Conway native Brock Thompson, 36, makes his “Jeopardy!” debut Wednesday at 2 p.m. locally on KATV Channel 7.
Thompson, a programs coordinator for the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center in Washington, D.C., said he has tried twice before to make it onto the answer-and-question quiz show.
The third time was a charm, and Thompson got his call-back in July.
The show airing Wednesday was actually taped Sept. 24, and even Thompson’s family members in Conway and central Arkansas don’t yet know how he performed on the show.
He said he couldn’t release anything about how the show turned out, but that the audition tests he apparently passed in order to become a contestant were very difficult.
He applied through an online test and was asked to audition in Boston.
He took a written test with about 30 other potential contestants he described as being “from all walks of life.”
Thompson said he auditioned with tax attorneys, movie extras and researchers, and he was later able to become friends with some of his competitors.
After audition tests were graded there was a live practice round in Boston, and “that was about it.”
“They said, ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you,’” Thompson said.
Thompson dedicated his “Jeopardy!” performance to his late history teacher at Conway High School, Jim Owen.
Owen died Aug. 1, about a month before Thompson made his way to the Los Angeles taping.
Thompson credits his history teacher as one of his life’s great influences and said it was Owen who encouraged him to dedicate his future to public service and history.
Thompson graduated from Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas pursuing history and received a Ph.D in American studies from University of London’s King’s College.
When he completed his education, he returned to Arkansas in 2006 to teach American history at the University of Central Arkansas.
He left the state for his position at the Library of Congress.
He is author of “The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South,” a historical study of gay and lesbian life in Arkansas in the 20th century, and is currently working on a second book on the subject as it pertains to the Washington, D.C. area.
Thompson’s parents, John and Lulu Thompson of Conway, will join family members in Benton on Wednesday to watch the show’s airing.
Thompson is the grandson of the late Milmo and Louise Black, of Conway, and late Reverend Orrie and Pauline Thompson, of Little Rock.
“We’re so proud he made it. We know many others didn’t, and we’re proud and looking forward to watching it,” Thomson’s mother said.
Thompson is brother to Dr. Jay Thompson, who lives with his wife Jessica, in Memphis.
His nephew is Trip, and his twin nieces are Molly and Lauren.
He is also brother to Mike Thompson, of Chicago.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)