Jeopardy's Ken Jennings Sets Story Straight After Complaints About Clue Being Wrong

 Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!
Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! has seen quite a bit of pushback from fans lately in regards to the accuracy of its clues. In addition to the “horrible error” that spoiled the first half of the High School Reunion Tournament final, Ken Jennings was called out last month when fans thought he’d given a contestant a hint and misread a clue. He’s just recently returned to the lectern — following Mayim Bialik’s stint hosting the HSRT — and already he’s back on Twitter, defending the answer to one of the clues given during a recent episode.

During the March 15 episode of Jeopardy! some viewers took issue with a clue of the canine variety, when Ken Jennings read, “‘Rich, lustrous golden of various shades’ is the AKC standard for the coat of this working breed.” The response he was looking for was, “What is a Golden Retriever?,” though several Twitter users pointed out the error in this line of thinking, with one viewer writing:

Incorrect today..the golden retriever is a member of the sporting group not the working group..


However, record-holding Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings responded to the fan, pointing out that nowhere in the clue did it say they were referring to the official grouping of the animal. He tweeted:

didn't say ‘working group,’ it was ‘working dog.’ Goldens are among the most common breeds for several types of working dog, including service animals.

The fan was quick to accept Ken Jennings’ explanation, responding that she stood corrected, but I can definitely see where she and other Jeopardy! viewers were thrown off. The mention of the American Kennel Club in the clue makes it easy to assume the quiz show was referring to the organization’s official classifications. In the mere seconds the contestants (and armchair contestants) had to give an answer, the significant difference between a “working group” and a “working breed” was definitely tricky to work out, whether the clue writers intended it to be or not.

This was just the latest in several grievances that Jeopardy! fans have had with certain circumstances on the show — including an astonishingly confusing Final Jeopardy! clue — but none was bigger than the High School Reunion Tournament flub. Executive producer Michael Davies addressed that gaffe — in which the contestants’ final totals were displayed on their podiums at the beginning of the show during Mayim Bialik’s introduction — ensuring that protocols had been put in place to ensure such a mistake never happened again.

The EP also responded after viewers complained that Ken Jennings had “slammed” The Price Is Right in comments made to one of the contestants. However, in that case, Michael Davies brushed the criticism off, stating that he’d found Jennings’ comment funny and assuring fans that Jeopardy! has nothing but respect for its fellow classic game show.

Jeopardy! fans are never shy about calling out the show when they perceive something to be incorrect, but lately there seems to be just one complaint after another. How many more times will Ken Jennings have to address fans’ quibbles before Mayim Bialik takes the reins back on Monday, May 1? Check your local listings to see when Jeopardy! plays in your area, and also be sure to check out our 2023 TV schedule.