The credentials of this year's "Jeopardy!" Power Players Week celebrity contestants are collectively quite impressive: 21 Emmy Awards, eight Peabody Awards, four Pulitzer Prizes, a Grammy and the record for all-time leading scorer in the NBA.
The celebrities, appearing on "Jeopardy's" special week of shows being taped in DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., will include CNN's Anderson Cooper, former L.A. Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Fox News' Chris Wallace, comedian Lewis Black, CNBC's David Faber, the New York Times' Thomas Friedman, former White House press secretaries Robert Gibbs and Dana Perino, BBC's Katty Kay, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell and Chuck Todd, CNN's Lizzie O'Leary, Dr. Mehmet Oz and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page.
Though "Celebrity Jeopardy!" has become a tradition, this is only the third Power Players week in the show's 28 years. In past years, Sen. Al Franken, Bob Woodard and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer have participated. And one can presume that the questions will be a couple of degrees more difficult than the kind tossed at such "Celebrity Jeopardy" participants as Andy Richter and "Desperate Housewives'" Dana Delany.
The shows will be taped on Saturday, and the players will be competing for a minimum of $50,000 for the charity of their choice. (Even the losers will get $10,000 donated to their favorite charities.) The shows will air the week of May 14-18.
"Jeopardy!" itself has an impressive credential. It's currently listed in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for having the most awards given to a TV game show. It was recently awarded a 2012 Peabody Award and picked up the 2011 Emmy Award for outstanding game/audience particpation program.
The show's accolades and longevity have inspired mockery, including the memorable "Saturday Night Live" sketch of "Celebrity Jeopardy" featuring Darrell Hammond as a super-beligerant Sean Connery.
— Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times.