March 5th - March 11th
Who Is.... Max Levaren
I have a long Jeopardy history. In 1974, I was actually on the old Art Fleming Jeopardy that was taped in New York. I did so badly that I didn't tell anyone when it would be on --- if anyone saw it, they were gracious enough not to mention it!
I then took and passed the test in 1992, but was never called, so I decided that Jeopardy was not in my world. However, I often watched the show with friends, and when they heard that the Brain Bus was coming to San Diego (January, 2002) they urged me to go down and try out. I resisted, but to shut them up, I finally went.
Again, I passed the test and played the practice game, but as the months passed with no phone call, I was convinced that I'd never be called, but in September, I finally got the call and showed up on October 30. After my 1974 experience, I'd told everyone that if I bombed, I'd just say I wasn't picked - that put me in a real bind, because I really wasn't picked - it was my turn to be one of the local extras. However, I did get to meet Maggie, Susanne, Glenn, and everyone else on the set and decided that win, lose, or draw, I was going to have fun.
When I went back, however, I was still somewhat nervous about making a total fool of myself. I sat through two games before I was called, and with dry mouth and sweaty palms, went on stage for the third game of the day (that was the good news --- the bad news was that I was playing against the powerful and popular Anthony!)
I started slowly but by the first commercial break, I'd done well enough that I didn't have to hang my head in shame, so I just relaxed and had fun with it. As anyone who saw me knows, that worked for me, because the next three games just kept getting better. I did, however, hit the Game 5 slump. (It was almost as bad as the 1974 fiasco, but I didn't have to hang my head in shame.)
On "opening night" I had a party at the local pizza parlor/sports bar, where I commandeered all the TVs for Jeopardy. We were about twenty people, but when they began cheering for me, the whole place got into the act --- we had a blast. I've also enjoyed all the "sightings" - the most unusual was when someone recognized me at a taco stand in Tijuana!
I prepared for Tournament the same way I prepared for my regular games - watching the game on TV and practicing with my "air buzzer." I LOVED being part of the tournament, mainly because of all the people. The other contestants were fabulous --- even though we were competitors, we were all friendly and supportive. We talked a lot, laughed a lot, and lots of us are still in touch.
To learn more about each contestant simply click on a name below.