Ken Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where he became a daily devotee of the quiz show Jeopardy! In 2004, he successfully auditioned for a spot on the show and went on an unprecedented seventy-four game victory streak worth $2.52 million. Jennings’s book Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as were his follow-up books Maphead and Because I Said So! He is also the author of Planet Funny. Jennings lives in Seattle with his wife Mindy and two children.
From John Stewart to Donald Trump, Chaucer to Sumerian Tablets, fart jokes to Cable TV “zingers,” Ken Jennings lends his signature wit and whizzing, encyclopedic perspective to the history of humor and how it came to dominate our modern world. Today, an unprecedented number of people get their news from comedy shows. Newspapers race to find the catchiest headline with an avidity that forgets the need to inform. In our democracy, showmanship has replaced good-nature debate. Jennings looks at the foundations of these current manifestations and what this says for where we might be headed.