* The Scene: Backstage at the second annual Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament (Nov. 8-12), where 15 savvy stars—including Frasier‘s Kelsey Grammer, Love & War‘s Jay Thomas, and comedian Paula Poundstone—pace, practice, and try to get ”that buzzer thing” right before competing in a rapid-fire test of trivia smarts.
* Pregame Fear: ”Knowing an answer but blanking,” says MTV’s Tabitha Soren. Host Alex Trebek allays fears, saying, ”The celeb shows were meant in fun. We just want to make sure everyone has a good time and, like the Army says, have them be all they can be.”
* I’m Praying That the Categories Are: ”Football, people I’ve worked with, and my real name,” says Thomas.
* I’m Praying That the Categories Are Not: ”Elizabethan hat sizes or fun with phlegm,” says Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak.
* Typical Jeopardy! Answer: Robert Kennedy quit this cabinet post in 1964 to run for Senate. Celeb response (from comedian Elayne Boosler): ”I wasn’t born yet.” (The question: What is attorney general?)
* Is It All in Fun? ”I’m expecting Jeopardy! will kill my career,” says Poundstone.