Are we winning? Are we losing? Are we losing the thread? Kind of feels like we’re losing the thread, are we? Incidentally Ken Jennings won 3 million dollars on Jeopardy alone but has also appeared on a handful of other game shows earning him a Guiness Book of World Records entry for “Most cash won on a game show.” And I think the freelance writing he’s talking about hardcover books and pilots of game shows for Comedy Central? Oh, and he was beaten by a human woman named Nancy Zerg seven years before IBM built the computer to “defeat him,” and in so doing, the computer raised on million dollars for charity. But yes! WE ARE THE 99%! TOTES! (Click through to enlarge. Via IHeartChaos and also Wikipedia.)

Comments (80)
  1. hahahaha! so funny. the unemployed are laughing so very hard at this!

    • I’ll upvote your obvious sarcasm. Because you’re right, why does he think this is in good taste? Or are we mocking the occupy movement now. It just seems like whatever his motivation, someone that obviously smart should have been able to realise that his point would be missed due to his very off the mark joke.

      Also, you are in the 1% Ken. See: Michael Moore vs. Warren Buffett conversation yesterday.

  2. We can still make good-natured jokes about serious things, right?

    • maybe right after Oakland is not the best time…

      • When would be the best time? I honestly think anything that would get people talking about OWS or the underlying issues is good. If there’s some wayward Ken Jennings fan who is somehow completely out of touch sees this and is like “Now Ken is talking about it? Maybe I should check out this 99% stuff.”

        And besides, from the get-go, when the cops were burning people’s eyes up in NY, people were making jokes. When it comes down to it, there’s never going to be a perfect time to make jokes and there’s never going to be a prohibited time to make jokes.

        • It’s the way the jokes are told. Here it appears he’s mocking the 99%. In the NYC incidents, John Stewart, for example – made fun of the cop Tony Balogna. It’s a matter of taste, actually being funny, and bringing awareness to it.

      • I didn’t see a time stamp on the picture.

    • Reply to you and glue–

      Just to play devil’s advocate (why would I want to do that?!), if it was Larry the Cable Guy, I think we’d all be pretty upset. Maybe that’s not a good comparison, but I could see him with a very similar sign that replaces “winning 74 straight games of jeopardy” with “farting on a stage” and people would (rightly) be bothered.

      Maybe it’s because Ken Jennings’ supports the movement? yeah, that’s probably it. I think I know what’s in Ken Jennings’ heart, so I guess I will support him (even though Gabe didn’t explicitly say we should; HOW DO WE FEEL ABOUT THIS GABE?). I think we can all agree it’s not a great joke. Or maybe it’s the best joke…

      • Well, that’s exactly right. Everything I know about Larry the Cable Guy tells me that his joke would be intended to mock the protesters and pander to his generally conservative fan base. Everything I know about Ken Jennings tells me that he sort of a fork who found success through a very unusual set of circumstances and has a sense of humor about it.

        Quality of the joke aside, there’s nothing in it that mocks the cause. If anything, he’s mocking his own public persona against the backdrop of a major socio-political movement.

      • If it was Larry the Cable guy we’d be upset because he’s an unfunny garbage human being. I’m upset that he exists in the first place.

  3. I am getting the feeling that you can be in the 99% as long as you didn’t make your millions from investment banking and the stock market. There are RULES to this nonsense.

  4. You’re becoming the Ricky Gervais of reality television, Ken.

    That wasn’t funny. But you know what IS funny? This gif of a man getting naked very fast.

    • What is annoying about his joke isn’t that it’s “mocking” or not mocking Occupy movement. It’s that it is so self-referential. I’m sure Ken thinks about his Jeopardy gig and being defeated by the computer all the time. But the rest of us don’t. It’s like Ricky Gervais constantly talking about his Golden Globes hosting or his atheism—it’s self-obsessed.

  5. I don’t think this is that bad. A joke to show solidarity? Sure, why not. I don’t really get the vibe that Ken Jennings is mocking the movement. And while he has made a lot of money doing something very silly, he was at least very good at it. A lot of the issue with the financial sector was that people were making lots of money and also they just weren’t good at their jobs at all. So that’s one thing.

    Another thing is, I have always kind of liked Ken Jennings. He seems pompous but self-aware and I don’t really detect any aggression from this. He’s never been particularly funny but he is far from offensive. Maybe I’m just wide-eyed.

    • Well, there is that little thing about him being a Mormon and unable to answer certain questions and being known for being a little homophobic…

      • Well I don’t know anything about his homophobia, since literally everything I know about him I learned from watching him on Jeopardy! and listening to the one time he was on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, so I can’t address that directly.

        But I also don’t see anything wrong with a Mormon not being able to answer questions about booze. I’m a smart person but I wouldn’t be able to answer questions about the movie Puss In Boots because I don’t believe in it. Everyone has gaps in their knowledge.

        • Well he kinda donated to prop 8 so I’ll have to pass on giving him a pass since he seems to be intent on making sure I don’t have equal rights.

          • I guess I didn’t think about the whole Mormon + Money = Almost inevitable support of Prop 8 thing. Point conceded there. Also, based on your past comments on here, I know that gay rights is a total deal-breaker for you. It is for a lot of people, myself included, but since I’ve started on this whole thing I’ll continue and just throw this out there:

            I feel like the OWS issue is so large that we need people from all sides of the table in on it. So if that includes Mormons or people who supported Prop 8, then good for OWS. It’s possible to be wrong about some things and right about others. Unlike gay marriage, which doesn’t harm anyone, the wealth disparity in this country harms almost everyone in some way or another. It does affect people’s marriages and families if they can’t find work or get some other form of help.

          • I see what you’re saying and I agree – having everyone from all sides is important. And you can’t be right on EVERYTHING. We all have to come together on this. I can be blindly mad about homophobia and I hope that I wasn’t being that way here – I just really thought the joke was not funny and uncalled for. When I saw it I kept thinking “people were tear gassed yesterday and had rubber bullets shot at them and he’s mocking this?” I worry that the more people mock this, the less serious people will take it. I just don’t personally think now’s a good time, we have good momentum and need to keep it going, but I am willing to accept that maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know everything. But right now I strongly feel it’s just in poor taste and badly executed.

    • I was never sold on Ken Jennings until this:
      He actually is kind of funny. Not cats-on-Roombas funny, but funnier than I imagined.

  6. Guys, I think something is wrong with Dave Thomas.

  7. What is an innocuous, not particularly funny joke that everyone makes a big fuss about because they don’t have senses of humour.

  8. He looks way too tense.

    He really needs to take a leaf out of Wil Wheaton’s Guide to Holding Documents in a Relaxed Manner.

  9. what is wrong with everybody here? this is a political movement, not Seattle in 1992. stop pointing fingers at poseurs* and just enjoy the fact that people with the opportunity to reach a wide audience AGREE WITH YOU and want to help spread your message!

    *michael moore is still a liar, and Ken Jennings was a nobody like each and every one of you and won a bunch of money all at one time 7 years ago, I bet he put a bunch of it in savings and paying student loan bills, and maybe even lost a chunk of it in 2007 like everyone did, and lives comfortably while getting to do the work he loves [freelance writing, apparently] thanks to the good fortune he earned by being smart on a game show that one time….so lay off.

  10. Ken Jennings < Zerg <

  11. Wait, Jennings got ZERG RUSHED?

  12. Hey, Ken Jennings here. (Really.)

    I had no idea this little blog post was going to go viral, but after reading the comments here, I wanted to clarify a couple things.

    1. The idea for this came to me while looking at a few pretty great “I am the 99%” parodies online…one with Luke Skywalker, another with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I realized I hadn’t yet seen a real (i.e. non-Photoshop) joke along those lines, and saw a golden opportunity. My thinking was that this joke worked regardless of ideology–it’s not necessarily for or against Occupy…it’s more of an absurdist joke about the idea of reframing a Jeopardy-playing computer as a tool of The Man. I’m not easily offended myself, and therefore not a big believer in “Too soon!” objections to most kinds of jokes.

    2. THAT SAID…my sympathies are very much with the Occupy folks and the so-called “99%”. I almost didn’t post the pic when I realized it could be taken as trivializing the movement, so I ended up titling the post “Solidarity” (in all seriousness) and tweeting it with a message about how happy I was this week when I switched from a bank to a credit union. I honestly think these conversations about income inequality and the political clout of big financial firms are incredibly important, and we wouldn’t be having them without the OWS folks. One postscript: taken in terms of household income, I am squarely in the 99%. That’s how crazy income inequality is in this country, folks: a guy can take home not one but TWO six-figure quiz show checks in a year…and still be making half what the lowest-echelon 1-percenters are. That’s just crazy, how this elite stacks up in comparison to everyone else. Obviously I’ve been a little more recession-insulated than a lot of people, and I would never trivialize their plight. But really, we’re all in this together.

    PS: Also, I didn’t donate to Prop 8.

    • What a levelheaded thoughtful response. What’s it doing on the Internet?

    • Welcome to Videogum, Ken Jennings!

    • When the machines finally come for us I’m glad you’re on our side, Ken.

    • You know Ken, one blogger writes something about your 99% parody and you rush to comment. Yet, a guy who has been writing to you for years about a number of highly lucrative investment deals hears bupkis. Real nice.

    • Please comment in the form of a question.

    • It’s not enough to win all that money on jeopardy, now you’re gonna get into the Monster’s Ball? Leave something for the rest of us, Jennings!

    • Sooooo we’re all upvoting this to get Ken an invite to the Monsters’ Ball and the first step to an EGOT, right?

      Now is our chance to make him one of us, Monsters!

    • Wow! Awesome!

    • Welcome! Also, I don’t know if anyone’s told you this yet, but congrats on your Jeopardy! success.

    • Who is smarter, you or Mans?

    • worlds colliding. mind melting.

    • Hey Ken,

      Thanks for commenting. Even though I’m an anonymous commenter, I want to say I was wrong about you being in the 1%. I made some assumptions that were incorrect, and for that, I apologize.


      Having said that, welcome to Videogum. You will find a wide array of trampoline accident videos, thoughtful discussion, and videotalk.

      “Come for the picture-clarifications, stay for the trampoline accident videos” – M.L.K.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • Sweet Jesus. Just enjoy this beautiful moment in Videogum history without being such a goddam fart about it.

        • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • I know this is way late, but think about it this way – celebrities post things all the time that don’t “go viral”. I’m sure he has written or said tons of things that nobody has ever heard a thing about. He’s not a giant mega star, he’s a moderately famous guy who most people have heard of but don’t think about regularly. So why shouldn’t he express some mild surprise when one of those many things happens to take off?

            Also, you should probably be a little more contrite since you sort of called the guy a homophobe based on…I have no idea what.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • 1. You’re seriously taking a shot at me because I don’t use my real name commenting on Videogum?
            2. You’re still implying maybe he’s homophobic but maybe not even though you don’t have any basis for it?
            3. What difference does it make if he’s mistaken about his wealth percentile? He supports the movement and feels that wealth inequality is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Try and remember that it’s not a war on people who have money, but a movement against a system that perpetuates inequality.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • I did a quick google search and I can’t find any records of him voting for proposition 8 and there are really no relevant links. In fact one of the top results for “Ken Jennings Proposition 8″ is this thread where you call him a homophobe out of the blue for being a mormon.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Well if the info that he supported Prop is not online and he explicitly tells you that he doesn’t support it where are these claims coming from, other than he’s a mormon?

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I call Ken for my bar trivia team

    • Ken, I don’t know if you’re still reading this but I’ve always wondered why you didn’t just give Watson a clue where it had to answer, “What is C:>del *.*?”

    • Oh, dang, I saw this comment in the Monster’s Ball post, and came back just to give it another upvote.

  13. Ah, your photo went viral. Just like the diseases your mother transmitted to me last night.
    -Celebrity Jeopardy Sean Connery

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.