So, I watched the end of NBC’s Nightly News and there was Tom Brokaw, saying, “See you tomorrow night…”
Okay, one more night, Tom (he’s supposed to sign off this week. Dec. 1. I think. I could’ve sworn that was it, man).
It’s a shame about Dan Rather, who’s going to step down from his CBS post effective March 2005. ABC’s Peter Jennings must be thinking that he’s getting a ratings bonanza as an early Christmas present (well, assuming more people are going to be watching him the next couple of months).
“Jeopardy” update – Ken Jennings finally signs off. I actually missed the episode, so I can’t make a first-hand commentary on it. So, check out the written stuff out there. There’s the Associate Press story of his run, by David Bauder, and the NY Times one by Randy Kennedy. I prefer the Times article, since Kennedy liberally used Jennings’ own words to discuss the reaction:
In the end, after all the mind-bendingly tough answers like Leif Ericson, Johannes Kepler, George III and Ecuador (the clue: “a Spanish dictionary defines it as ‘Circulo maximo que equidista de los polos de la Tierra,’ “) it was a plain old accounting firm that finally brought down Ken Jennings, the “Jeopardy!” champion, ending the longest winning streak in game show history.
Answer: Most of this firm’s 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.
On last night’s show Mr. Jennings responded, “What is Fed Ex?,” while his opponent Nancy Zerg, a Realtor from Ventura, Calif., answered correctly, “What is H & R Block?” And so, after 75 shows, 2,700 correct responses and more than $2.5 million in winnings, Mr. Jennings – a software engineer from Salt Lake City who became a smiling, brainy pop-culture hero during his winning streak – finally put down his buzzer.
Yesterday, with his wife, Mindy, in a hotel room overlooking Times Square, Mr. Jennings, who taped the last show in September and has had to keep quiet about his loss since then, said it almost made sense to lose on such a mundane topic.
“I do my own taxes,” he said, grinning. “I would have never thought of taxes.
Kennedy ends the article with Jennings’ own words:
But for the next few months, [Jennings] plans to spend lots of time at home, where he will continue to read obsessively, speed through crossword puzzles and do most of the things he has always done. Except, of course, his own taxes. “H & R Block got hold of me and they’ve offered me free financial services for life,” he said, grinning as if he had just nailed a question on medieval horticulture. “So that I never forget their name again.”
Seriously, I had no idea that H & R Block employees essentially work only four months a year. Where does that leave the IRS? Hmm.