Ken Jennings Is Still the Man

When last we saw Ken Jennings, he was striking one final blow for humanity in a failed “Jeopardy” battle against the supercomputer Watson. The “Simpsons” reference certainly isn’t the first time Jennings has shown his humor on the show (see also: “What’s a hoe?” and “What be ebonics?”), and longtime Jennings fans know that the Mormon with the speedy buzzer has wit to match his knowledge. But it’s never been on display quite like his Q-and-A session over at Reddit yesterday. Answering questions under the handle “WatsonsBitch,” Jennings engaged in repartee with some of the Internet’s sharpest geeks. Some of his gems:

Old people can’t keep their dry, lilac-scented hands off me. Man, do old people ever love Jeopardy. I can’t go anywhere in public where there might be old people, like Hallmark stores or cemeteries.

Q: Will you write a limerick for Reddit, please?

There once was a host named Trebek…

I forget how it ends but YOUR MOTHER’S A WHORE!

Wait, I got it.

There once was a host named Trebek, Whose mustache was sexy as heck. It would have been weird If he’d grown a big beard, Like Conan, or Riker on Trek.

That’s just savvy Internet joke-making right there. He went for the classic “SNL” sketch first, THEN he wrote a limerick that referenced Conan O’Brien and “Star Trek.” That’s a 1-2 knockout combo that will win over even the surliest geek.

And if the limerick didn’t do it, then this certainly did:

Q: In the sixth season episode “See You in September” of the TV show “Perfect Strangers”, it is revealed that Balki is a licensed nupitiki doctoruthiki, a Myposian marriage counselor. He administers the Myposian marriage test to Larry and Jennifer, to help them get over their fear of getting married. However, no mention was made of this in the second season episode “Since I Lost my Baby”, when Balki and Larry attempt to save the Twinkacettis’ marriage.

Was this a continuity error? Or did Balki receive this certification through some sort of correspondence course from Mypos at a later date?

I’ve thought a lot about this over the years, and have decided that Balki didn’t feel right using his Myposian certification in his adopted country, due to the licensing issues, both legal and ethical, that even he would recognized.

And now we do the dance of joy!

Q: You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It’s crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping.

Why is that, Ken?

Nice try! You can’t win 74 straight Jeopardy games without also learning how to pass the Voight-Kampff. Nexus-6 babeeee.

When I woke up this morning, I was not expecting a Voight-Kampff reference. Do androids dream of electric sheep, Ken?

Probably my favorite part of the talk was the revelation that Jennings once shared an apartment with fellow Mormon Brandon Sanderson, a fantasy author who showed up to ask Jennings a question. That sparked more nerd love, and then Sanderson won the day with this incredible TV pitch:

There’s got to be a sitcom pitch in here somewhere. Two semi-famous Mormons, living together, being nerds. Like Big Bang Theory, only with more green Jell-O. Glen Beck could play the evil apartment building owner who keeps trying to come up with crazy schemes to get us kicked out, since our apartment is rent controlled to 1870’s prices as long as a pure descendant of Brigham Young lives in it.

Stephenie Meyer is our version of Wilson, only instead of standing behind a fence, she hides in the basement and gives cryptic, half-nonsense advice in exchange for bad poetry. Tom Cruise and Jon Travolta live in the rival Scientologist apartment building across the street, and are always trying to one-up us. Season finale: Cruise secretly joins the church of Inglip.

Just go read the whole thread. You’ll get gratuitous “Simpsons” references from Jennings while you learn all about “Jeopardy” behind the scenes, plus the dangers of ceiling fans in Korea.