Municipal trivia can stump even Jeopardy aces

Municipal trivia can stump even Jeopardy aces

· The Pulse

What do you get when you mix two Edmontonians who have appeared on Jeopardy with the author of The Ultimate Edmonton Trivia Book, as well as a kazoo-played version of the Final Jeopardy theme, for a YEG-themed game of trivia? The answer in the form of a question has got to be "What is the making of a great podcast?"

The annual episode of Speaking Municipally Jeopardy dates back to 2018, and has included former mayors, city councillors, and reporters and podcasters as contestants.

Co-hosts Troy Pavlek and Mack Male went one better for 2023 and assembled actual Jeopardy contestants who hail from Edmonton — Sam Papuha and Kyle Marshall — as well as trivia author Emil Tiedemann. Pavlek crafted 51 Edmonton-focused questions to challenge them. Category examples: "First link in the chain" (about chain restaurants or franchises started in the region); "In this term" (about this council's record); and "On the Valley Line" (no explanation needed there).

Devoted listeners of Speaking Municipally may find themselves a bit more prepared for the clues than the contestants were. Witness the reaction to the $800 clue in the "In this term" category: "On these two councillors being appointed by the UCP to sit on a community safety task force, (Mayor Amarjeet) Sohi said, 'They are not there to represent city council, because it is not approved by city council.'"

Silence ensued.

"The Speaking Municipally listener at home is shouting at their audio device," Pavlek said, as laughter rang out from an enthusiastic studio audience. Pavlek then turned to Taproot reporter Stephanie Swensrude, who correctly asked, "Who is councillors (Tim) Cartmell and (Sarah) Hamilton?"

Marshall and Papuha were more comfortable sharing what it was like to be on the real Jeopardy. "I remember trying to make eye contact with my mom (who was in the audience) to let her know that I was somewhat relaxed," Marshall said of his June 2023 appearance. He placed second.

Papuha, who appeared on the show in November 2022, was conscripted to host Jeopardy at her office's Christmas party. "In the end, I didn't force anybody to answer in the form of a question, because nobody seemed to remember to, and that's OK," Papuha said.

Tiedemann, the author of 10 books including three on trivia, was somewhat starstruck by the two. "I'd love to go on Jeopardy … so it's definitely cool to meet these two."

All agreed, however, that a most infamous Jeopardy question from 2019 still makes them laugh: "Found on the North Saskatchewan River, this petroleum & meatpacking city was established as a fort in 1795."

You guessed it: What is Edmonton?

Play along and find out who won on the Dec. 15 episode episode of Taproot's civic affairs podcast.

Photo: (From left) Kyle Marshall, Sam Papuha, and Emil Tiedemann answered Edmonton-themed trivia in the form of a question during a live taping of Speaking Municipally at Work Nicer. (Mack Male)