2015-10-26 00:00:00.0
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Features

WHAT IT WAS LIKE WRITING THE “PUNNY” “MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN” CATEGORY

By Jim Rhine, Jeopardy! writer

Writing clues for the MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN category (originally aired on 10/8/15) was a great experience as a Jeopardy! writer. We were able to use the fun — and the pun! — of what Mr. Peabody & Sherman have done for years in order to build a truly classic Jeopardy! category.

Naturally, the category in question (another pun!) would have to be an historical one and, as with any Jeopardy! category, there were a few limitations. The animations could move but had to be simple. For example, we couldn’t have against Mongol cavalry in the background of the Kublai Khan clue, which is how I originally conceived it.

Additionally, each clue had to incorporate both Mr. Peabody AND Sherman in a mini dialogue. That meant we couldn’t use the usual Jeopardy! clue format and say “He was the first Roman Emperor,” and we had to think outside the box a little bit. But by incorporating our heroes’ ability to fly around in time in the WABAC machine (“wayback,” get it? Another pun!), we were able to do some things we normally can’t. We can’t send the Clue Crew back in time...yet.

We had a great opportunity to drop in on famous figures and places from history, all while Mr. Peabody and Sherman commented on what is going on in front of them in their typically jocular way. The result was a category that was entertaining, informative, and fun in true Jeopardy! fashion. It would be great to do more categories with Mr. Peabody and Sherman one day. They are certainly some of the most professional and animated celebrity clue-givers we’ve ever had!

Can’t get enough Mr. Peabody and Sherman? Never fear, because Alex Trebek joined the party and got a makeover, courtesy of the talented folks at Dreamworks: