Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Follow Friday, our weekly interview with a Twitter user who brings us boundless delight. This week, we talk to Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, about what his WWE entrance music would be, his favorite people to follow on Twitter, and the time ABC producers tried to convince him to do an episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap."
You can follow Ken on Twitter here -- and we recommend you do, because he's hilarious -- and for all the latest tech news, you can follow @YahooTech on Twitter on right here.
Yahoo! Tech: In 140 characters or less: Why do you use Twitter?
Ken Jennings: I get to tell all the dumb jokes I want without having to annoy anyone I actually know or like.
KJ: The real eye-opener to me about Twitter was how many regular guys and gals--office managers, unemployed losers, computer programmers, suburban moms--were as funny as the famous "name" tweeters. And people were figuring that out, and they were getting the massive audience they deserved! Twitter is a weirdly pure meritocracy. I have too many beloved follows to make a full list, but if you look at my Favorites tab at any given time, I guarantee some random person you've never heard of from Boise is telling sharper, smarter jokes than your favorite comedian from that funny TV show.
Y!: Can you remember the first time you became cognizant of Twitter, and when you started tweeting?
KJ: The first time I heard about Twitter, I thought it was a joke. So it's like Facebook but your updates have to be really short? That's it? It sounded like a fake Internet start-up from a movie. The stupid tech idea that the main character's best friend is always taking about. I reluctantly created an account in 2011 to promote an upcoming book, and it was right around the time that Jeopardy! aired the game where I played against the IBM supercomputer. It turned out nobody wanted to follow me just because I was "that guy from Jeopardy! in 2004." So I gradually started tweeting less trivia-type content and more jokes and weirder jokes and it turns out that IS something (maybe the only thing) that Twitter is actually good for.
Y!: If you were a wrestler or baseball player, and you got to choose an entrance song, what would you choose?
KJ: The theme to "Frasier."
Y!: The perception in your Jeopardy! days was likely that you were something of an egghead; I think a lot of people were surprised to discover, from reading your Twitter feed, how funny you are. Anything else we'd be surprised to learn about you?
KJ: I can still fit into my quinceañera dress.
Y: Which Jeopardy!-related joke are you most tired of people making to you?
KJ: I love when it people add "What is..." to the start of whatever they want to say to me, or "...for $600, Alex!" to the end. Get it? Because I was on Jeopardy? Okay, maybe it doesn't seem funny now that I explained it to you, but take it from me, it's pretty hilarious.
Y: It's five years in the future. Will you still be using Twitter?
KJ: Honestly, I'll probably burn out. But luckily Twitter will be replaced about that time by an even more transitory, less substantive means of communication that I imagine will light up my limbic system like crack from the very first time I experience it.
Y!: What one feature do you most wish Twitter would add?
KJ: I feel like if you've been on a game show more than 50 times in a row, your account should just be verified automatically. Otherwise I bet a lot of successful game show contestants just get an endless stream of people asking them, "Why aren't you verified? Is this really you?"
Y!: What's the strangest endorsement deal or product tie-in you've been offered?
KJ: Not exactly an endorsement, but they wanted me to do Celebrity Wife Swap a few months ago. Sadly, I couldn't find a way to make this work with my longstanding goal of never being on Celebrity Wife Swap.
Y!: If your Twitter handle wasn't @KenJennings, it would be…
KJ: @OverheardDuringFireworks. It's a novelty account where I just tweet things that people say during fireworks shows. "OOOOH!" "Wow!" "I like those!" "Another blue one!" Wait, that's actually better than my current feed. :(
And here are, definitively, the BEST Ken Jennings tweets ever (so far):
hi friends, I'm Ken Jennings from Jeopardy. I know lots of things, but there's 1 thing I don't know: how weird my own house probably smells— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) May 8, 2013
Before the Internet, I guess I just assumed all my friends knew how to spell "definitely."— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) August 2, 2012
Liam Neeson is here at the zoo punching wolves. Nobody knows what to do. My kids are crying.— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) January 29, 2012
The spelling bee would be better if the kids had to say "to the" between each letter in their word.— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) June 1, 2012
WAYS TO KILL 2 BIRDS W/ 1 STONE1 Ricochet2 Retrieve, rethrow3 Line up birds precisely4 Huge boulder5 Use lovebirds, 2nd dies of grief— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) April 10, 2013
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