Music Video of the Day: I Lost On Jeopardy by Weird Al Yankovic (1984, directed by Frances Delia)

Based on Greg Kihn Band’s Jeopardy, I Lost On Jeopardy was an early song parody from the master of the form, Weird Al Yankovic.

Today, Jeopardy is an American institution but, at the time this video was filmed, it was considered to be a nostalgic memory.  The original Jeopardy ran from 1964 to 1975, with Art Fleming as the host and Don Pardo as the announcer.  (Famously, Pardo went from announcing for Jeopardy to announcing for Saturday Night Live.)  This video was shot on the original Jeopardy set, with Fleming and Pardo playing themselves.  As you can tell, Jeopardy has changed considerably from what it once was.  The version of Jeopardy that we all know and revere, with Alex Trebek at the helm, would not start until three months after the release of this video.

After Weird Al is kicked out of the studio, the man in the convertible is played by Greg Kihn, in a parody of the ending of the original video for Jeopardy.  At the time, Kihn told The Washington Post that he didn’t mind the parody and that it was his idea to appear at the end of the video.  As Kihn put it, “It was a vote of confidence.  If you’re not well-enough known to be parodied, well, you’re just not well-enough known.”

This attitude seems to be true of most musicians whose songs have been parodied by Weird Al over the years.  It helps that Weird Al rarely pokes fun at the original artist or the subject matter of the original song.  It seems like one of the easiest ways to get a bad reputation is to complain about Weird Al parodying one of your songs.  For instance, just take a look at Coolio (if you can find him).

This video was directed by Francis Delia, who also directed videos for Wall of Voodoo, The Bangles, and Timothy B. Schmit.

Music Video of the Day: Jeopardy by Greg Kihn Band (1983, directed by Joe Dea)

Though he may not be a household name, Greg Kihn has been making and recording music since 1972 and he has a cult following to this day.  His biggest hit came in 1983, with the song Jeopardy.  With the help of this popular video, Jeopardy reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with only Michael Jackson’s Beat It keeping it from reaching number one.

In the video, Kihn plays a man who is on the verge of getting married but, after he has a dream in which the entire wedding party is transformed into a bunch of monsters, he gets cold feet.  Fortunately, his bride-to-be got cold feet at the same time and, when they both find themselves in the same car, they drive off for a life of happy, unwedded bliss.

The video was directed by Joe Dea, who also directed two videos for Krokus and who has since gone on to be a very active television director.

One final note: This video and song were popular enough to inspire an early Weird Al parody, I Lost On Jeopardy.