Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Jeopardy! Champ for President

Celia Rivenbark

I’m not sure if “Jeopardy!” brainbot James Holzhauer is politically inclined but I’m recruiting him to run against Trump in 2020 because I don’t think it’s possible for James to lose to anyone.

We can work on his annoyingly fake “Aw shucks! Did my big ol’ brain just do that again?!” smile, which someone must’ve told him was necessary so all of America doesn’t simply sit down–post “Wheel of Fortune” ice cream sandwich in hand–and hate him.

We can even get him to bust outta that Simon Cowell looking maroon sweater and wear a collared shirt and jacket with a flag pin on the lapel. Whatever it takes. Last night, while visiting my mother in law in her senior living apartment, I heard scattered applause throughout the corridors when James beat an unusually gifted challenger by a mere $18 on the Final Jeopardy question. (It should be pointed out Duh Hubby also had the correct question while I, deep into a tall boy from the walk-in cooler at the Sheetz across the street as my reward for a day of organizing and errand running, didn’t have a freakin’ clue.)

James Holzhauer is a uniter, folks! Stepping out for a minute to toss some laundry in the dryer down the hall, I noticed the attendance at the 7:30 Rummikub game was way down because so many residents were watching Jeopardy!

I stopped to gape at the four players seated at a card table and, for a crazy, tall boy-induced moment wanted to race into the room, shake their sweet bird-boned shoulders and scream: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! JAMES HOLZHAUER IS ON JEOPARDY! AND HE MIGHT LOSE TONIGHT!”

But I was already running back, past the library, past the procession of “Welcome Spring!” decorated doors, past the quarrelling couple (“I told you this was the wrong floor! Why did I marry you 67 years ago?”) and past the night watchman who gave a thumbs up at my ingenious use of a wheelchair to transport heavy laundry baskets.

It’s the kind of brilliant move James Holzhauer might make. I like to think.

By the time you read this, James may have lost but it’s hard to imagine. The depth and breadth of his knowledge means he can name the lead singer of the Pixies and, a hot minute later, tell you the percentage of pig tails and snouts in the average hot dog. OK, I made up that last one but I’m sure he would know it.

As the Real Housewives might screech: “Who DOES that?!”

There’s a couple of problems with my Draft James Holzhauer for President notion, admittedly.

One, he doesn’t have any experience. It won’t be sufficient just to get elected and tap Ken Jennings for Secretary of State because “He’s almost as smart as I am!” and two: He might be a Republican or an Independent or (shudder) a Libertarian.

This was a dumb idea and I apologize for bringing it up. Blame the tall boy.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit

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