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If You Know Who Wrote Jitney, You Could Have Been Last Night's Champion on Jeopardy!

Unfortunately for the returning winner, that drama was not written by Stephen Sondheim.

If there's ever an Achilles' heel for a contestant on Jeopardy!, it's a category about theater. Sometimes, you get one player who's a big fan of musicals and can blow through an entire category. Other times, like last night, for instance, a question about the performing arts can make even the most strategic players scratch their head.

Last night's Final Jeopardy answer was a relatively easy one. The category was Playwrights. The clue:

"This late writer has had 10 plays on Broadway, most of them set in Pittsburgh like Jitney, which premiered in 2017."

Two of the contestants got it right: they guessed August Wilson, who is indeed the author of Jitney and the nine other plays, like Fences and The Piano Lesson, that make up his Pittsburgh or Century play cycle. The returning champion, a Ph.D. student in film, but obviously not a theater person, guessed Stephen Sondheim, which is a wildly incorrect choice, given that Sondheim is known for musicals, and is also, you know, still alive.

Guess the D in "Ph.D." doesn't stand for Drama.


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