will change "next weekend on The Price Is Right", and is thrown out from the studio and later into an Alfa Romeo Spider driven by Greg Kihn himself, with the license plate reading "LOSER".

Kihn described his car as "a vintage sports car to approximate the one I drove in the original "Jeopardy" video."[5] The bride in the car "would shortly become a major rock star in an all-girls L.A. band," but who must remain nameless.[6]

References to the original "Jeopardy" video[edit]

  • As staff members come to kick him out from the studio, Yankovic tears up a piece of wood off from the podium. In the original "Jeopardy" video, Kihn tears up a piece of pew off, where the monster pulled him into the center of the church.
  • Yankovic is thrown out from the studio and later into an Alfa Romeo Spyder driven by Kihn himself, with the license plate reading "LOSER". In the original "Jeopardy" video, Kihn drives away with a female bride in an MG MGB convertible, with the license plate reading "LIPS".

Chart positions[edit]

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

See also[edit]