Celebrity Jeopardy!


I always wondered if “Saturday Night Live”s depiction of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” contestants as bumbling idiots made it harder for the real show to attact stars for its celebrity weeks.

Anyway, with Will Ferrell guest hosting SNL tonight, I was hoping for a “Celebrity Jeopardy” skit, and I was rewarded — and then some. Ferrell played Alex Trebek, of course, and Darrell Hammond was his nemesis Sean Connery, but Kristin Wiig played a Stupid Kathie Lee Gifford, and the part of Stupid Tom Hanks was played by … oh, wait. That was really Tom Hanks, in a lovely and unbilled bit of self-deprecation.

Three celebrity characters and that’s it, right? Well, not quite. All of a sudden, and without explanation, Norm MacDonald pops up as Burt Reynolds!

Wonderful. And Amy Poehler is sitting in on Weekend Update!

To the moon!

Today, in the course of editing a story, I had to explain to an under-30 co-worker that I grew up as a NASA geek. I was just at the right age to be transfixed by the space program. I remember my parents telling the babysitter to let me stay up past my bedtime (I was all of 7, although advanced for my age) so that I could watch Neil and Buzz make their famous moon walk.

So I’m fortunate that Tom Hanks’ brilliant “From The Earth To The Moon” aired during one of the brief interludes in my life when I actually subscribed to HBO. I was transfixed. I taped every episode, but since that time one of the tapes — the one which happened to include my two favorite episodes, “Spider” and “That’s All There Is.”

A really nice boxed DVD set was released a few weeks ago, but I never had the money and the inclination at the right time.

To take a little detour, you may have noticed that I have a lot of Amazon Associates links on this site. I signed up for the program years ago. I’ve made very, very little on it; I’ll go two years or more before accumulating enough of a commission for Amazon to credit it to my account. I’ve thought about just dropping it, and I may.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that in this instance, I’m not including an Amazon link because I found a much better deal on this particular item. Half what you would pay at Amazon. I do not benefit in any way from telling you that; I just want you to watch this incredible miniseries.

My boxed set arrived today, and it’s loverly, as Eliza Doolittle would say. I have seen some complaints that this particular collection — which was re-mastered for widescreen — crops the image awkwardly in one or two places. But I don’t care. It looks a million times better than my off-air video tape, and it has special features and I just love it.