Born in Raleigh, but raised in New Orleans, John Duarte fled the South looking for authentic burritos & inauthentic architecture. Luckily both could be found in Los Angeles strip malls. His passions include poker, Tolkien, reading, the New Orleans Saints, complicated MMORPG's & seedy dive bars. He has perfected the art of becoming a life-long bachelor & hopes to one day write a children's book on the subject. His beard has in the same breath been described as a "national treasure" & "in serious need of some work".
Born in New York City, Mark Gaberman has co-written five episodes of STAR TREK: VOYAGER. His book THE COMPLETELY GUILTY BYSTANDER is available at this easy-to-remember URL http://www.amazon.com/Completely-Guilty-Bystander-Observations-Dysfunctional/dp/0595093604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411767474&sr=8-1&keywords=the+completely+guilty+bystander. When not riding the rails in search of the true America, cliff diving in Acapulco, or saving whales off the coast of Australia, he enjoys the tranquil setting of small-town Los Angeles with his wife and son.
(UPDATE! Most of the above was written 10 years ago. Now Mark has a dog, too.)
Best Job in the World! is how Debbie describes her tenure at Jeopardy! A lot has changed in the 25 years since Debbie joined the writing staff, most noticeably, the typewriters, white-out and frequent trips to the library are a thing of the past, replaced by computers and the internet.
A graduate of CSUN, Debbie began her career in game shows as a researcher for Tic Tac Dough. Other jobs followed, including a 5-year stint as a writer for Sale of the Century, and finally Jeopardy!
Debbie says she's blessed to be part of such an amazing and enduring show, and the 10 Emmys, Writers Guild Award and Peabody Award that fill her corner curio cabinet is the icing on the cake!
Robert McClenaghan joined the Jeopardy! writers' staff in 2008 following careers in academia, publishing, and street chess. He fled an upbringing in the dank wilds of Oregon's Willamette Valley for the drier climes of Southern California, where he whiles away his spare time as an enthusiast of baseball, punk rock, English poetry, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, German beer, American whiskey, and extreme pedantry.
The product of an oppressively supportive family, Michele Loud grew up quickly on the mean streets of Studio City, California before heading east to college. A graduate of Tufts University, Michele returned to Southern California and was gainfully employed at a magazine when Jeopardy! came calling. It was with great pleasure that she was able to give her editor two-weeks' notice by saying she'd been hired as a researcher for America's favorite game of answers and questions. In the 20 years she's been with the show, Michele has had the pleasure of writing for all of the flavors of Jeopardy!: JEP!, Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, and most recently, Sports Jeopardy!
Former Special Agent and now JEOPARDY! writer, Jim Rhine was born at the height of the Cold War and then again 2 weeks after that. A comfortable childhood included work in a Nike factory in Indonesia, visits on weekends to Chernobyl & a steady diet of crickets & honey. After a short university career at Woolamaloo U, where Jim majored in being a miner and lettered 4 times on the cat-tossing team, the real world beckoned. Jim's voluminous professional resume includes listings as diverse as malamute breeder, General Patton's sensitivity instructor, Richard Nixon's ethics advisor, and Mike Tyson's sportsmanship coach. Other "freelance" jobs from his post-college years include Jamaican farmer, aspiring Olympian, and giant sea otter tamer. Even Jim isn't sure where he was from 1994 to 1997. In recent months, when Jim isn't spending 23½ hours a day at JEOPARDY! ('I love my job, dad!' says Jim!), he plays starting goalie for the Southern Hockey League team the Macon Whoopees.
I've been involved with the game show business since the early 1980s and have written for about a dozen different shows including Tic Tac Dough, Trivia Trap, Card Sharks, and, of course, JEOPARDY! The 2014-2015 season will be my 28th with the show. Along the way, I've been fortunate enough to win ten Emmys and two WGA awards for writing. I've written five books including ELVIS: HIS LIFE FROM A TO Z. From 1978 to 1983, I edited and published "Trivia Unlimited" magazine, the first national magazine devoted exclusively to trivia.
As a youth, I squandered my allowance and earnings from odd jobs by foolishly buying baseball cards and comic books. My mom threw away the baseball cards but I kept the comic books. My most prized possessions today are Fantastic Four #1 and Amazing Fantasy #15 (the introduction of Spider-Man). And, no, they're NOT for sale...yet.
I look forward to each Fall, not only because it's the beginning of a new season on JEOPARDY!, but it's also the kickoff of the college football season. A fanatical and somewhat demented college football buff, I live and die with the success (usually) and failure (rarely) of my beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers. Normally, a God-fearing, decent fellow, I've been known to be downright cantankerous with the unsuspecting salesman who calls or knocks on the door during a telecast. (Now, if I could just talk the producers into moving the JEOPARDY! production offices to Lincoln...)
The afternoon sun was low yet colorless in the sky and the ice had melted into a drowning archipelago in the bourbon, but two sentences were still all that sat on the screen. Billy Wisse grew up in Montreal, Canada, and received a B.A. and an M.A. in English from McGill University there. In 1989 he sought a career in screenwriting in Los Angeles, where a fortuitous Variety ad led him to Jeopardy! Can that really be a life, he wondered, taking a barely-burning sip? What about the friendships sealed on canyon hikes, the unsold books of poetry, the wife and children faintly audible through the off-center oak door? What about the laughter over Daily Double choices and medieval Bulgarian royal sobriquets? All fading like the day. He inhaled and hit SEND.