The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

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Fleeboy
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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Fleeboy » Wed May 14, 2014 12:32 pm

OrangeSAM wrote:
BobF wrote:
harrumph wrote:It would be interesting to look at transcripts of the clues.. how difficult were they, how consistent, do they meet the criteria that we judge clues in today's games by.
Don't remember where or when I read it, but I believe the consensus was that the Art Fleming version of Jeopardy! was more difficult than the Alex Trebek version of Jeopardy!
I knew a Fleming era contestant (now departed). She thought the old version was tougher. She remembered that the clues didn't contain any hints in them - TOMs as we know them.

She won her game and got some astonishingly small amount of cash (remember the clue values) plus a set of encyclopedias, IIRC.
One of my elementary school teachers drove to NYC from eastern W.Va. and made it onto the show. She won $90 and the encyclopedias (Grolier's, I think).

It's difficult to gauge the relative difficulty of the clues from then to now, but one bottom-of-the-board clue in the Silly Songs category has been stuck in my head for nearly a half-century. The contestants were required to name the four Native American tribes mentioned in the first verse of "Pass That Peace Pipe" from the musical "Good News." It was a triple stumper, but I've never forgotten the correct response.
SpoilerShow
What are the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Chattahoochees and Chippewas?

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by harrumph » Wed May 14, 2014 12:54 pm

SpoilerShow
What are the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Chattahoochees and Chippewas?
SpoilerShow
Were they on the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe?

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Bamaman » Wed May 14, 2014 9:06 pm

Interesting the TOCs then didn't reset the scores to zero after the first day. Imagine what kind of score Roger might have had playing under those rules.

I also see they had an 18 player TOC one time, with six QF games, two SFs with one wild card making the finals.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by flemmingfan » Thu May 15, 2014 8:25 am

What an interesting thread, thanks to Robert K S for posting and a neat comment by Cosmos ( that answer rings a bell in my cabeza). In my case, I still enjoy the show now every day, back then only when I had the time. Another plus IMO was the fact that Art focused on the contestants and not himself and the clues seemed to be more trivia related, not something you necessarily had to study for.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by flemmingfan » Thu May 15, 2014 8:31 am

Addendum: I meant to allude to fleeboy's comment also re the indian tribes response.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by jeopardyhopeful » Mon May 19, 2014 4:45 pm

I wish more of the Fleming-era contestants than just Burns Cameron had been invited to the SuperJeopardy! in 1990. I'll bet there were lots of wonderful contestants in the Art Fleming era we'll never see now.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by BobF » Mon May 19, 2014 4:56 pm

jeopardyhopeful wrote:I wish more of the Fleming-era contestants than just Burns Cameron had been invited to the SuperJeopardy! in 1990. I'll bet there were lots of wonderful contestants in the Art Fleming era we'll never see now.
I kind of wish more of them had been invited to live in the White House on January 20, 2009 (or January 20, 2001 for that matter), but that's just my own personal preference. :-)
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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by skullturf » Mon May 19, 2014 5:17 pm

BobF wrote:
jeopardyhopeful wrote:I wish more of the Fleming-era contestants than just Burns Cameron had been invited to the SuperJeopardy! in 1990. I'll bet there were lots of wonderful contestants in the Art Fleming era we'll never see now.
I kind of wish more of them had been invited to live in the White House on January 20, 2009 (or January 20, 2001 for that matter), but that's just my own personal preference. :-)
There are a significant number of people in both major parties who agree with your 2001 remark.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Johnblue » Mon May 19, 2014 6:35 pm

Robert K S wrote:Notes of interest
On Show #925, recorded 1967-10-03 in Studio 8G, aired 1967-10-13, the millionth dollar was awarded on Jeopardy! (records do not indicate to which player, of Eric Hanson, Zelda Pullium, or Gail Menkman). Art had been teasing the audiences over the past several games that it could happen at any time, and that when it did, something special would occur. When the millionth dollar was hit, the game was stopped and the contestant who hit it was given a 1968 American Motors Javelin SST sports hardtop that "comes complete with radio, reclining bucket seats, automatic transmission and whitewall tires". Some film of the car was shown. The contesant said a few words, and then the game resumed.

On Show #1185, recorded 1968-10-01 in Studio 8G, aired 1968-10-18, Art Fleming delivered a special note about the show "finding" undefeated champion Hutton Gibson, who had apparently relocated his large family to Ireland, so that he could be invited to participate in the 1968 Tournament of Champions. We know, despite incomplete Master Books records, that Gibson won the ToC that year, because Maxime Fabe recorded it in her TV Game Shows book, which lists ToC winners from 1968 on:

1968: Red Gibson from South Ozone Park, New York
1969: Jay Wolpert from Glen Cove, New York
1970: Gene Cheatham from New Orleans, Louisiana
1971: Rock Johnson from Macon, Georgia
1972: Ann Marie Sutton from Yorktown Heights, New York
1973: Paula Ogren from Los Angeles, California
1974: Denny Golden from Palisades Park, New Jersey

Image

Show #1696, recorded 1970-10-10 in Studio 6A, aired 1970-11-04, had a contestant written in the record as being an "M. Lasardo". This is the very same Mary LoSardo, Trebek-era Season 22 1-time champion, who claimed during the interview of her Trebek appearance to have won $60 and an encyclopedia in 1970 or 1971. The other challenger in her game was a Meredith Rodwell (or Ropwell) and the 1-time returning champion was Trish Baskin. Rights release forms indicate that audio clues on her show included "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" by Irving Berlin and "Thou Swell" by Rodgers and Hart. I received a message from Mary LoSardo on 2008-09-07 confirming that this was her game, and she remembers specific details about competing against a Meredith and getting those audio clues wrong.

The daytime show was mercilessly pre-empted. The entire week leading up to Thanksgiving Day 1965, Art Fleming took time during the show to advertise that coverage of the Macy's Day Parade would appear on NBC, hosted by Betty White and Bonanza's Lorne Greene. Perhaps Jeopardy! aired on the West Coast, where the Macy's Day Parade appeared earlier in the schedule, but in the Master Books no record of Show #434 appears because of parade coverage pre-emption in New York. Similarly, records are missing wherever a news bulletin cut into the show (the Vietnam War and the Space Race were hot topics), or the network simply felt like airing a different show in Jeopardy!'s place. The network never aired re-runs or rescheduled pre-empted programming, meaning that it regularly spent money producing programming it would never show.

Here is Burns Cameron's introduction on his ToC. (These images have been retouched to reduce reflections from the microfilm reader screen from which they were taken.)

Image


Hutton "Red" Gibson is the actor Mel Gibson's father. They later moved to Australia where he went on more tv trivia shows.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by jeopfansincebirth » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:15 pm

Who was the Stuart who won the 1978 revival's ToC?
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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by econgator » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:40 pm

jeopfansincebirth wrote:Who was the Stuart who won the 1978 revival's ToC?
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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Robert K S » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:02 pm

One other post recovered from the old Sony message board, thanks to the Internet Archive:
MattOttinger - Senior Member - Join Date: Sep 2001 - Posts: 1,331
Trebek HAS played Celebrity Jeopardy

Thing is, it was in 1974.

Don't know if this has ever been mentioned, or if I've got a wonderful new nugget of information. I was checking over some notes a researcher gave me about the Fleming-era Jeopardy, and it turns out that Alex was a celebrity player late in the original run of the show. What my guy found were original paper records from NBC that documented some interesting information about special shows or happenings.

Trebek appeared on one show the week of April 1-5, 1974 (and no, this isn't an April Fool's gag) as part of a special week marking the show's 10th anniversary. The notes say his opponents were Bill Hayes (at the time, a popular soap star) and Bill Bixby. He doesn't have any record of how they performed, who the other celebrities were that week, or why the producers picked two guys named "Bill" for the same show. At the time, Trebek was the host of a short-lived game show called "The Wizard of Odds". In fact, the notes indicate that Trebek made a walk-on appearance a month earlier, on March 7th, to plug his new game.

Celebrity games tied to the show's anniversary were apparently a tradition of sorts, as was using NBC daytime stars as celebs for those shows. According to the notes, a second anniversary game in 1966 featured Hugh Downs, Don Morrow and Monty Hall, and an eighth anniversary game in 1972 featured Peter Marshall, Bill Cullen and Art James. I actually have some photos from the 1972 game in my stash of Bill Cullen stuff.

There's virtually nothing in the notes about civilian contestants. Burns isn't mentioned, for example, but there is a note that says on February 4, 1974, William Tyman became the show's biggest winner with $8,500. My guess is that's a five-day total not counting ToC winnings. That would be the equivalent of winning $170,000 in five shows today.

I hope this dip into the past has been interesting to at least some of you.
Matt's researcher friend was undoubtedly looking at the Master Books broadcast logs, either in the Library of Congress or at some other site. I'd be curious to know who the researcher was, what else he may have found, and what project his research was for. Hitting interesting Jeopardy! information on those microfilms is like finding a needle in a haystack. Going through a few weeks' worth of shows can take a full day of spooling through microfilms. And the reading room where you can do it has pretty short hours. As I already posted, though, the Master Books log does have info about Burns Cameron's appearances.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by seaborgium » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:57 pm

People frequently ask Alex at tapings whether he would/could play, but I've never heard anybody ask him if he has played. I've thought for a while (remembering that post) that if I should ever find myself in the audience again, I'd ask just that.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by trainman » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:32 am

seaborgium wrote:People frequently ask Alex at tapings whether he would/could play, but I've never heard anybody ask him if he has played. I've thought for a while (remembering that post) that if I should ever find myself in the audience again, I'd ask just that.
I wouldn't be surprised if he filed that away in his brain under "stuff NBC made me do for promotional purposes" and has completely forgotten that he was a celebrity J! contestant, in the same way that he probably can't name any local NBC affiliate talk shows he appeared on in the 1970s, either.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by WooWho? » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:44 am

MattOttinger - Senior Member - Join Date: Sep 2001 - Posts: 1,331

an eighth anniversary game in 1972 featured Peter Marshall, Bill Cullen and Art James.

This Buzzerblog article appears to have one of those such photos: http://www.buzzerblog.com/2014/06/26/tb ... dy-on-nbc/
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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by legendneverdies » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:14 am

WooWho? wrote:
MattOttinger - Senior Member - Join Date: Sep 2001 - Posts: 1,331

an eighth anniversary game in 1972 featured Peter Marshall, Bill Cullen and Art James.

This Buzzerblog article appears to have one of those such photos: http://www.buzzerblog.com/2014/06/26/tb ... dy-on-nbc/
THere was a pic of the two Arts, Peter, and Bill standing in front of the J! board in one of the game show fanzines that came out circa 1986-87: Tv Game $how magazine lasted seven issues, and TV Game Show Fever lasted two issues. I think a pic of Peter Bill and Art J, at their podiums turned up in Encyclopedia of TV Game SHows volume one. INteresting to note that the three players from the 1966 celeb game, Monty Hall, DOn Morrow(hosted Griffin's Let's Play Post Office at the time, and is better known as a commercial spokesperson), and Hugh Downs, are all still alive and well.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Robert K S » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:33 pm

I ran across this archive of a newspaper article about the (then upcoming) first ToC in 1964. It provides scant little extra information beyond what is in the Master Books. There is a different spelling for Sid Kramer's name and some of the contestant locations are clarified. What would be really nice is a confirmation of the name of the winner.
The Daily Reporter
September 26, 1964
Dover, Ohio
Page 22

Tournaments Set For NBC Game Shows

It will be a battle of the question giants when the top 9 contestants who have appeared thus far on "Jeopardy," NBC- TV audience - participation show, are pitted against each other in a "Tournament of Champions" next week.

The 9—7 undefeated winners and 2 other top money winners—will be vying for "Jeopardy's" Grand Champion crown carrying with it big possible cash winnings, a $1,000 bonus, and a week's trip for 2 to the Virgin Islands. The roster of blue ribbon contestants who have won a total of $35,000 on the show includes: Sid Krammer of Brooklyn, N. Y.; John Murphy of Bay Shore, Long Island, N. Y.; Mrs. Rosemary Taubert of New York City; Mrs. Terry Thompson of Westfield, N. J.; Mrs. Helen Beck of Jamaica, Long Island, New York; Mrs. Ruth Lind of Springfield, Va.; Pat McDermott of the Bronx, N. Y.; Mrs. Madeleine Von Koch of Forest Hills, Long Island N. Y. and Mrs. Phyllis Gallo, Lima, O.

The playoffs will continue throughout the week. The Grand Champion will be crowned after the game of Friday. Three other programs are participating in the NBC - TV "Week of Champions." They are: "Merv Griffin's Word for Word," "Concentration" and "Say When."

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Robert K S » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:45 pm

Bingo! Terry Thompson beat out John Murphy and Phyllis Gallo to win the first ToC, presumably racking up a $2,510 cumulative score for all her ToC appearances. There's even a nice little picture of the "First Annual Griffin Award," which differs a bit from Burns's trophy a couple years later. (I suspect both were just trophy-store stock.)

Image

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by Robert K S » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:51 pm

For a long time my summary of the Fleming ToCs indicated that the spelling of competitor Lorrain Gorman's name was uncertain. The handwritten name in the Master Books Broadcast Logs info sheets was illegible and could just as easily have been Gurman or Corman. So I tried Googling and found this contemporary news article online, courtesy of Newspapers.com, from Chicago's The Daily Herald, Tuesday, August 24, 1971, page 3:
'Jeopardy' Means $3,000
by KURT BAER
For years, Lorraine Gorman had watched other people win money on NBC's daytime quiz show 'Jeopardy.' Then one day last month Mrs. Gorman, who lives at 1504 W. Oakton St., Arlington Heights, went from viewer to contestant, and came home $3,000 richer.

"I'd watch the show and say to myself, 'I know I could do as well,' " Mrs. Gorman said. "Finally one day I decided to give it a try."

To qualify to be a contestant, Mrs. Gorman had to pass a preliminary, 36-question test which she took in New York on June 15.

"I didn't hear anything for several weeks," she said. "Then Wednesday before the Fourth of July, they called and asked if I could be in New York for a Thursday taping.

MRS. GORMAN and her husband, Frank, a Latin teacher in Dist. 214, were staying in Albany, New York at the time. "I got on a bus that afterndon, and was in New York Wednesday night," she said.

Three Jeopardy shows are taped each Thursday and Friday, approximately a month before they are shown on the air. Mrs. Gorman appeared on five shows before "retiring" as the 84th undefeated champion in "Jeopardy's seven year history.

"I was really terribly nervous," she recalled. "And playing didn't start to be fun until the last couple of games."

As an undefeated champion, Mrs. Gorman, a Latin teacher, is eligible to compete against other unvanquished contestants during Jeopardy's Tournament of Champions held each year in October.

"During the commercials they keep telling you to smile and not be so nervous. And Don Pardo (the show's emcee) tries hard to make you feel at ease. When you first see all the different categories you're sure you won't be able to answer a thing. But facts just come to you once you start playing."

More than 200 persons take the qualifying test each week, Mrs. Gorman said. But only 10 are selected to actually compete on the air.

"YOU DON'T GET the money until after your last show has been on the air," said Mrs. Gorman who made her fifth and final appearance Monday. She plans to use part of her $3,000 winnings to buy some new kitchen appliances and says she will save the rest. She also plans to continue to do a lot of reading. And just in case she wants to check any of the questions she missed on the show, she'll have a new set of the Encyclopedia International, courtesy of 'Jeopardy,' to use as reference.
The article had a nice picture, showing Mrs. Gorman posed before her television, with herself on the screen, with this caption:
SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS ahead of the game, Mrs. Lorraine Gorman, 1504 W. Oakton St., Arlington Heights, watches herself compete on Jeopardy, an NBC daytime quiz show. Mrs. Gorman, a Latin teacher in Dist. 59, won $3,000 in five appearnaces on the show before retiring as an undefeated champion.

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Re: The Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era of Jeopardy!

Post by dhkendall » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:14 pm

I wonder what Fleming era winners think of the fact that the total winnings of a five time champ and a TOC winner can now be had in a couple of clues? (And that people who lose their only game take home more than multiday winners in their time)
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