Do you every watch the TV game show “Jeopardy?” It’s my all-time favorite because you really have to be smart to win, and not just guess how much a bottle of ketchup costs or spin a wheel for a trip to Paw Paw, West Virginia.
As most of you know, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is battling pancreatic cancer. He’s taken some time off of late and last week they aired five days of “Celebrity Jeopardy” from 2001.
On one day last week the three contestants were Martha Stewart, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and basketball star Charles Barkley. Charles played in the NBA through the 1999-2000 season so he was just starting his broadcasting career.
On the show, Charles didn’t buzz in once during the whole first round, giving him zero points heading into Double Jeopardy. He picked it up a little bit in the next round, and of the five or six times he actually answered he only missed one.
As usual, he was funny. He kept trying his buzzer to make sure it wasn’t broken, then he jokingly threatened Stewart, who was beating him to the punch with regularity. It was all in fun and when Charles missed his “Final Jeopardy” answer he ended up with zero points, but the charity he chose to play for still received $10,000. And, by the way, Martha Stewart won.
Charles has come a long way in the past 20 years, becoming one of TV’s most recognizable celebrities. I thoroughly enjoy the NBA show on TNT with Charles, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. Charles always says something colorful, and maybe a bit off color, but he gets away with it because “he’s Charles.”
One of my favorite lines from Charles was a few years ago when Vince Carter had to hurry back from Chapel Hill, North Carolina for an NBA playoff game. He had gone back to UNC to finish his education and went through the graduation ceremony to receive his diploma.
Smith, a fellow Tar Heel, revealed that he had also gone back to finish school. Then Kenny turned to Barkley, who left Auburn early for the NBA, and asked Charles if he had his diploma.
“No I don’t,” replied Barkley. “But I got a bunch of lawyers who work for me that got theirs.”