Hugos in Jeopardy!

Deb Geisler reports that October 16’s episode of Jeopardy! featured a category called “Complete the Hugo Award Winning Title.” As everyone knows, this quiz show reveals a clue — an answer — and makes contestants supply the appropriate question. Deb says the contestants only got two of the questions right.

Hugo Award winners have occasionally been showing up as Jeopardy! answers for years. A quick Google search returns these examples.

A clue in the show aired October 31, 2006 was: “Isaac Asimov won a 1977 Hugo Award for this novelette about a robot named Andrew who lives to be 200 years old.” The right question was: “The Bicentennial Man.”

In the episode aired October 25, 2005, a clue in the “Classic Television” category was: “This is the first Television show to receive the Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation.” The appropriate question was: What is the Twilight Zone?

On November 7, 2000 contestants were given this answer: “10-time Hugo Award winner Kelly Freas is famous for illustrating the magazine called ‘Astounding’ in this genre.” The question: “Science fiction.”

The earliest example I found appears in the online bio of Harlan Ellison:

On 22 June 1998, Ellison’s career reached a dizzying summit when he became the answer to a clue in the Double Jeopardy round of that evening’s broadcast of the television game show, Jeopardy.

Don’t ask me why Ellison omits the mandatory exclamation point after Jeopardy!

7 thoughts on “Hugos in Jeopardy!

  1. Guess you missed finding the unofficial Jeopardy! archive at http://www.j-archive.com. Doing a search on “Hugo” in it, the earliest it has on record is from 1991:

    #1526, aired 1991-04-01 AWARDS $400: Named for magazine publisher Hugo Gernsback, the Hugo Award honors this literary genre

    And it was pretty much repeated six years later:

    #3047, aired 1997-11-25 AWARDS $600: The Hugo Award for this type of literature honors Hugo Gernsback, who coined the term

    Also in 2000, we had this clue:

    #3533, aired 2000-01-05 SCI FI-DELITY $1000: She won 5 Hugo Awards with works like “The Lathe of Heaven” & “The Dispossessed”

    In 2004, we got the genre clue again, this time including the Nebulas:

    #4655, aired 2004-11-26 AWARDS $800: The Hugo & Nebula awards are presented to writers in this genre

    Roger Zelazny pops up here:

    #4758, aired 2005-04-20 JOLLY ROGER $1000: This 6-time Hugo-winning sci-fi writer’s last name was near the end of the phone book

    And Robert Heinlein here:

    #4929, aired 2006-02-02 SCIENCE FICTION $1000: He won 6 Hugo Awards for his fiction, including “Starship Troopers” & “Stranger in a Strange Land”

    And while not about the awards, Hugo Gernsback got his own clue here:

    #5099, aired 2006-11-09 NOVELS $1200: “Ralph 124C 41+” is a novel by Hugo Gernsback, known as a “father of” this futuristic genre

    Not too surprising, given that for a while Fred Pohl’s son was either a writer or researcher for the show (I don’t know if he was working there when this clue appeared: #1883, aired 1992-11-11 SCIENCE FICTION $300: Apprpriately this sci-fi author called his 1984 collection of short stories “Pohlstars”). And there’s still a long time researcher who’s a big enough comics fan to have had multiple letters in various comics letter columns….oops, per a response to Deb’s post, it’d appear she’s also no longer working on the show.

  2. That seems a peculiar comment, since 2 of my four links are from the source you named. But thanks for making a systematic search — there’s a lot of them. I wonder if one person in particular contributed them (your mention of Fred Pohl’s son makes him a likely candidate) — a fan who attends Mythcons was one of the show’s researchers for years, so eventually I will have a chance to ask her.

  3. Ah. I didn’t mouse over or click on the links, since I thought there were surely examples prior to 2000 and promptly went to the archive to find them. And having found them, I jumped to the conclusion that you’d not used the site. Apologies.

  4. Heinlein won 6 Hugos for his fiction? No time to double-check, but I don’t think that number’s correct.

  5. Heinlein won the Retro-Hugos awarded in 2001 for Novel and Novella. Since those are supposed to count as Hugos, that’d up his fiction Hugo count to 6.

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