By Mikael Awake

A: This long-running game show has been the subject of an unprecedented three Black Balloon posts. 

Q: What is Jeopardy?

Yesssss! Pick again.

I'll take "Cheap Rhetorical Maneuvers to Begin Blog Posts" for $800, Alex.

That...[pyoo pyoo pyoo] a Daily Double.

Of course we had to point this out, intrigued as we were by the coincidence that Jeopardy has been everywhere lately, even in New York's approval matrix. I'm most excited about tonight's installment of Nerd Jeopardy, a recently hatched series located at everyone's favorite downtown bookstore, McNally Jackson.

Charmingly hosted by FSG wunderkind Ryan Chapman, the redundantly named series (regular Jeopardy is Nerd Jeopardy) pits audience-sourced teams against each other, testing them on their "bookish acumen" while offering celebrity walk-ons (last time it was Colson Whitehead) and free booze.

Seems like a pretty savvy way to lure folks into a bookstore. It also seems like the renaissance of a movement currently resting Atlas-style on Trebek's shoulders: nerd-powered game shows.

  • Nerd Bachelorette: stand a bunch of gawky dudes up in front of the audience and let a four-eyed girl give one of them a rose for not knowing the name of Proust's real-life nanny. (The answer, surprisingly, is Alex Trebec. Look it up.)
  • Nerd Fear Factor: get two nine year-old girls to discuss the Lord of the Rings saga in front of two grown-up nerds; while the girls butcher character names and plot logic, vote to see which nerd will break his silence first to correct them.
  • America's Nerd Top Model: A panel of nerd judges appraises a group of waifish beauties dressed as Xena Warrior Princess, Uhuru from Star Trek, etc.; all are given perfect scores each week, and, as their prize, are given the chance to hold hands with the judges.

Oh, McNally. You've opened up a whole new can of worms here, methinks. A can of worms that I would eat at Nerd Fear Factor, should you choose to host it.

The next Nerd Jeopardy goes down Thursday, November 10 at McNally Jackson.