Skip to content

The Ten Finest Superstar Jeopardy! Contestants Ever


Images: Sony Photos Tv

Though Jeopardy! first aired within the Sixties, it wasn’t till 9 years into the Alex Trebek-hosted version of the collection, on October 26, 1992, that the present first kicked off every week of celeb contests with comedy legend Carol Burnett, discuss present host Regis Philbin, and Knots Touchdown star Donna Mills because the preliminary lineup. Burnett eked out a win with a comparatively meager $2,900 successful.

Over the intervening thirty years, some celebrities have fallen flat on their face (SharkTank‘s Kevin O’Leary, your failure will all the time be memorable, and Saturday evening Reside acquired fifteen sketches out of the premise that the celebs had been otherworldly silly). However there have additionally been fairly just a few celebs who managed to ship underneath these studio lights, nailing the Every day Doubles and wagering neatly, ending up with some gaudy quantities when all was stated and performed.

We have combed via three many years’ price of celeb Jeopardy episodes and located the ten most dominant performances. It needs to be famous that in November of 2001, Jeopardy modified the greenback values ​​on its questions, successfully vanquishing all earlier high performing celebrities prior from this record. So after we rank the ten highest-winning performances, we’ll additionally record the ten highest-winning celeb performances from the pre-doubling period.

The Ten Finest Superstar Jeopardy Video games of All Time

Andy Richter
Money winnings: $68,000
Date: Sep. 17, 2009

The Million Greenback Superstar Invitational that performed out over late 2009 and early 2010 gathered a number of the best-performing celebs from the present’s historical past and allow them to battle it out in a slightly epic event. 5 of the ten all-time greatest celebrities Jeopardy performances come from that event, together with this one, which was the very first quarterfinal matchup. This was the sport by which CNN’s Wolf Blitzer slightly infamously completed the Double Jeopardy spherical $4,600 within the gap (underneath regular circumstances, he would not have been allowed to take part in Ultimate Jeopardy, however within the celeb recreation the present provides gamers a pity $1,000 to wager as a result of it is for charity). However the true story was Andy Richter’s dominance. The comic who was well-known for being Conan O’Brien’s sidekick proved himself to be a quiz-show grasp. Within the Jeopardy spherical, Richter swept the “2-Letter Phrases” class, in Double Jeopardy he guess massive on a Hemingway query for the Every day Double and received, and in Ultimate Jeopardy, he wagered $29,000 out of a potential $39,000 to land on the all-time highest single-game complete for a celeb.

pat sajak
Money winnings: $55,300
Date: January 21, 2010

This was one other Million Greenback Superstar Invitational quarterfinal. the wheel of fortune host was up towards Weeds star Elizabeth Perkins and Determined Housewives husband Doug Savant. He took a commanding lead after the Jeopardy spherical, and though Perkins was capable of rating massive on a Every day Double to maintain her inside $5,000 heading into Ultimate Jeopardy, she flubbed the ultimate query about Charlie Brown, whereas Sajak acquired it proper and landed at that gaudy greenback quantity.

John Berman
Money winnings: $42,900
Date: Might 13, 2015

Up towards Mo Rocca and Wendi McLendon-Covey, CNN anchor John Berman was truly in second place popping out of the Jeopardy spherical. By the top of Double Jeopardy, he had been capable of claw out a $1,600 lead over Rocca, and when all three had been capable of determine this quote — “Simply arrived on the ocean’s deepest pt. Hitting backside by no means felt so good” — as having been from James Cameron, Berman wagered simply sufficient to attain a victory and the third-highest celeb complete in present historical past.

Mo Rocca
Money winnings: $41,600
Date: Might 13, 2015

In the very best celeb efficiency by somebody who did not win their recreation, CBS Sunday Morning corresponding and DailyShow alum Mo Rocca battled with John Berman, guess massive on a Every day Double (“It precedes ‘Particular’ & ‘Prepare To Georgia’ in tune titles”) and received, and agreed his Ultimate Jeopardy reply, solely to complete $1,300 shy of first place .

Michael McKean
Money winnings: $38,800
Date: November 21, 2

Cumulatively, Michael McKean is likely to be the very best celeb Jeopardy participant of all time. He alone holds three of the ten greatest celeb performances in present historical past and is among the present’s most dependable well-known faces. On this matchup, McKean was up towards ITUC: NY actor Hill Harper and the then-current US Secretary of Training Margaret Spellings, and it was a blowout from the beginning. Michael ran the desk on the Stonehenge class in single Jeopardy, and even with Spellings hitting each of the Every day Doubles, McKean ended Double Jeopardy because the runaway chief. He nonetheless guess sufficiently big on Ultimate Jeopardy to set what was then the all-time celeb high-water mark.

Jane Curtin
Money winnings: $37,900
Date: April 16, 2010

Within the quarterfinals of the Million Greenback Superstar Invitational, former Saturday evening Reside and third Rock from the Solar took on Isaac Mizrahi and CCH Pounder. Mizrahi stayed shut all through, however because of a daring wager in Ultimate Jeopardy and a few crucial information of the life and profession of Laurence Olivier, Curtin cruised into the semifinals.

Michael McKean
Money winnings: $37,100
Date: Might 4, 2010

On to the semifinals of the Million Greenback Superstar Invitational, the place McKean confronted off towards Isaac Mizrahi (again once more!) and The Nanny‘s Charles Shaughnessy. It was an in depth contest all through, with every successful one Every day Double and all three separated by simply $5,000 going into Ultimate Jeopardy. McKean and Mizrahi each nailed the Ultimate Jeopardy query (“In 1953 it turned the one state whose official tune was written for a Broadway musical”), however McKean guess sufficient to advance to the finals with a gaudy greenback quantity.

Chris Matthews
Money winnings: $32,400
Date: Might 1, 2003

The previous MSNBC host took on Gilmore Women star Lauren Graham and ER‘s Paul McCrane in a really aggressive matchup. Graham ended the Jeopardy spherical within the lead, however Chris went 4/5 within the Historic Moments class and grabbed the lead heading into Ultimate. And with a ton of confidence in a class that performed to his strengths — Authorities Companies — he guess his whole $16,200 quantity on a query that was truly as a lot about leisure because it was about authorities. He knew that that CIA was the place Emma Peel’s leather-based pants & Maxwell Good’s shoe telephone had been displayed, and thus doubled up and prevailed.

Hal Sparks
Money winnings: $32,000
Date: April 28, 2003

Photo: SHOWTIME/Everett Collection

Queer as People star Hal Sparks went up towards Buying and selling Areas host Paige Davis and Julie Bowen, who on the time was starring because the love curiosity on NBC’s Ed. It was a tremendously shut contest, with Sparks hitting two of the three Every day Doubles, and Bowen going 4/5 on the Oscars class in Double Jeopardy. Bowen had the lead heading into Ultimate — a query concerning the Queen Mary — however Sparks guess every little thing he had, and Bowen guess too timidly, and thus was capable of leapfrog her and take the win.

Michael McKean
Money winnings: $31,600
Date: Might 6, 2010

One final time into the Million Greenback Superstar Invitational. This was day 1 of the two-day last that pitted McKean towards Jane Curtin and Cheech Marin, who was doing all pot people who smoke proud that day. McKean ran the “That is Useful” class in single Jeopardy, however Curtin hit each Every day Doubles in Double Jeopardy, and was thus solely $2,600 behind McKean heading into Ultimate. There, understanding it was a two-day last, they every guess comparatively conservatively — $10,000 apiece, about half of their respective totals — on a query about Moby-Dick. If McKean had been extra aggressive, this recreation would rank so much larger on this record, however he is already on right here 3 times, so it feels impolite to influenza. McKean would go on to win the complete Million Greenback event the following day.

The Ten Finest Superstar Jeopardy Video games Earlier than the Greenback Quantities Had been Doubled

Andy Richter: $24,000 (November 16, 1999)
Jon Stewart: $23,000 (November 17, 1999)
Mark McEwen: $21,700 (April 28, 1997)
Bob Costas: $20,000 (March 22, 1999)
Thomas Gibson: $19,400 (February 5, 1999)
Sam Waterston: $18,800 (Might 1, 1997)
Jeff Greenfield: $18,000 (April 12, 1999)
Jerry Orbach: $17,000 (November 11, 1993)
Peter Krause: $17,000 (November 19, 1999)
Wallace Langham: $16,800 (March 29, 1999)

That is proper — Andy Richter holds the report in each the pre- and post-prize doubling eras. Really the Superstar Jeopardy GOAT. The Serena Williams of the celeb circuit. Another traits of be aware: information individuals/studio host sorts have traditionally performed very effectively right here, with Stewart, Costas, Greenfield, and McEwan representing the 4 corners of televised information (politics, sports activities, climate, and parody). Additionally let’s hear it for Legislation & Orderwhose stars Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston had been among the many greatest performances of all time.

Superstar Jeopardy! premieres on ABC September twenty fifth at 8:00 PM ET.

Persons are speaking about Jeopardy! in our boards. Be part of the dialog.

Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work by him has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vainness Honest, Vulture, The AV Membership and extra.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *