Lewis Black is a great many things: Comedian (obvs.), playwright (real fans know this), Daily Show commentator, golfer and lovable curmudgeon. And now he’ll be able to add Jeopardy! contestant to that long list. It’s true, it’s true.
On Saturday, the veteran comic will make his way to the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. to tape episodes for the 28-year-old game show’s Power Players Week. His opponents: the Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page and Chuck Todd of NBC News. I’m tempted to say, ‘DOWN with those dudes!’ but, alas, it’s all for charity and I’m sure those smarty pants journo-types are pretty swell guys, anyway.
Here’s the deal. The winner of each game will score at least $50,000 for a charity of their choice. That’s a nice cushion for a contestant who somehow ends up winning with a total of $10. Black is playing for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the 52nd Street Project, a New York City organization that promotes youth involvement in the theater. Black’s been a loyal supporter of both charities for a great many years.
“I only hope that I do not shame myself publicly, [and that I] rise to the occasion and crush my worthy opponents so I can give even more money to these two worthy causes,” Black says. “My fear is I barely have enough memory left for this type of competition. Ten years ago I would have wiped the floor with these two guys. I was hoping, since I take a statin and it destroys memory they would give me a five thousand dollar head start. I just don’t want to embarrass myself. Worse comes to worse I’ll put on a good show. I hope Alex doesn’t yell at me.”
Power Players Week will air May 14 – 18, with each day dedicated to a different celebrity match-up. Other contestants include CNN’s Anderson Cooper, talk show host Dr. Oz, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Fox News host Chris Wallace, former presidential press secretary Dana Perino and Hardball host Chris Matthews. You can head over to the show’s Facebook page and start voting on who you think will win. Black is listed under Match-up Five.