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A more-than-intentional homage to "Pardon the Interruption" among others, We Love to Interrupt is an original, raw, frank, red-blooded, two-fisted, full-bodied look into the world of game shows through the eyes of two discerning fans with high standards and short fuses.

Because game show fandom is NOT a spectator sport.

Comments are always welcomed here!

Hosted by: Chico Alexander and Gordon Pepper


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October 10, 2004

Gordon: From somewhere in Jeff Suchard's basement where you can hear a popular computer programmer from Utah's screams if you listen loudly enough, WLTI.... is on.
Jeff: Don't tell the police!
Chico: Yeah, like the police is gonna hear this.
Joe: Too late. They already heard the screams. *rimshot*
Chico: Squeeeeeal, piggie! You've got Chico Alexander and Gordon Pepper AND...
Gordon: Joe Van Ginkel with our SPECIAL guest Jeff Suchard. Pleasure to have you here, Jeff.
Jeff: Happy to be here. Am I more SPECIAL because it's in caps?
Chico: But of course! But not that kind of special. The good kind. You know,
until the end of the show, when you WILL be the other kind.
Joe: *rimshot*
Jeff: Thanks for inviting me to this most unique forum.
Gordon: We're going to also talk about Survivor, the Apprentice, and the Last Stand of Last Comic Standing, but first of all, of course, let's talk
Jeopardy, or should I say Jeffpardy, where Jeff was one Final Jeopardy Question miss from Ken Jennings away from being the champion. Jeff, where do we start off?
Jeff: Thank you for getting the spelling correct... Jeffpardy, as it should
be. What do you want to know?
Gordon: Did you know about Jennings's winning streak before you were chosen to be a contestant, and when did they tell you that he was still there?
Jeff: I tried out for J! in February in Las Vegas. I'm probably the only
Southern Californian to travel out of state to do so.
Chico: And they taped your show over the summer, so you had to have JUST found out. Did they just tell you "Be prepared for a fight" or something?
Jeff: They gave no indication at that time that they had a super powerhouse player, although I'm pretty sure he had already started winning games by that time. When my wife sent out an email to friends and family letting them know I would be on the show, I found that my cousin had just taped a show.
Chico: Was he the one that warned you?
Jeff: He didn't give me specifics, but did warn me about a Jeopardy savant
that might still be around by the time I got there. So I watched every new show very carefully, thinking "OK, that's him. He's the one I'm gonna have to beat."
Chico: Pretty cool way of going about it.
Jeff: But KJ's shows hadn't aired by the time I got there. I was called to
tape on April 23rd, by which time KJ had won 43 games.
Chico: Sounds like it was the beginning of the tape cycle.
Jeff: When I arrived at the studio, it was pretty clear to me who the
returning champ was. I asked him how many games, and he responded with 43. I don't think several of the other contestants believed it, until it was confirmed by the staff in the Green Room. At that point, the attitude of most people changed from expectant glee to expectant doom.
Chico: But how'd you take the news?
Jeff: Like Christians waiting to be thrown to the lions, or French aristocrats lining up for the guillotine.
Joe: Horrors.
Chico: Didn't play like it, though...
Joe: Indeed. Did you have a particular game plan in playing against him?
Jeff: I was already prepared for a powerhouse opponent, so the news didn't bug me too much. I just needed to see him play, to find out if there was any way to beat him.
Joe: So it was just "fastest with the mostest?"
Jeff: Thing is, that he is soooo fast on the buzzer it is insane. The only
way a player can be such a powerhouse is to "rule the buzzer", since most
players are smart enough to get >80% of the responses correct. I needed to find out the optimal buzzer strategy, and was hoping that watching Ken would show me.
Chico: Looks like he might've.
Jeff: So I watched 5 games taped that day. I ended up being a holdover
contestant. That gave me nearly 4 more months of time for preparation. Which was a nice reprieve, although also an interesting personal Hell. So I continued practicing J! by watching every TiVo'd episode at least twice, and made a mock buzzer from PVC pipe, a doorbell, and electrical tape. All I needed was a potato and a bendy-straw, and I could've MacGyvered a nuclear device.
Chico: I always thought a pen worked best. That an a timer.
Joe: AND a case of Uranium.
Jeff: Pens have a different "feel" to them. The actual buzzer used on the
show is quite thick, about 7/8 of an inch. And the button on the top has a
smoother mechanism than a clicky pen. I wanted to simulate the buzzer as close as I could. I was called back for the next taping on August 9th, and I just assumed I would be first up against Ken. Speculation on the J! message board was that the optimal situation to beat Ken would be: 1) after a long absence, 2) with one strong opponent, and one weaker opponent, 3) the strong opponent, being me.
Gordon: So you got all of the conditions
Chico: Now the question comes up... What went wrong?
Jeff: I had worked on a buzzer strategy of waiting just a beat after Alex
finished reading the clue, and then hitting the buzzer before the indicator
lights went on. Although this worked great at home, in the practice game I ended up hitting it just a bit too early and locking myself out. So I switched
strategy to "wait for the light and press the button quickly", which many former champions say will not work. Seemed to work for me, though, because in the second practice game the stage manager actually asked me to put the buzzer down and let the others have a chance. So I had to switch my strategy right before game time. Turned out to work OK, as I was able to ring in first on about 50% of the clues I wanted to respond to during the actual game. What went wrong, you ask? Nothing due to me. Ken is just REALLY fast and really smart.
Chico: So you were just a victim of circumstance is all...
Joe: Like they say: you do everything right and still lose. A feeling I know
well.
Jeff: My plan was to do whatever it took to stay within striking distance of
Ken for Final Jeopardy. I managed to do this, even without the assistance of Daily Doubles, and it all came down to Final Jeopardy. Ken only gets about 2/3 of these right, and my score was high enough that it forced him to get it correct. Whereas my getting it right or not was immaterial. Other than having more than twice Ken's score (which was probably not going to happen), this was the best situation I could ask for. Then I saw the FJ category, "POETRY". I knew I couldn't count on getting it right... but fortunately, I didn't have to. I knew this was a relatively strong category for Ken, as he was an English major in college. During the commercial break before FJ, they tell you whether to write "Who" or "What" on your light pad.
Chico: So you basically had the full 30 for the answer.
Jeff: Right after this, the executive producer came up and told us we would have to come up with TWO names for this FJ. Great! Not only a weak category for me, but I needed two poets. But this just increased the chance that Ken would get it wrong.
Joe: Heck, most people can't even name ONE poets.
Jeff: I presumed that Ken would bet logically, and wager to cover the
situation where I got FJ correct and bet it all.
Chico: And he did.
Jeff: But I knew that Ken knew this was a weak category for me. And since I had pushed so close during the game, I was concerned he might low-ball me in FJ. I didn't think this was likely...but I couldn't get it out of my mind.
Chico: Freaky.
Jeff: So I tried to determine if there was any wager I could make that would allow me to cover Ken's current score if he bet low, got it wrong, and I just happened to get it right. While at the same time, protected me and assured a win if Ken got it wrong. Turns out that the amount I had to win and the amount I could afford to lose were very nearly equal. This was a bit confusing at the time, and I took a good 5 minutes (at least) to calculate my wager. It has been pointed out to me, though, that if I had gotten FJ correct, and Ken had bet $0, we would have tied. And therefore I should have bet between $1 and $99 more. However, I never for one second thought that Ken would bet $0. Maybe just a couple hundred, but not zero. But Ken bet logically, as usual, and the tie would never have happened.
Chico: And we all know what happened next. Now did you happen to notice if you were beginning to unnerve Ken?
Jeff: You betcha! Did you notice that he made fewer joking comments during this game.
Chico: Yeah, I did notice that...
Jeff: He had to seriously buckle down.
Joe: I'll bet that felt good... to you.
Gordon: When did you realize that you were unnerving him?
Jeff: "Unnerving" is maybe too strong a word. He felt the competition, and
responded by seriously playing the game. His Daily Double bets clearly show his response to my gameplay.
Jeff: He bet VERY big on the first one. Trying to pull himself far enough in
the lead to give a buffer zone. Had he gotten that one wrong, we would have been very close in score. Then he bet small on the second, to keep his lead. As the game ended, Ken was obviously very worried he might have gotten FJ incorrect. You can see his worry, and then his relief, as Alex read our answers.
Gordon: When the show was over, it seemed like he breathed a huge sigh of relief. How did he act after the game ended?
Jeff: After his huge sigh, Ken immediately turned to me, put out his hand and told me it was a great game. Very classy.
Joe: It was an awesome contest, I must say.
Jeff: Then, get this, he told me it was his lifelong dream to be on We Love
To Interrupt.
Joe: LMAO
Chico: You're kidding.
Jeff: Umm... maybe.
Gordon: Well, tell him that we'd love to have him - and we only charge 5% of contestants total winnings.
Jeff: LOL
Chico: Ken, if you're reading this... mail us... We'll talk.
Gordon: That was an excellent insight into the Jennings experience. Thanks a lot, Jeff.
Jeff: Wait a minute! 5% of $2000 is $100. Julie needs that for shoes.
Gordon: It's a Utah contestant's tax. CA residents are exempt.
Jeff: Ok then.
Chico: Glad you said that...Now you weren't the only person to see quizular
action this week. At least, not the only person named Suchard.
Jeff: Yes, Julie was a Phone-A-Friend (PAF) on Millionaire the same night I
appeared on Jeopardy. Didn't she look pretty?
Gordon: She looked gorgeous. How did it feel for her to be on that side of
the ledger?
Jeff: It was perhaps even more pressure than being in the Hot Seat, because she didn't want to let Weldon down. He had struggled for a long time to be on the show, and he was counting on her. Fortunately, the question was right up Julie's alley. She knows all about piano playing in gay bath-houses.
Chico: Sounded like she did.
Jeff: Funny thing is that we had just gone over virtually the same question
about two days earlier. She knew it then too. For the record, the question was Barry Manilow was the pianist for which female singer? Or something like that.
Chico: Bette Midler. I remember her episode of Behind the Music.
Jeff: She knew the correct answer immediately, but had to wait for Weldon to finish reading the choices.
Chico: Obviously.
Jeff: She had practiced the PAF with Weldon, and he requested that she wait until he was done before responding. She annoyed him with blurting answers early in their practice session. We have never met Weldon in person. And before the show aired, Julie could not have told you what he even looked like.
Chico: Heh.
Jeff: He's a board-buddy from a Millionaire message bored [sic].
Gordon: When she saw him, was it like he pictured him?
Jeff: Weldon called us up last Monday. He was in NYC at Times Square,
watching me play Jeopardy! on the Jumbotron. It was a very surreal moment in gameshow history. Julie says Weldon does not look like his voice or how she imagined him. The looks, of course, don't matter. He's a nice guy who got his chance for big bucks. Congratulations to him!
Chico: Very much so. Okay, we could talk for days, it seems, but we've only got so much show =p
Gordon: Switching gears - The Apprentice. Pamela finally got to be with the women - and got the brush-off instead. Thoughts?
Jeff: She came on way too strong after the switch.
Chico: Definitely a textbook case in how NOT to win friends and influence
everyone.
Gordon: I think Pamela did a great job alienating everybody.
Jeff: I agree with what she did, but not how she did it. Since they lost the
competition, she was the obvious person to vote off the island.
Gordon: Recently, there has been a string of people once again writing that the Donald only firing the good people and is keeping the annoying
personalities for ratings. Do you agree with that?
Jeff:
It's all about the Benjamins, ain't it? More interesting show as a
freak-fest, and gets bigger advertising money.
Chico: But you can't seem to help but get where he's getting at. Example:
Bradford Cohen... the man who literally self-destructed.
Jeff: Who cares who gets fired, when Anna Kournikova is trying to nail a
half-naked man with tennis balls? Now that's "reality" television.
Gordon: I think that the Donald is taking this game much more seriously this time around - he's getting rid of the people who he finds are incapable to work for him. As for Anna - well, I can watch her all day, regardless of who she is pelting with balls.
Chico: Agreed... I'd say let's go to the clip.. but I don't have it =p
Gordon: But one think NBC doesn't want you to watch is the last episode of
Last Comic Standing. They cancel it - then remit it after protest, but only
decide to go with a half hour episode. Who's at fault here - the show for tanking in the ratings, or NBC for making them shoot a LCS 3 so quickly after the second one and burning the audience out?
Chico: I blame the network.
Jeff: Once again, it's all about ratings, or lack thereof.
Chico: I mean, this is something that should've been done the first two
times, but by the time that the third one rolls around, people are tired of it... It's really true with any property. After the third one, audiences are tapped out....
Jeff: It's like what happened with Millionaire. It was a cash cow, so they
overmilked it.
Chico: It's a matter of scale in some cases. With Last Comic Standing, NBC
made a really huge mistake by putting it in the fall, after strong, but not
stellar performances in the summer. They got greedy.
Jeff: The result being that no one's interested anymore.
Chico: So there you go. Ratings and network overexposure. Two roads.. leading to the same place.
Joe: On the other hand, some might blame the fact that there were no house scenes. But then I didn't really watch it, so it doesn't matter.
Chico: I never tuned in for the house scenes - no way.
Jeff: LOL. You and the rest of America.
Gordon: Chico has some fun coming up next, but it's time to take a break.
Chico: Yep. We have an oversized Big Board in our next segment, but first,
Gordon gets to whine about not having disagreement. The drama queen he is.
Joe: LMAO
Gordon: I'm saving the Drama for Take A Side, actually, where I let Jeff get at someone's throat...
Chico: This is the We Love to Interrupt program, stay tuned.

(Brought to you by "In Search of the Addams Family"... Searching America for people who are creepy, kooky, spooky, and ooky, just like the Addams family.)

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