I’ll take “Exciting News” for 800, please!
In her fresh memoir, In the Form of a Question, Jeopardy! champ Amy Schneider lays it all bare, dishing on her game show triumphs and personal journey. In an interview with TV Insider, Schneider told the that her book “was a way for viewers to get to know the real her.”
Schneider holds the title as the most accomplished female contestant in Jeopardy history, ranking second only to the legendary host Ken Jennings in all-time victories. Since her debut on November 17th, 2021, Schneider dominated for a staggering 40 consecutive games!
Schneider has also received recognition for being the first openly trans Jeopardy contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, she went on to win said tournament in November 2022, increasing her total earnings to over $1.6 million. Schneider then competed in Jeopardy! Masters in 2023, finishing the quarter-final round in fifth place.
“I think one of the things [that inspired her memoir] was that as I realized that I had been so many people’s first trans person, as it were, I grew uncomfortable with the fact that the part of myself that I had shown on Jeopardy was sort of the most accessible, relatable, family-friendly part of myself, which was fine,” Schneider said in the interview. “That’s what the Jeopardy environment is for.
“But I also started to worry. Is that something that the people who I’m the only trans person they know, when they come across other trans people who have had messiness in their life who are not as media savvy as I am or whatever else, is that then going to be something that they use to be like, ‘Well, I’m not transphobic. I like that nice Amy on Jeopardy. Why can’t they just be like that nice Amy on Jeopardy?'” Schneider continues. “And so I wanted to show that I’m not just that. I have also experimented with drugs, I’ve had a somewhat varied sexual history, and I’m just more complicated and messy than that. And yet at the same time, none of that’s incompatible with being a Jeopardy champion.”
In her memoir, Schneider shares crucial moments from her life before and beyond her Jeopardy journey. She aspires to foster understanding about being a trans woman in America, offering viewers insight into her on-screen presence.
“I would see people making comments about” other players on the show, and “some would end up coming off as villains, ” Schneider explains. “People would be like, ‘Oh, I don’t know that person’ and all of this. And I would be like, that is not at all the person that I spent that day with. This is not who I remember. And it made me realize how distorting seeing someone on TV is. You feel like you get to know them but you don’t really. And so part of the inspiration for this book was nobody actually knows me yet, and I would like them to.”
Schneider shared that she doesn’t actually watch the show as much as she used to. She even admitted to feeling a little burned out after talking only about Jeopardy! for the past several months. Occasionally, Schneider still tunes in, although the show’s return during the summer strike by its writers didn’t make her more eager to watch.
Schneider also shared thoughts of boycotting the series whenever it returned despite the ongoing strike. When Jeopardy! came back for Season 40, it tackled the absence of its writers by reusing old categories and clues in the gameplay.
The day after the WGA writers strike was brought to an end on September 27th, Schneider told TV Insider this:
“I haven’t really watched any of the recycled episodes, partly because I just don’t watch is as much anymore. It’s not something that I was thrilled about. I also don’t know the pressures that they’re under, and these are people’s jobs on the line. I’m not here to sit in judgement on them for doing it, but there was this feeling of like, is that even really Jeopardy! on some level?”
Then TV Insider asked the million dollar question: Would Schneider ever be interested in joining Jennings and Bialik as a Jeopardy! host?
“Like I say, I think Ken should be the host because I think he’s great, but you know, I’d take the call,” Schneider says. “It is a hard job, but I love Jeopardy! and I love all the people that work on it. I had a great experience with all of them. They’d be great people to work with. Yeah, I would certainly listen.
We are all here for it! Whoever becomes the new Jeopardy! host, we just know they will have what it takes to keep the beloved show fresh and always a pleasure to watch!