Howell High Administrator To Compete On Jeopardy! Tonight
Longtime television quiz show to feature Wall resident Craig Chern
The answer: He’s the latest Wall Township resident to appear on a national television show.
The question, of course, is: Who is Howell High School Assistant Principal Craig Chern?
Chern, 41, who makes the short trip from the neighboring town to the home of the Rebels, is scheduled to appear Wednesday, competing for cash and prizes on longtime quiz show Jeopardy!
Chern, a years-long Jeopardy! fan whose appearance on the show was recorded in August, said in an interview Tuesday that the whole experience was surreal.
“It’s insane,’’ he said. “It’s something you dream about and then you’re right there on the set, which is a lot smaller than you would expect it to be. It’s crazy.’’
Chern in February completed an online quiz on the Jeopardy! website to be a contestant. A few thousand people were chosen from the results of that, he said, and those people spent a day in New York where other quizzes and tests were taken, winnowing the hopefuls down to about 400, Chern said.
Those several hundred were then put into a lottery and with a little luck, Chern was called up and spent some time in Los Angeles.
Chern -- who said in his years of at-home play, he normally gets about 80 percent of the questions correct -- is barred from talking about the results of the show before it airs at 7 p.m. on ABC. But he said the real Jeopardy! was much different from playing at home.
“At home you can respond as soon as you know the answer,’’ Chern said. “When you’re there’s a lot of waiting and timing when to buzz in. It’s hard to get used to that.’’
The speed of the show also threw him off a little.
“The time it takes when its on TV is just about the way it is on the set,’’ Chern said. “There are no real breaks. It moves fast.’’
Chern also had kind words for longtime host Alex Trebek.
“He’s a real nice guy,’’ Chern said. “And very funny. But a very dry sense of humor.’’
Jeopardy! airs tonight on WABC-TV at 7 p.m.