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Author Topic: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984  (Read 1183 times)

DjohnsonCB

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Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« on: March 12, 2019, 07:20:40 PM »
Here's the article; with all the talk about Alex these days I thought I'd bring this up.

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TLEberle

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 07:36:34 PM »
It would be interesting to read what the scribe thought of the show when the audition basically squeezed back pop culture and word play to the point where clues about "He sang 'Hound Dog' " would deadball. (from Inside Jeopardy.)

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JasonA1

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 08:09:30 PM »
Yeah, this writer went out of his way to cherry pick the requisite 2 pop culture categories (1 per round) on the premiere episode as being the death knell for intelligence. He's dinging the 4-Letter Words one too, but Jeopardy's always been about balance.

That said, I wish we had a better way into this discussion...because I sampled a lot of the first season over the past few years, and was surprised to see just how dodgy the writing was. They loved their Audio Daily Doubles which were always an excuse to play a popular song, even if it was a Science or History category. Allusions to pop culture were part of academic subjects, which gave off the feeling that pop was the only thing the writers cared about. And they hadn't quite figured out the difficulty thing. The challenge level could turn on a dime, at say, the third row of the board, which coupled with the ring-in-first format, led to a lot of wonky games.

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TLEberle

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 08:35:58 PM »
I would recommend that those interested in the early years of the show pick up Inside Jeopardy by Harry Eisenberg. If you can muddle through the laborious prose and the obvious fact that Harry both likes the sound of his own voice on paper and was trying to pad the book at certain points there is some illuminating stuff.

That said, I wish we had a better way into this discussion...because I sampled a lot of the first season over the past few years, and was surprised to see just how dodgy the writing was. They loved their Audio Daily Doubles which were always an excuse to play a popular song, even if it was a Science or History category. Allusions to pop culture were part of academic subjects, which gave off the feeling that pop was the only thing the writers cared about. And they hadn't quite figured out the difficulty thing. The challenge level could turn on a dime, at say, the third row of the board, which coupled with the ring-in-first format, led to a lot of wonky games.
I really wish that Game Show Network would air the early stuff again, even as the last show of the day before infomercials at four in the morning. There were a couple of years when they were in that embryonic period and while the game was the same it was light-years removed from what we have now.

To the point about the Audio Daily Doubles, I think for the viewer it becomes a fun hide-and-seek thing to say "Huh, where is the ADD going to pop up today?" rather than if you see "50s Music" and you know straight away. I recall that it was a bit of an internal sturm-und-drang that one of the producers basically demanded that an Audio clue had to go in a music category.

As to the difficulty, I think that they are trying to get the show off the ground and the worst thing is material that is too hard that either makes the home audience feel dumb or the players. (Reading a fact about a category on Honduras lasting three whole games before someone tucked in I was amazed because I was used to 28 to 30 clues being revealed as the norm, and not what would seem a glacial pace today.)

The first time where I really remember watching the show has to be 1990, where Bob Blake and Frank Spangenberg made mincemeat out of the budget--though I had the Electric Jeopardy board game, go figure--and the show was basically firing on all cylinders...at least to this viewer.
Travis L. Eberle
Director of Ludic underlings.

tomobrien

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 09:01:25 AM »
This article made me go back and pull out my first season episode (show #120, IIRC) to recheck the category variety. First round was World History, Birds, Dining Out, Football, Auto Slogans, "Boys" in Song (ADD here, not surprisingly). Double was Shakespeare, Notorious, Photography, Vaudeville, The Bible and Word Origins. First round may be a little more skewed toward pop culture but overall it seemed pretty well balanced to me.

nowhammies10

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 11:33:39 AM »
Is this the same Mike Duffy who was implicated in the Canadian Senate expenses scandal?

mmb5

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 08:47:54 PM »
Is this the same Mike Duffy who was implicated in the Canadian Senate expenses scandal?
No.  Longtime Detroit Free Press TV critic, who did cause a bit of a stir when he announced ahead of time that Chuck Forrest had won the TOC.
Portions of this post not affecting the outcome have been edited or recreated.

BrandonFG

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 09:01:07 PM »
Is this the same Mike Duffy who was implicated in the Canadian Senate expenses scandal?
No.  Longtime Detroit Free Press TV critic, who did cause a bit of a stir when he announced ahead of time that Chuck Forrest had won the TOC.
So apparently he stopped hating the show by season two?

/Or was just very petty
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Jeremy Nelson

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 09:24:40 PM »
Is this the same Mike Duffy who was implicated in the Canadian Senate expenses scandal?
No.  Longtime Detroit Free Press TV critic, who did cause a bit of a stir when he announced ahead of time that Chuck Forrest had won the TOC.
So apparently he stopped hating the show by season two?

/Or was just very petty
//Both?
Sounds like the kind of thing a hater would do. Any TV critic worth a lick would know when the show was airing and have the courtesy to not run spoilers until after it aired.
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trainman

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 02:14:06 AM »
Did a quick check of newspapers.com for any other first-week reviews of J!, and couldn't find any (Duffy's piece did run in a bunch of papers -- looks like the one above came from the Des Moines Register).

I did, though, find this great long piece about early auditions, which as far as I can tell, only ran in the San Diego County edition of the L.A. Times.





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TLEberle

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 02:30:35 AM »
Even in 1984 Garfield was profoundly unfunny.
Travis L. Eberle
Director of Ludic underlings.

chrisholland03

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 09:20:22 AM »
Even in 1984 Garfield was profoundly unfunny.

I agree with you in retrospect, 1984 Chris disagrees with you.

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Mike Duffy threw shade at Trebek J! back in 1984
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 03:12:53 PM »
Even in 1984 Garfield was profoundly unfunny.
Family Circus on the other hand....
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