At the end of his 75th appearance on 'Jeopardy!', after 74 wins, Jennings finally lost. The "Final Jeopardy" answer that brought him down was:
"Most of this company's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees only work four months of the year."
The correct question was:
"What is H&R Block?"; Ken was eliminated by "Who is FedEx?"
You can't feel sorry for the guy - he walks away with 2.5 million dollars, minus taxes and tithing to the Mormon Church. He now holds all of the records for a game show contestant. And someday he may even be worth a pie wedge in a game of Trivial Pursuit.
And maybe, just maybe, Ken Jennings might even have a movie made about his life.
Over ten years ago, Robert Redford made "Quiz Show" about the 1950s game show scandals. There was a movie in development about the guy who figured out how to win on 'Press Your Luck', with Bill Murray slated to star.
But if there was a movie about Ken Jennings, there probably should be more to the plot line than just his incredible run on 'Jeopardy!'. His story needs to be tricked out; his life would have to undergo a little embellishment......
"Pimp My Bio", as it were.....
As such, a disclaimer would have to be run that the life of Ken Jennings as portrayed was not the real thing but actually a highly fictionalized dramatization.
I'd want it to be about the televersion of Ken Jennings, and that means it would have all the trappings of Toobworld....
It would have the same basis in fact as TV reality shows - that is to say, none at all, - and yet none of the names would be changed to protect the innocent.
Here's how his TV Life might then play out.....
"Ken Jennings" was born in Washington State, not far from the Great Northern Lodge in the town of 'Twin Peaks'. Even though his family ties were in the town of Twilight, Utah, ('The Boys Of Twilight'), Ken grew up in Singapore and Seoul because his father was the Asia-Pacific Division Counsel of Oracle Corporation. This organization was nothing more than a front for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement ('The Man From UNCLE' & 'The Girl From UNCLE'). Often Ken's father worked in tandem with Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott ('I Spy').
Because of his mathematical prowess and high IQ, Ken Jennings came to the attention of a secret cabal bent on world domination while he was a college student in Seoul, Korea. As part of their plot to have the world ruled by genetically augmented super-humans ('Star Trek'), they subjected Ken Jennings to an operation in which a wire was inserted into his brain to enhance his intelligence. All of this was done without his consent or knowledge. He was left as a sleeper agent, able to return to his life in Utah. There he married and worked as a computer programmer for a health-field technology corporation known as Weigert. ('St. Elsewhere' & 'Oz')
During the 1990s, those genetic overlords were overthrown in a series of conflicts that came to be known as the Eugenics Wars ('Star Trek'). Even though they were allied with a rebel faction of Galactican refugees to this world, ('Battlestar Galactica' - first edition), their totalitarian dictatorships were brought down.
Through it all, Ken Jennings remained unaware that he was a pawn, a walking time bomb with that wire in his brain.
That all changed in 1997 when there was some kind of atmospheric disturbance caused by the mysterious return of an alien abductee in the Utah Desert. Even after a forty-year absence, Adam Mac was relatively unchanged physically, but there may have been a some kind of psionic alteration.
Ken Jennings must have been in close proximity when 'The Visitor' landed in the Utah Desert. Something of the alien technology must have triggered the wire to go into overdrive, causing Ken's mental activities to be greatly enhanced.
He somehow became interfaced with the computers at his job and he began to feed off the link to their programming. As his mind began networking with computer programs and systems nationwide on an exponential growth rate, Jennings unwittingly hurried along the increasing activities being prepared in Washington State for the coming 'Millennium'.
The top-secret "Operation: Backstep", which was based on alien technology that could send a man back in Time by '7 Days', benefited from a booster shot of his raw mental energy when their neural nets meshed.
Dr. Theodore Morris ('Now And Again') picked up on the subconscious brain waves of Ken Jennings during his tests of living human brains. Dr. Morris mistakenly thought he was close to his dream of transplanting a human brain into a genetically enhanced body, but the inteferonic interference by Jennings delayed that project for another two years.
He even touched the consciousness of Sydney Bloom, trapped in the 'VR5' virtual reality of cyberspace as well as that of Lieutenant Hobbes, whose mind was also trapped inside the 'Harsh Realm' of a virtual reality game.
It's quite likely that the energies of his brain contributed to the problems with the navigational systems on board the Jupiter Two. Upon liftoff in 1997, the sleeper ship went disastrously off course and was never heard from again once it became 'Lost In Space'.
But for Ken Jennings, all of these encounters were nothing more than dreams.
Eventually, Jennings decided to parlay this seemingly natural intelligence for his own benefit. He would capitalize on it by appearing on 'Jeopardy!'.
Little did he know that the host of that program was also leading a double life as a Black Ops agent who dealt with the phenomena of UFOs ('The X-Files').
Alex Trebek was a "Man in Black".
By this point in time, the government had traced the unearthly resonance from Jennings' aura and realized that he posed a potential threat to the security of the nation in the wake of 9/11. Therefore Trebek was instructed by his superiors to keep the Mormon computer programmer under observation while he was a contestant on 'Jeopardy!' and if possible, keep him there for as long as possible.
This is not to suggest that the show was rigged so that Jennings had that incredible winning streak, however. With his analytical abilities heightened by the wire in his head, there was no need for the show's producers to offer any such illegal assistance.
But that didn't stop David Letterman from raising the alarum that a conspiracy was afoot, and he claimed to have the video footage to back up the charge. ('Late Night With David Letterman')
But then, in early September of 2004, solar flare activity increased and once again played havoc with the Earth's atmospherics. And one particular energy spike caused a mind-meld for Ken Jennings with the Genesis spacecraft, which was quickly approaching the planet on its return trip after completing its mission to collect solar wind particles.
This latest development proved to be too much for Jennings to bear. His conscience began to expand and his mind was able to comprehend the concept of tele-cognizance (the recognition of the world they live in as nothing more than a TV show).
This condition wasn't helped by the fact that the first round of the 'Jeopardy!' game played out on September 7th, Ken's final show, was totally built around phrases from the TV show 'Seinfeld' as a plug for that show's first DVD release.
In this TV movie version of Ken Jennings' life, he should never have learned that the people of 'Seinfeld' were nothing more than TV characters. They should have been existing in the same universe as he was.
But if they were fictional, what did that say for his own existence?
It was more than his brain could process and the silicon chip inside his head was then set for overload. Like the 'Seinfeld' TV show itself, his mind became all about nothing; a condition of "tabula rasa" momentarily overwhelmed him.
Instead of being able to easily come up with the answer "H&R Block", instead he suffered a mental block and gave the "FedEx" answer.
At that moment, the link between Jennings and Genesis was severed, and the spacecraft basically committed cyber-seppiku.
On September 8th, one day after Ken Jennings lost on 'Jeopardy!', the Genesis spacecraft plummeted to the Earth's surface without deploying its parachutes. It crashed in the Utah desert, the same state in which Ken Jennings lived.......
That's my fictional version of the life of Ken Jennings. With all the links to be found to all of those other TV shows, it just may well be the first piece of crossover fanfic to ever feature the game show 'Jeopardy!'.
Or it might one day serve as corroborating evidence in a future sanity hearing for me......
"If there's something on the Internet,
It's got to be true."