Signs of the Times - "Face Mask Required"

What's in a Signature? A Look at Penmanship of 'Jeopardy' Contestants


 Jeopardy contestants2


Our personalities are conveyed by the clothes we wear, how we style our hair, the diction we use, etc.  Another indicator is how we write our name.  Some friends tell me that their first impression of someone is created by the condition of their shoes.  As for me, I sometime make a snap judgement from they way someone scribbles their name on a name tag.  And this applies to my perception of contestants on Jeopardy, as I'm fascinated by how they write their names on the screen that's on the podium they stand behind. 


For the most part, these signatures are nondescript, but a few stand out.  Some contestants use all capital letters, others write in cursive, some mix these two styles, while others embellish certain letters or draw a slash or squiggle underneath to add some pizazz to a name like John or Sally.  If I were a contestant, this is how I'd sign my name:  




One thing I've learned is that a standout signature isn't predictive of how a contestant will do on the show.  For example, Amy Schneider's wasn't the least bit flashy, nor was Cris Pannullo's; James Holzhauer was always changing his in amusing ways; and Matt Amadio had a winsome curlicue to start his 'M', but the overall presentation of his name belied the manner in which he bulldozed over his fellow contestants for 38 matches.


 Jan 26_amy

  1 James Holzhauer

 Sept 2021 matt amodio


Jeopardy champ - cris pannullo

In the nearly 40 years of Jeopardy telecasts in the "modern" era  (i.e., since Alex Trebek) there have been approximately 22,000 contestants, so I've barely scratched the surface with the signatures I've seen. Of course, this is an absolutely subjective exercise (and opens a window into my personality).  Sometimes my aesthetic radar is activated by the overall look, in other cases my interest comes from the design of one or two letters.  With that said, here are some of my favorites:


- Neat & Simple -

  1 college tourn - megan


1 feb 4 - molly


1 feb 14 - carrie


1 - feb 21 - henry

1 - feb 22 - hieu 

 Apr 6 - vernon

 Apr 7 - mike


Jun 3 - wyatt


May 31 - kenny


June 7 - michaael



Jeopardy - juliana

 June 16 - steve


- Cursive -


1 feb 2 - ben

 1 feb 3 - emma

    1 feb 7 - jennifer

1 dec 2021 gautam


Mar 1 - margaret


Mar 9 - sallie

 March 15 - ariel

 Mar 30 - jackie


June 7 - elaine

 June 22 - megan

Jeopardy - kelly


Jeopardy 2023 - liz

Jeopardy brad - feb 16 2023

Jeopardy - hillary 2023

 Jeopardy 2023 - linda

Jeopardy - libby


Dec 9 - matthew


June 17 - molly

 Jeoaprdy - audrey feb 2023


- A Flourish or Two -

 1 feb 10 - kelsey


1 feb 14 - hung


1 jan 31 - jay


1 - yoshie


1 feb 7 - lawrence


Mar 3 - louis

Jeopardy - april

 Oct 17 - cindy

Dec 8 - sriram


1 Francois


1 feb 3 - zach


1 jan 26 - rhone


1 - shawn


1 - robert

Feb 25 - max



 Feb 28 - joel


Apr 8 - tom

Mar 28 - ryan


May 30 - steve

 May 31 - carissa

 May 27 - john from brooklyn

 May 19 - bradford


June 15 - gregory

 June 8 - tessa


Jeopardy 2023 - kristina

 Jeopardy - yogesh january 2023


Jeopardy jeff feb 2023

Ken jennings


-  A Man With Different Signatures -


Then we come to contestant Jake DeArruda from the winter of 2023 who competed on four nights and displayed a different style for each night's signature. It’s a shame we couldn’t see his creativity extend further.


Jeopardy jake  DeArruda

Jeopardy - jake 3

 Jeopardy - jake 2

Jeopardy - jake 4


- Uninspiring -



College tournament - matt


Feb 17 - matt

Feb 9 - james June 6 - eric
  Jeopardy - dan



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