May 21, 2005
Gordon: Can someone send me Vonzell Solomon as a prize? Please? =)
HERE to continue
Chico: You'll have to fight her for it.
Gordon: I can imagine the dialogue... Vonzell- Get that box off me, you
freak! Gordon - Wait - you get to choose the wrapping paper color! (Door
slam). She did work as a mailwoman. She may know what those packages go
Chico: Very true.
Jason: I know Gordon...you showed her the see through cellophane wrapping....
Chico: And it was all downhill from there.
Gordon: We'll leave the human gift packages to Richard Pryor. Right now, we turn
our focus to our special guest - Lan Djang!
Jason: (applause again)
Gordon: We are here to play 20 Questions. We ask you questions, You answer them.
Lan: Got it.
Gordon: We will actually start with our Canadian correspondent (via cell phone)
Chico: The wonders of technology.
Ryan (via cell): 1) Hi Lan. Tell us about your game show experiences prior to
Lan: Well it was really only one. Back when History Television premiered in
CAN. They needed Canadian content.
James: Ah, the ol' Canadian Content rule.
Lan: So they had this little game show called TimeChase. I was on the first
episode and won 5 times. Here's the great Canadian bit... The big prize was a
cruise... to the St. Lawrence.
Chico: Nic... oh.
Gordon: That would be the equivalent of telling the North Carolina-based Chico
that he won a trip to Durham.
Chico: WEE! DURHAM!
Lan: Yes, on a bus full of old people.
Chico: WEE OLD PEOPLE!... Okay, now it's just not funny.
Lan: I ended up giving it to my parents and they said that was a good thing.
Chico: That's right cool of ya.
Lan: Cause they were probably the youngest people there!
James: Oh my.
Jason: 2) How were you notified of the UTOC...and how secret did you have to
Lan: Nothing crazy; they just said there was no guarantee I'd be on, and to
cease and desist contact with other Jeopardyites
Jason: So you had to go off mailing lists and the like?
Lan: Well, it wasn't too bad for me, cause I hadn't really kept in touch with
anyone except Pam.
Jason: Pam did well too.
Chico: Lucky dog.
Lan: Down boy.
James: 3) Was preparing for the UTOC different than your preparations for
previous J! appearances? More time studying, reading, etc.?
Lan: Definitely. I always felt I'd been too slack in TOC 2001. I flew down the
day after my bud's stag.
Jason: Hungover I bet.
Lan: Ended up a bit disappointed, yes; so I said to myself to take this one
seriously. I would prepare as much as I could so I would be happy regardless of
Chico: And it showed, as James can attest.
Lan: Well thanks:-) I tried.
Gordon: 4) The one thing that a lot of successful players have had in common is
their ties to high school academic competitions. Were you involved in any of
Lan: The unfortunate thing was that Reach for the Top (sort of a high school
quiz bowl) wasn't active, at least in my school, when I was around. I
participated in the school trivia comp though. Destroyed everyone :-).
Jason: Of course you did. :-)
Gordon: What is Reach for the Top?
Lan: It's a competition between high schools with teams of 4 students. They buzz
in and answer questions, etc., etc. I actually made a speech at the Ontario
Provincial championships one year, if you can believe that!
Chico: I'm curious... 5) What was the speech about?
Lan: This was prior to me doing toastmasters, so it was a bit rambly...
Chico: Ah. the old Toastmasters Fasttalkers and such..
Lan: ... but the point was how being good at trivia could also apply to life in
general. It wasn't totally as bland as it sounds.
Chico: Very true. You know, and I learned this from watching Christian Finnegan:
there are two types of people: those who are Trivial Pursuit smart and those who
are Monopoly smart...
Lan: I think I understand, Chico.
Ryan (via cell): 6) Did you find any particular difficulties as a Canadian on
Lan: For sure. Also not great for non-Christians, though lately they've been
asking more about Judaism. Not that that helps. I went out of my way to study up
on state caps, Supreme Court justices, etc., just to not get burned for being
Chico: Religion is one of the big cats in J! lore. That and potent potables.
Lan: In round 1, Andrew saw me going for the "first ladies" category and joked
that I was embarrassing the Yanks on their home ground! I was better at it, I
guess, cause I forced myself to study it :-)
Chico: There you go.
Jason: 7) Did you care about the seeding system? If you were the producers of
the show, would you have done anything differently?
Lan: To be honest, I didn't really have an opinion. I knew I would be borderline
as it was (I was never an aggressive bettor), so when I made the cut, I was just
Jason: What was the cut...if you heard of any?
Lan: Not positive, but I believe it was around $48K.
Chico: Jason was about $10K to 12K off, for those playing at home.. He would
have made the cut had he won his fifth game.
Gordon: Actually, he would have hit it if he got the final Jeopardy question
Jason: (grumbles even harder). I would have been there...I would have been
Lan: Oh, sorry about that.
James: 8) On previous editions here...we mentioned how you had one of the
fastest buzzer fingers in the tournament. Any "tricks of the trade" on how you
developed an "itchy trigger finger?"
Lan: Three steps :-) 1) Practice the motion with clicky pens (as suggested by
the producers). 2) Stretch and exercise your thumb muscles. I use those Chinese
stress balls. 3) Found a great internet site that tests reflexes according to
how fast you click the mouse to a dot that changes color on screen. Perfect
since J! keys off a light flashing.
Chico: I find that PS2... is a good thumb workout.
Lan: Yes, I wish I had a console, but I'm a PC gamer, so had to exercise the old
Chico: Yeah. But if you can find a good USB controller.. You're set... Okay, G-dawg.
Gordon: 9) If there is anything you would like to have a mulligan on during your
UTOC appearances, what would it be?
Lan: Probably that retarded 36 feet is ten times pi answer I gave in the last ep.
James: Didn't you miss the curling question? How about a mulligan on that? :-)
Lan: That was the curling question. Math in disguise.
Chico: Devious. Involving math and curling... It's like asking for an aneurysm.
James: I thought missing curling questions = revocation of Canadian citizenship,
but you're forgiven :-)
Chico: 10) Is there anyone that you've watched over the past years that you
would've liked to see in the UTOC that didn't get the chance?
Lan: That's tough, cause I can. Oops, can't remember much more than the 144
contestants. All the people I liked and remembered made it, except one guy from
2001 I would've liked to have seen: Ryan Moore. He was fun to hang out with in
Chico: You guys were in the same TOC?
Chico: Ah. Cool. Halfway home. Ryan?
Ryan (via cell): 11) Would you fancy coming up to play my Reach for the Top team
that I coach in Newmarket next year? We'll cook you a nice meal! ;-)
James: He'll have to check his eligibility :-)
James: I think he "turned pro".
Lan: Time permitted, and having a way to get up there, sure!
Chico: As long as he didn't hire an agent, he could come back.
Chico: You hire an agent, you cross over. No going back.
Chico: Sean flippin' May... Raymond flippin' Felton..
Jason: 12) OK, Lan. Simple Question--Ken. Brad. Jerome. Who ya got?
Lan: I gotta stick with the guy I've been pumping up since last August...
Brad! Plus he's my boy from '01.
James: 13) I saw the Toronto newspapers made heavy mention of your "intimidator
suit." So, what's with the suit? :-)
Lan: Well, when I went back to the TOC, I thought I had to look good. So a
friend of mine (same guy with the stag) took me to this well known T.O.
institution, Tom's Place, and showed me the style of suit he wore when he had to
fire people at his company. In the post dot.com bubble days, that was often!
James: Oh my.
Lan: So I got myself a similar suit and dubbed it, the "Intimidator". I
mentioned that to Alex in the chit chat section of game 1.
Chico: Yeah, I remember that... And it worked for a bit, you know..
Lan: When I did horribly, but got the final and squeezed into the semis, Alex
said "It must have been the suit, Lan". And a legend was born.
Gordon: 14) What sort of work do you do now, and would you trade it to work on a
Lan: I'm a "health policy analyst" as Johnny says. But I'm much more at home
with creative pursuits, so yeah, if I could get paid doing it, I'd probably jump
over to game shows in a minute!
Chico: 15) Okay, being a lab tech, I have to know what the deal is with the
health policy analyst. Is that for a hospital or public health or what?
Lan: I work for the Ontario Hospital Association, basically a lobbying and
negotiating organization for every hosp in Ontario. Used to be in IT at Canada's
biggest hospital, University Health Network.
Chico: Ah. So you're really a bureaucrat or something =p
Lan: Yeah, getting there :-)
Chico: Ah. Okay, five questions left and you know what that means.
Gordon: I do, but he doesn't =)
Chico: It's time for.. the questions we ask everyone. =p
Lan: uh... ok.
Chico: 16) Past or present, your favorite game show emcee.
Lan: Hmmm, I guess the safe answer would be Alex, but I'll go with another
Canuck: Monty Hall.
Jason: Good choice.
Lan: I mean dealing with people dressed like chickens!
Chico: And grapes. And dice. And pirates. Arrrr..
Jason: And Football Players.
Chico: Okay 17) You're an executive producer. What game show do you bring back
Lan: Pitfall. Like, what was with those elevators? I'd bring it back just to
finally be able to figure out how that show was played. I think I was 4 or 5
back then. I heard Alex never got paid for that. So the subject is verboten
Chico: I heard that neither did half of the players.
Lan: Just for that, I'd have to bring it back!
Chico: 18) What game would you see yourself hosting?
Lan: Besides Jeopardy;-)? Well, probably a reality show. Having not seen Amazing
Race, I would do that one, because of the travel involved.
Chico: Good choice... 19) If you could try your hand on another show, what would
it be and why?
Lan: Off the top of my head, I wish they brought back Canadian Who Wants to be a
Millionaire. Straight up reason is for the cash. My fun answer would be Press
Your Luck, so I could say "No Whammy, No Whammy..."
Chico: If there was a way to combine both... Gordon, get my agent :-)... Okay,
last question... 20) the Create-a-Question. Basically, it's time for you to get
anything you want off your chest.
Chico: So basically, this is Lan time.
Lan: Well, I guess my question would be "Are you a nerd?" To which I would
answer most definitely not. This is where the therapy comes in! I spect 11 years
a VERY geeky schools up here, so I have a complex about that. But I guess in
terms of what I like to get off my chest, is to just make sure people know I'm a
well rounded guy. Not much else really. I'm well adjusted now :-)
Gordon: Good to hear. Thanks for participating in 20 Questions.
Lan: My pleasure!
Gordon: Lan seems very well-adjusted. We'll see how adjusted the new Summer
shows are when we come back.
(Brought to you by the NJA (National Jeopardy Association) on ABC! Today, the
Utah Mormonites look to even up their series against the Canadian Craniums as
Lan Djang looks to try to stop Ken Jennings. Let's face it. With the NBA and NHL
about to stall out in Contract Hell, we may be watching this next Summer and it
won't be a bad thing =). )