So, you want to attend a taping of Jeopardy!. Great idea! You should know that it’s not as simple as walking up to the Alex Trebek Studio and taking your seat. Rules have changed thanks to COVID-19. Let’s learn the important guidelines.
First ‘Jeopardy!’ Steps
It should go without saying that attending a taping of Jeopardy! as a contestant is radically different than as an audience member. To become a contestant, one must pass the Jeopardy! Test, fit the age requirements, and pass an audition. Then you’re placed in a contestant pool where you may or may not be called to compete within 18 months.
Contestants aren’t supposed to interact with the audience. The Jeopardy! Test occurs once a year but there’s also an anytime test you can take any time. Some folks apply to be on Jeopardy! for years and never get called down, so if it’s an aspiration of yours, good luck!
Becoming an audience member is somewhat easier just because you don’t have to take a test, but there are just as many rules. The first step is the easiest: request tickets to the show. You can do so on the Jeopardy! website, but tickets go pretty quickly. The show tapes five episodes per day. You should receive a callback within seven days of the taping to confirm the reservation.
Get There Early And Do What You’re Told
Jeopardy! tapes in Culver City in Los Angeles. That means you should expect intense traffic. Getting to the Sony Lot about an hour ahead of time is the way to go. Once everyone’s arrived, you’ll walk through the Jeopardy! museum and make your way to the seats. A warm-up employee gets contestants jazzed up and then explains the rules.
Most of the rules boil down to two simple axioms: turn your phone off, and do what you’re told. Don’t clap unless the monitor says to, and absolutely do not respond to anything during the show. Audiences are exclusively made up of Jeopardy! lovers, but that’s not an invitation to treat a taping like watching an episode.
New Compliance Rules
Owing to COVID-19, there are now very strict rules on admittance. Everyone must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That means mandatory booster shots, and it’s strictly enforced. No one under eight is allowed, and all audience members must wear KN-95 masks at all times.
In the Trebek days, he would routinely chat with the audience during tapings. The legendary host would talk about his personal life, the game itself, or take questions. It’s unknown if Mayim Bialik or Ken Jennings will do the same, but COVID rules will probably amend this experience. It’s simply not the same as it used to be for safety reasons.