That Time Shogun Star Hiroyuki Sanada Stole the Show in Lost’s Final Season

March 6, 2024
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This article contains spoilers for the ending of Lost. Hiroyuki Sanada, star and producer of FX’s excellent miniseries Shōgun, is one of the most successful Japanese actors working in Hollywood today. English-speaking audiences have to come to know and appreciate the Tokyo-born performer through his roles in films such as The Last Samurai, Speed Racer, […]

The post That Time Shogun Star Hiroyuki Sanada Stole the Show in Lost’s Final Season appeared first on Den of Geek.

Jeopardy!‘s Tournament of Champions is bigger than ever this year.

To celebrate its 40th season, the American trivia institution invited a record-breaking 27 contestants to its hallowed annual tourney featuring the previous season’s best champions. (It also certainly didn’t hurt that the show needed to add some extra tournaments for ToC eligibility due to the Hollywood writers strike messing with its usual production schedule).

The expanded contestant count has given Jeopardy! the opportunity to invite back some intriguing contenders who didn’t hit the required benchmark of at least five wins in their initial run. It’s also meant that the show has gotten to try something it’s never done before: bring on a Celebrity Jeopardy! champion to contend with the “real” trivia masters.

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Said Celebrity Jeopardy! champ on this year’s ToC is comedic actor Ike Barinholtz, who you may know from his time on Mad TV, The Mindy Project, History of the World: Part II, or one of his many other supporting roles in television and film. Barinholtz won Celebrity Jeopardy! in early 2023, beating out finalists Patton Oswalt and Will Wheaton.

By becoming the first-ever Celebrity Jeopardy! champ to try his hand with the big guns in the ToC, Barinholtz had already made Jeopardy! history. And that level of history was what he was going to have to settle for. After all, it’s not like he could win the thing, right?

Welp. Ike Barinholtz won the thing.

In a thrilling March 4 matchup against Melissa Klapper and Ray Lalonde, Barinholtz correctly answered “Who is Ovid?” to the Final Jeopardy! prompt of “Far from Rome, this first century poet wrote, ‘The leader’s anger done, grant me the right to die in my native country.’” His ambitious wager of $13,801 launched him past Lalonde and Klapper’s totals to a $28,601 victory.

The notion of a celebrity contestant winning a typical Jeopardy! match is farfetched to begin with. Celebrity Jeopardy! is notably easier than its counterpart, a fact that Saturday Night Live delighted in lampooning during its Will Ferrell years. The Tournament of Champions is even more challenging than the already-challenging typical Jeopardy! – making the idea of a celebrity winning that to be borderline unthinkable. Yet Barinholtz not only won it, he defeated two incredibly impressive contestants to do so.

So how did Barinholtz pull it off? For starters, he’s obviously very smart. That always helps. But, as fans have long observed, comedians tend to do surprisingly well in the Jeopardy! format. Reddit user bravehamster conducted a study on the dataisbeautiful subreddit that suggested comedians and reporters typically perform the best on Celebrity Jeopardy!

Additionally, improv comedy (which Barinholtz has a background in) seems to have some crossover skill with Jeopardy! On the show, contestants are not able to buzz in until the host is finished reading a question. Having the ability to observe one’s environment, listen for context clues, then quickly react with the buzzer is a must.

Regardless of how you slice it, Barinholtz’s victory is enormously impressive and a major moment in Jeopardy! history. Ike is also not necessarily finished just yet. The Tournament of Champions semifinals begin Thursday, March 7 and continue through Thursday, March 14. It’s unclear when Barinholtz’s next game will air or who his opponents will be. One thing’s for sure though: the pressure is now on for the season 40 Celebrity Jeopardy! champion for next year.

Hit the books, Lisa Ann Walter. You’ve got a celebrity trivia legacy to live up to.

The post Ike Barinholtz Just Made Jeopardy! History appeared first on Den of Geek.

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