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"
12"
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"
(1984)
"I Lost on Jeopardy"
(1984)
"This Is The Life"
(1984)

"King of Suede"
(1984)
"I Lost On Jeopardy"
(1984)
"This Is The Life"
(1984)

"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 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, the subject of a Daily Double on the April 27, 2012 episode of the show, with the contestant receiving the clue—which consisted of the release year and some lyrics—failed to identify the song,[1] and the subject of a Daily Double on the March 15, 2018 episode of the show, in which the contestant receiving the clue—which consisted of a part of the lyrics—succeeded to identify the singer.[2] 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).[3]

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]

Production[edit]

The video was directed by Francis Delia [4] and filmed on May 24 and 25, 1984.[5] The video takes place on a re-creation of the original set from the 1964-75 version of the quiz show Jeopardy! (for some reason, the exclamation point used in the show's original logo was missing). The video also depicted a "behind-the-scenes" look at the show, and featured cameo appearances by original Jeopardy! host Art Fleming and announcer Don Pardo, Yankovic's mentor, Dr. Demento, members of Yankovic's band, his real-life parents and a brief cameo by Greg Kihn at the end.

Synopsis[edit]

As the video begins, a nervous Yankovic finds himself pitted against a plumber and an architect, both of whom have a Ph.D that they show to him on stage. After host Art Fleming enters, he reveals the game board and its categories: "T.V. Themes", "Nuclear Physics", "World Geography", "Food", "Potpourri", and "Famous Accordion Players", all of which contain a series of befuddling and nearly-impossible clues. Although the other two contestants effortlessly give many correct responses, Yankovic cannot and eventually gives up.

Announcer Don Pardo proceeds to tell Yankovic what he did not win: a set of encyclopedias, a case of Turtle Wax, and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni. Pardo then tells Yankovic that he has disgraced himself to the audience and his family. Yankovic's podium begins to break down as his score continues to plummet in the negative column, while Pardo announces that he will not come back the next day, nor receive "a lousy copy of our home game", and that he is a "complete loser" as the camera zooms in on the game board, with the money cards replaced with cards reading "complete loser". Fleming raspberries and gives two thumbs down to Yankovic, who rips a piece of wood off his podium as two stagehands forcibly grab him and literally throw him out from the studio. At the end of the video, Yankovic lands in the back seat of an Alfa Romeo Spider convertible driven by Greg Kihn himself, with the license plate reading "LOSER".

References to the original "Jeopardy" video[edit]

  • As the stagehands grab him to throw him out, Yankovic tears off a piece of wood off from his podium. In the original "Jeopardy" video, Kihn tears up a piece of wood from one of the pews, where the monster pulled him into the center of the church.
  • Yankovic lands in the back seat of an Alfa Romeo Spyder convertible 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". According to Kihn, he described his car as "a vintage sports car to approximate the one I drove in the original 'Jeopardy' video".[6] The bride in Kihn's car "would shortly become a major rock star in an all-girls L.A. band", but who must remain nameless.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woman Loses on Jeopardy! Because of "I Lost on Jeopardy" (Apr. 27, 2012)
  2. ^ Jeopardy! - "I Lost on Jeopardy" (Mar. 15, 2018)
  3. ^ Lick, Marty (December 26, 2004). "The Weird Al Information Source". Retrieved May 15, 2007.
  4. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection
  5. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic - I Lost On Jeopardy on YouTube
  6. ^ Kihn, Greg (July 24, 2014). "Weird Al Yankovic and the Marketing of Genius, Greg Kihn Remembers How I Lost on Jeopardy Started with a Phone Call". Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  7. ^ "Veteran Rocker Greg Kihn Talks "Jeopardy" Video, Zombies, Split Pea Soup, Weird Al, Churchtime Shenanigans & The Famous Girl In The Video That He Can't Talk About". 26 August 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.