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"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 game show Jeopardy!, which was nearing the end of a five-year hiatus at the time the song was released, and features a guest vocal from Don Pardo, who announced for Jeopardy! from 1964 to 1975.

"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)
ReleasedJune 4, 1984
Format7"
12"
RecordedDecember 12, 1983
GenreComedy, power pop
Length3:26
LabelScotti 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)

The song has appeared on several compilation albums, including Greatest Hits (1988), Wacky Favorites (1993), and Permanent Record: Al in the Box (1994).[1]

Contents

Track listingEdit

7" singleEdit

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

12" promo singleEdit

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

Music videoEdit

ProductionEdit

The video was directed by Francis Delia [2] and filmed on May 24 and 25, 1984.[3] The video loosely parodies the music video for "Jeopardy". The video takes place on a set loosely based on the 1964-75 version of the quiz show Jeopardy! and depicts a "behind-the-scenes" look at the show; in addition to Pardo appearing on-camera, the video features cameo appearances by original Jeopardy! host Art Fleming, Yankovic's mentor, Dr. Demento, members of Yankovic's band, his real-life parents and a brief cameo by Greg Kihn at the end.[4] (Jeopardy! had last aired in 1979; it was being prepared for a modernized relaunch at the time the song was recorded and released, though Fleming had already declined to return as host.[5])

SynopsisEdit

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 six 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 instead.

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 off a piece of wood from his podium as two stagehands forcibly grab him and literally throw him out from the studio. Yankovic comments in his song's lyrics that he will do better next weekend on The Price Is Right. 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" videoEdit

  • As two stagehands forcibly grab him to throw him out from the studio, Yankovic rips off a piece of wood 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 positionsEdit

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

Use on Jeopardy!Edit

The song and video's release in 1983 preceded the revival of the game show in 1984 with Alex Trebek as its new host. Yankovic stated that he had heard stories that the popularity of his song led the show's producer Merv Griffin to launch the 1984 revival.[4]

The song has been referenced several times on the new Jeopardy! itself, including once as a category, 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,[8] 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 in identifying the singer.[9] The song was played over the closing credits on the second episode of Rock & Roll Jeopardy! on which Yankovic appeared.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lick, Marty (December 26, 2004). "The Weird Al Information Source". Retrieved May 15, 2007.
  2. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection
  3. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic - I Lost On Jeopardy on YouTube
  4. ^ a b Suskind, Alex (July 15, 2014). "The History Behind 12 Great Weird Al Videos". Vulture. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  5. ^ Later with Bob Costas interview with Art Fleming, early 1990s, posted by Wink Martindale 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.
  8. ^ Woman Loses on Jeopardy! Because of "I Lost on Jeopardy" (Apr. 27, 2012)
  9. ^ Jeopardy! - "I Lost on Jeopardy" (Mar. 15, 2018)