Dick in Jeopardy!

In last week’s column, I speculated on what personal recollections my wife might share during the “chat” portion of the show “Jeopardy!” if she were a contestant. All of Mary Ellen’s responses were totally true stories. This week, I cover what I would say if I were accepted to be one of the three challengers. Again, all my answers are what really happened.


MAYIM: So, Dick, I understand you outright lied to get your first job as a teacher.

DICK: Yes, Mayim, that’s true. Arriving at my interview, I discovered that the English position I wanted had been filled. What they needed was a psychology teacher. The assistant superintendent asked me what I majored in. I said psychology, of course, and got the job on the spot. Then I taught that subject for 10 years. They never checked.


MAYIM: Dick, is it true you once made the front page of a tabloid magazine?

DICK: In New York City, I became friendly with exercise guru Richard Simmons. The paparazzi snapped a photo of us jogging together in Central Park. The next week at the supermarket checkout counter, I saw one of those trashy tabloids with a photo of us on the lower left-hand corner of the cover. The headline read: EXERCISE WITH YOUR LOVER. I received calls from friends I hadn’t heard from in years. I thought the whole thing was funny. Richard thought it was hysterical. So did my wife. What about you?


MAYIM: Dick, tell us about the time you had a very embarrassing moment on TV with a big Hollywood star.

DICK: Mayim, I interviewed Cyd Charisse, the gorgeous Hollywood actress and dancer. Her publicity person told me to mention Underalls, a pantyhose brand that I assumed was sponsoring her tour. This made sense; the woman had awesome legs. I mentioned Underalls numerous times until Ms. Charisse corrected me, saying she had nothing to do with Underalls, but she did want to talk about Enderall, her arthritis medicine. This week, 35 years later, I finally got hearing aids. Just a little late.


MAYIM: I’m told you have asked some really dumb questions on your TV shows. What was the dumbest?

DICK: I interviewed a man who had a six-foot-long alligator as a pet. When I got to his house, his reptilian giant had on a t-shirt that said, “I’m a Dick Wolfsie Fan.” I asked the owner if he had ever gotten in the tank with the gator. “No, Dick,” he said, “the gator put the shirt on by himself.”


MAYIM: Dick, I understand you were a bit deceptive in securing another job later in life.

DICK: Yes, many years back I went to the developer of the new Union Station in Indianapolis and told him I had spoken with the WTHR general manager and that he was interested in producing a morning show from their new facility. I totally made that up. Then I went to the general manager of WTHR and told him that the Union Station people were considering the possibility of broadcasting a morning program from the new venue. I kinda made that up, as well. Both sides ended up talking to each other. The show premiered April 26, 1987, with me as host.

I’m retired now. Thank goodness. I’ll never have to lie to get a job again.

Dick Wolfsie spent his career sharing his humor, stories and video essays on television, radio and in newspapers. His columns appear weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@ aol.com.