Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

TV/radio briefs: ‘Simpsons’ joke about Georgia film credits, my former boss on ‘Jeopardy,’ Will Ferrell backlash for Bert Weiss 

Originally posted Wednesday, October 31, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

A recent Variety story about the Georgia film industry opened with an anecdote about how “The Simpsons” last month during its season debut made a joke mocking the seemingly ubiquitous peach logo that airs after every Georgia-made production.

When Christian producers tried to convince Homer to create a movie based on Bart having met Jesus on his near-death bed, Homer asked for conditions such as input in the script and tickets to the premiere. Then he added: “I’m not thanking the Georgia Film Commission, no matter what.”

The logo is a way to promote the state and guarantees a production company can receive a 30 percent tax credit instead of just 20 percent. This sweetener was created in part in 2008 by local actor and SAG-AFTRA Atlanta president Ric Reitz a decade ago. 

Reitz was bemused when told about the joke. 

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“Haha, we’re pop culture,” he wrote. “A mixture of envy, grudging respect and satire. I love it! We’ve made it!”

***

Soyia Ellison, a former AJC editor, competed on "Jeopardy" in an episode that aired October 29, 2018.

Soyia Ellison, my former boss at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 2004 to 2006 and now assistant director of communications at the Carter Center, was able to check off one of her bucket-list wishes: compete on “Jeopardy.”
Soyia, who was calm and collected throughout the game, played a solid game but came in third place Monday night. 

“The game itself goes so fast,” she said. “One minute you're hearing the first question and the next you're starting Double Jeopardy. I'd forgotten half of the questions, so when I watched Monday night, I was sometimes genuinely surprised to see myself get a question right.”

It was a relatively clean match with only four mistakes among the three contestants and 49 out of 60 possible questions answered correctly over the two regular rounds. Soyia held the lead ever so briefly after winning a Daily Double during Double Jeopardy. She only bet $2,000 and could have bet more but wasn’t comfortable enough with the category: “Joust.” She was thrilled she got the answer right. 

But then Tori Campbell, an attorney from Chicago, pulled away. 

Entering Final Jeopardy, Soyia was tied with Neill Mohammed for second at the end of Double Jeopardy with $9,800. Tori led comfortably with $17,800. The only way Soyia could win was for Tori and Neill to get the Shakespeare question wrong and she be the only one to get it right.

Instead, all three answered it properly, giving Tori the win. Unfortunately, only the winner gets to keep all the money. Soyia took home $1,000 for coming in third while Neill pocketed $2,000. (She bet $2 less than Neill and it cost her second place.)

In the end, Soyia got 13 answers right and just one wrong, including the state where Morehouse College is located. She also got beat trying to answer a question about Vidalia onions. Timing the buzzer properly while beating the other contestants is tricky, she said.

“I knew Vidalia,” she said. “And skeeball. And air hockey, And Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I knew the answers to about two-thirds of the questions, but I really had trouble with the buzzer. It's not as simple as being the fastest. You've got to time it just right. If you ring in too soon, you get locked out for a fraction of a second. I think people who have played a lot of video games probably have an advantage.”

Neill pulled in 14 right and two wrong. Tori correctly answered 22 questions and made two mistakes.  

More details of her game in this special “Jeopardy” archive

Soyia said she was impressed with the entire “Jeopardy” operation, top to bottom. “Everyone involved with the show -- the contestant coordinators, the makeup artists, the director, the guy who handles the mics -- all seem to love their jobs and try to make it a good experience for the contestants,” she said. 

She also loved just hanging out with the other contestants. The show tapes five episodes a day and they were all at the same hotel. “I'm Facebook friends with several of them now, and we've been in constant conversation as our games are airing,” she said. 

Soyia overcame long odds just to be on the show. More than 80,000 people took Jeopardy's online test this year and only about 400 will make it on the show per season. 

Her loss came just 10 days after Johns Creek software development manager Alan Dunn pocketed about $121,000 after winning five games in a row and qualifying for the Tournament of Champions. 

***

Will Ferrell popped up on the Bert Show Friday. CREDIT: Bert Show

Bert Weiss received a boatload of social media backlash from Republican listeners after he allowed Will Ferrell on the air to talk about Stacey Abrams running for governor.

Weiss on Monday defended his actions and did not apologize. He said if Ferrell had been stumping for Brian Kemp, he would have done the same thing. 

“I am not stumping for either candidate,” Weiss said.

Ferrell in studio “fits into the fabric to what the Bert Show does,” he added, which is pop culture. 

The Abrams campaign offered him Ferrell and he knew that Kristin Klingshirn loved him so he decided it was worth the trade off. Ferrell was willing to re-enact a scene from “Anchorman” with Klingshirn. In exchange, he said some nice things about Abrams for three minutes. 

“I felt bad you were trying to do something nice and it blew up in your face,” Klingshirn said. 

He understands that his defense will fall on some deaf ears. 

“Some of you guys are so dug in on your beliefs that anything I say won’t shed any light in a situation you don’t want to embrace,” Weiss said. “If you aren’t with me, you’re against me.”

He said if conservative-leaning Hollywood types like Kid Rock, Bruce Willis, Cindy Crawford, Jessica Simpson and Arnold Schwarzenegger came into studio, he’d say yes. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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