News and Commentary

FLASHBACK: Wolf Blitzer Utterly Humiliated On ‘Jeopardy!’

Wolf Blitzer is the smartest man in the world. He hosts roughly 22 hours per day of news coverage on CNN, and knows the difference between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (and how to pronounce them!).

But exactly nine years ago today, September 17, 2009, Blitzer got blitzed on Jeopardy! losing the game — and, in the process, his dignity. The talking head appeared on the celebrity edition of the quiz show with actress Dana Delaney and late-night sidekick Andy Richter (both of whom beat the pants off him).

The show was hugely humiliating for Blitzer, who ended Double Jeopardy with -$4,600. That’s right, negative $4,600. But Alex Trebek, wonderful guy that he is, hit Blitzer up with $5,600 — giving him a balance of $1,000 — so he could hang around for Final Jeopardy (all the winnings eventually went to charity).

The highest total Blitzer got to was $2,200 before he started his plunge. We’re going to list a few of Blitzer’s blunderous answers (by answers we mean questions), but we STRONGLY suggest you watch the video below. It’s just too perfect.

Clue: “The name of this pasta similar to penne means ‘little moustaches’ — doesn’t sound so tasty now.”

Blitzer’s response: “What is fettuccine?” Wrong. Correct response: ​Mostaccioli.

Clue: “An accused person in court, along with his counsel.” (By the way, this was in the category of “E Times Three,” which meant each correct response would have three Es).

Blitzer’s response: “What is a defendant.” Wrong. Correct answer, the defense.

Clue: “King David and Jesus both hailed from this town.” (Again, from the same “E” category).

Blitzer’s response: “What is, uh, Jerusalem.” Buzzzzz! Jerusalem has two Es. Correct response: Bethlehem.

And again from the same category:

Clue: “Selected some material from a larger work.”

Blitzer’s response: “Annotated.” (He didn’t even give the answer in the form of a question, but Trebek took pity on him and let it go.)

But dude, there’s one E in that word. Three Es! Three! (Correct response: Excerpted.)

Clue: “The 1850s saw a bad one of this five-letter word that refers to an economic crash & the fear-driven rush to sell.”

Blitzer’s response: “What is a crash.” Uh, Trebek said crash in the clue! Eeeee! Wrong. Correct response: Panic.

Clue: ” ‘If you can read, you can cook,’ she wrote in the introduction to her classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Blitzer’s response: “Who is Julia Childs,” but that’s not her name: It’s Julia Child. (He was close!)

At the end of Duble Jeopardy, Trebek said: “Wolf, things have not worked out as well as you had hoped for, I’m sure,” and made an excuse for him. Meanwhile, Richter had racked up $39,000!

But Wolf did get the final “Jeopardy!” response correct. The category: “Famous Actors.” The clue: “Ironically, he lost the leading role in the 1960 play ‘The Best Man’ because he didn’t look presidential.”

Blitzer wrote Ronald Reagan, which was right! He doubled his money to $2,000.

Richter also got the right response and wound up with $68,000.

Maybe Conan O’Brien’s sidekick should be the host of “The Situation Room.”

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