‘Jeopardy!’: Buzzy Cohen and Austin Rogers Felt They Had to Be ‘More Serious’ in the Team Tournament — Here’s Why

Two of the most popular contestants to ever appear on Jeopardy! are Austin Rogers and Buzzy Cohen. Making jokes and being their goofy selves on the game show endeared them to fans. Keep reading to learn more about their time on the game show and why they both felt the need to take it more seriously when they competed in the 2019 Jeopardy! All-Star Games. 

Alex Trebek poses on the set of 'Jeopardy!' Season 28
Alex Trebek on the set of Jeopardy! Season 28 | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Buzzy Cohen and Austin Rogers are ‘Jeopardy!’ champions

Besides making audiences laugh on Jeopardy! with their dance moves and facial expressions, Cohen and Rogers dominated the gameboard. When Rogers, a bartender from New York City first appeared on the program in 2017, he won 12 games in a row securing himself a spot in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame. On top of that, he took home $411,000 in prize money making him one of the show’s top earners in regular-season play. 

As for Cohen, he had a winning streak of nine games when he made his Jeopardy! debut in 2016. He became polarizing among fans for teasing Trebek and wagering nothing in Final Jeopardy. The music executive from Los Angeles came back to the program in 2017 to win first place and $250,000 in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

They returned for the first ‘Jeopardy!’ All-Star Games

In 2019, Cohen and Rogers competed in the first-ever Jeopardy! All-Star Games. To celebrate 35 seasons of the game show, the people behind Jeopardy! decided to bring together some of the most popular and most successful contestants to compete in teams.

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Cohen and Rogers served as captains for two of the six teams made up of three players each. And unlike a standard episode of the game show, the Jeopardy! All-Star Games featured footage of teams strategizing backstage in between rounds. 

Both took a ‘more serious’ approach because they didn’t want to let their teammates down

Rogers and Cohen brought their humor to the Jeopardy! All-Star Games but they also brought some seriousness with them too. In a 2019 joint interview with Vulture, they both shared they’d felt a lot of pressure going into the tournament and didn’t want to disappoint their teammates. As a result, they both became much more serious about the game than they’d been in the past during solo appearances. 

Cohen shared how he’d “laugh off and goofed around a little bit” in the Tournament of Champions whereas in the Jeopardy! All-Star Games he “felt a little more focused and less goofy and loose.” 

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Rogers agreed, saying he didn’t want to disappoint his own teammates. 

“I definitely felt like I couldn’t let someone else down,” he said. “If I made a stupid bet and blew it on my regular season, I would’ve gone like, Oh, well, whatever. But if I made a stupid bet and blew it this time, I would’ve definitely been like, Oh, crap, I let my guys down.”

“The game-play was definitely more serious,” he added. 
Even though Cohen and Rogers took a more serious approach to the game, they ultimately lost the Jeopardy! All-Star Games. Team Brad, consisting of Brad Rutter, Larissa Kelly, and David Madden, took home first place and bragging rights.

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