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SURVEY: Sexism for $500, Alex

 

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If you think that game shows are just about trivia, spelling, quick reflexes and a way for Midwestern housewives to show America what they look like in a donkey suit, then you don’t know game shows.

Game shows can be so much more! They can even change your life. It’s true! If you doubt it, visit Pakistan, where one game show recently courted ratings by giving out real-live orphan babies to unsuspecting contestants. (Really!)

Few Americans go on game shows expecting to win a baby, of course. But maybe that’s not far behind. Because it turns out that — just like that Pakistani show that wants to take away your choice of when to become a parent — almost all American game shows are hosted by conservatives. Pat Sajak. Chuck Woolery. Drew Carey. Wink Martindale. Even lovable Merv Griffin! All have all come out of the closet as conservatives. Sajak even went so far as to take to Twitter and call global warming alarmists “unpatriotic racists.”

Some have attributed this phenomenon to the supposed “rugged individualism” inherent in the sensibility behind any game show. Yet, throughout it all, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has remained a voice of reason. Trebek is the self-described “social liberal” who once shocked FOX News by revealing that he sleeps naked. He’s in favor of equal pay for women and rights for homosexuals. He even publicly stood up to that nutty Pat Sajak!

That’s why, along with everyone else not named Phyllis Schlafly, we were flabbergasted this week when “Jeopardy!” — supposedly the “smartest game show on TV” — ran “What Women Want” as one of their categories, peppering it with clues that got correct responses from contestants like, What is a vacuum cleaner?, What is Pilates? and What are well-fitting Levi’s?

The public response was immediate. People took to Twitter to inform the tone-deaf people behind “Jeopardy!” that women don’t actually want vacuum cleaners and time to exercise. They’d prefer guaranteed reproductive rights. An end to rape culture. Affordable childcare. To be treated as equal human beings. You can take your 525s, Sleepy Time tea bags and New York Times crossword puzzles and shove them in your Bissell Bagless Canisters, thank you very much.

Was this an innocent misunderstanding? The median age of a loyal fan of “Jeopardy!” is, after all, 64, which is just about the age you’d have to be to have actual memories of the last time these stereotypes of women could pass without remark. Or was this a sign of something more insidious? Did Trebek drink the conservative Kool-Aid his fellow game show hosts did?

We hate to say it, but we may have an answer. One of our top-secret operatives sneaked into Trebek’s office and got access to a list of categories on soon-to-be-aired episodes. From the looks of it, “Conservative Jeopardy!” is here to stay. Liberals like us are going to have to get used to Alex Trebek’s covert agenda to turn us all into 50s-era conservatives.

But we’re giving you an advantage! By publishing this “sneak look” at upcoming categories, we’re giving you an edge over your conservative “Jeopardy!”-playing friends. In the spirit of game shows everywhere, however, we’ve mixed up the answers. It’s up to YOU to match them with the right questions. After all, it’s just like your mother told you about that tramp who lived next door: It’s not any fun if it’s easy. So jump in and find out what’s in store!

 

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