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Some guy from Normandy
February 19, 2013 8:47 PM   Subscribe

The last 2:50 of Teen Jeopardy! has made a viral star out of winner Leonard Cooper, 17. In an interview, Cooper discusses his preparation, applying to Brown University, meeting Steve Harvey, and that tricky buzzer. Not to mention that Questlove Instagram.
posted by girlmightlive (41 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love this kid.




destroy Trebek, least justified smugness ever
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:52 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was probably the best question I've ever seen written on Jeopardy!, and I've been watching the show a long, long time. I laughed out loud with *delight*.
posted by tzikeh at 8:54 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


A coworker of mine mentored this kid for several years. He and everyone from the program are pretty much over the moon right now.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:55 PM on February 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Is it coincidental that this kid has the first name of one of the main characters in "Big Bang Theory" and the last name of the other? I think not.
apologies if that was addressed on the show; didn't watch the whole thing
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:02 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyone else think, "Who are white dudes!" when the 12 Angry Men question came up?
posted by dobbs at 9:08 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]



I'll take "The Penis Mightier" for 500.

That's "The Pen is Mightier", Mr. Connery.

That kid rocks. Good for him!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:14 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Go home, Jeopardy, you're drunk.
posted by empath at 9:25 PM on February 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


That was awesome. I would love some more context here. What was his total after Day 1? How much of a difference did that daily double move make?
posted by ageispolis at 9:27 PM on February 19, 2013


He explains all that in the interview.
posted by empath at 9:28 PM on February 19, 2013


This Grantland post has some more context too.
posted by colbeagle at 9:30 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favourite part was where he explains that yes, he knew Nilai could still beat him if he bet enough and got the answer right, and that he took a calculated risk anyways based on what he knew about Nilai's schooling. TAKE THAT INTERNET HATERS.
posted by chrominance at 9:34 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


destroy Trebek, least justified smugness ever

Alex is the host because he already knows the answers to all the questions. Duh.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:42 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man, that was awesome. That kid is awesome. Long may he run.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:47 PM on February 19, 2013


Slarty Bartfast: "already knows the answers to all the questions"

Oh. My. GOD.

You've never even seen Jeopardy!
posted by boo_radley at 9:48 PM on February 19, 2013 [19 favorites]


I watched this when it aired. My wife and I were already pulling for Leonard and were stunned when he doubled down on the $18K. And then it came down to that final bet and I have never laughed so hard at a Jeopardy answer in my life. Dropped the mic indeed. DAMN!
posted by Ber at 9:50 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


any and all jeopardy contestants who risk all their money on daily doubles immediately earn my respect and a tip of my hat.
posted by kerning at 10:07 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The day after that, I was walking down Telegraph; in front of me, a student was trying to explain to another how cool this one guy on the teen tournament had been, but I wasn't following it all. Now I understand.

Good job, Leonard!
posted by Zed at 10:08 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw this on Grantland the other day - not sure why but this scene immediately came to mind.
posted by mannequito at 10:21 PM on February 19, 2013


doesn't alex trebeck have alzheimers
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:22 PM on February 19, 2013


I like how when he answers the bone question and makes his big wager, he's throwing eyes and wiggling around. Reminds me of my nephew, seems to favor a squirm when he's in the hot seat.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:26 PM on February 19, 2013


So, a few days ago, Dinosaur Comics had an unexpectedly wistful comic about Jeopardy. Not worth a full post, but this post here seems like a good place to link to it. (Make sure you cursor-hover over the comic for the extra bit.)
posted by benito.strauss at 10:26 PM on February 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


He passed up a great chance to answer "Who are three people from Normandy who have never been in my kitchen?"
posted by Sphinx at 10:47 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was rooting for him the entire way--I wish he'd gone for the true Daily Double. Just to have said those words. It wasn't like he wagered much less, anyhow.
posted by thack3r at 11:06 PM on February 19, 2013


We don't got no fancy ass Jeopardy this far south this time of year - so can someone explain how that works, and why he won?
posted by Sebmojo at 11:20 PM on February 19, 2013


Oh, it's because he knew he'd won even if the next closest guy was ahead, so he didn't risk getting it wrong? Yes?
posted by Sebmojo at 11:23 PM on February 19, 2013


He passed up a great chance to answer "Who are three people from Normandy who have never been in my kitchen?"

He was born after Cheers was cancelled, my friend.
posted by empath at 11:25 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Anyone else think, "Who are white dudes!" when the 12 Angry Men question came up?

PedantryDerailFilter: Yes, in the famous 1957 Sidney Lumet film of the play, all the actors are white. However, one of the jurors is from the same "bad" section of town that the defendant is from (the one who adds the knife fight evidence). The script never specifies the ethnicity of "them," the group of "others" including the defendant, a group whose worth is frequently derided by many members of the jury.

All of which to say, the play does have an element of diversity, in its own 1950s way.

/derail over

Leonard is awesome.
posted by HeroZero at 3:16 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, this brought back memories of when I appeared on Jeopardy (not the US version). We had been prep'd all day on how to wager and risk money - the producers obviously wanted drama - and we kept being told to play big, "have fun" and to stay "in the moment". The green room was filled with board games and one of the producers was sitting there playing with us.

Without into too many details (tl;dr), I only managed to win my fourth match because I ran counter to the producers' desire to gamble hard. I had ramped up a lot of money at that stage and I think I would have been tempted to go big on what seemed like an easy final category if it hadn't been for my knee-jerk "don't do what they tell you" reaction. So I just bet the minimum amount, mind went blank on the final category and just managed to squeeze past one of the other contestants.

I was 22? 23? and that was a lesson in caution I've followed ever since. Thanks, Jeopardy producers, for teaching me prudence tends to win out.

(PS. Leonard was fab. I can guarantee that he would have been under subtle pressure by producers to gamble hard and he didn't. Good for him).
posted by kariebookish at 4:26 AM on February 20, 2013


Leonard, despite his massive Daily Double, did not have a lock on the game. Kid on the far left could have caught him if he wagered enough, but I think he answered incorrectly in final anyway.

That said, glad this kid is getting some fame out of it. Real awesome guy.

Edit: What chrominance said...
posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:28 AM on February 20, 2013


This line from the Grantland piece nails it:

Leonard, I hope you know what you're doing, because these other two 11-year-old private-equity managers look mighty confident.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:18 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Boo to the Facebook commenters who made fun of his hair.
posted by mkb at 5:47 AM on February 20, 2013


I see a photo op with POTUS in this kid's future.

This is my favorite bit from the Grantland post:

He got "collarbone" in just in time, which is good, because for a moment there Leonard was about to be known as the guy with the Afro who guessed "neck bone" on national television.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:05 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The feeling around his neck to remember "collarbone" is what made me a fan.

They needed a basketball hoop at the other end of the stage for him to just pull a ball out from behind his monitor and drain a half court shot after that double jeopardy answer.

Leonard will save us all.
posted by dry white toast at 6:06 AM on February 20, 2013


Also, holy crap he and Questlove have exactly the same nose.
posted by dry white toast at 6:09 AM on February 20, 2013


I *heart* his mom too:

He’s going to need to save his money, Mom.

Leonard’s mom: That’s what I’m saying.

posted by JoanArkham at 6:33 AM on February 20, 2013


How many people read that and thought, "Holy Shit. I had a higher SAT score than he did."

I didn't BTW. My daughter did though. Now to get her to try out for Jeopardy...
posted by COD at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2013


This is my least favorite line from the Grantland piece:

The clue wasn't "this bone goes great with oxtail," and I think Leonard was confused by that at first.

Doesn't matter that the Grantland writer is black. That is fucked up.


(not fucked up in culinary terms, because neckbone/oxtail soup sounds delicious)
posted by oneironaut at 7:29 AM on February 20, 2013


He got the answer wrong, and it wasn't that tough.

Style over substance, get's you every time.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:35 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the Grantland comments: "the original Leonard" (don't read the YouTube comments, they spoil it.)
posted by davejay at 7:59 AM on February 20, 2013


What? I'm a bit disappointed. I was expecting some humor, yeah, on the level of "Who are 3 people who have never been in my kitchen?"
posted by mrgrimm at 8:17 AM on February 20, 2013


Apparently, I misremembered that passage in this book.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:55 PM on February 22, 2013


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