You Should Know: Jimmy McGuire

Meet one of the original members of the Jeopardy Clue Crew.




Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions Inc

 

Jimmy McGuire got his start working behind the scenes at local television stations KDKA-TV and WTAE-TV. When he was 27, a WTAE director asked McGuire, a native of Squirrel Hill, to accompany him to New York City and work on “The Gordon Elliott Show.” McGuire, who married California native Kim Carroll two years ago, moved on from there to work on “The Gayle King Show.”

His first brush with Jeopardy! involved applying for a position on a kid’s version of the show in the late 1990s. He was a finalist but didn’t get the position. A year later, McGuire was watching “Jeopardy!” when he learned of the casting call for the fledgling Clue Crew.

“Alex Trebek came on, and he said, ‘America, we’re looking for four people to travel the world and do clues for us and get paid for it,’ and I thought, ‘Wow, I remember those people at ‘Jeopardy!’ I bet you I could do that.’”

As one of two remaining original Clue Crew members, McGuire, 48, has done segments on five continents and visited notable sites such as the Oval Office, the Anne Frank House, the Egyptian pyramids, the Vatican and Machu Picchu.

“It’s been one of those jobs where you don’t want it to end, and sometimes you do have to pinch yourself and say, ‘This isn’t normal.’”
 

What are your favorite clues? 
To me, it’s like asking someone to pick your favorite color of the rainbow. No matter where we go, I always find something. We’ve been to [more than] 45 countries, all 50 states, over 300 cities. There hasn’t been one place I haven’t had a good time. I’m biased, though; I love to come back to Pittsburgh.

How long does a trip usually last for one clue? 
It varies depending on where we’re going. [Two years ago] we went to Southeast Asia, and we were gone for three weeks. We’ll work pretty much five out of seven days just banking as many clues as we can.

You’ll do multiple clues on each trip? 
I traveled with Kelly of the Clue Crew on that trip, and between the two of us, we did at least 50 clues apiece [that will pop up in the show over time]. That was probably one of my most challenging trips, getting to know the material. The clues are written for us, but I want to know what I’m talking about. We’ll research, and we’ll try to get pronunciations correctly. There’s a responsibility . . . we want to bring these really cool places into the living room of our viewers.

About how many Clue Crew clues are used in a show? 
There’s about two per show.

Tell us about “Sports Jeopardy!” 
It’s brand new; it debuts in the fall. I’m extremely excited they’ve given me an opportunity to be involved in the show. I’ll be traveling around the country as part of the contestant team, and I’ll be picking out contestants to be on the show. It’ll be one per week instead of five shows, and it’ll air on Crackle, the Internet network, a digital division of Sony.

Do you consider yourself a trivia buff? 
Let’s just say I’m better at “Jeopardy!” now than I was 13 years ago.

Do you get to experience things others aren’t allowed to? 
We wear a lot of white gloves as the Clue Crew. I’m a sports buff, and we went to Louisville, Ky., and I got to hold a baseball bat apparently used by [Babe Ruth]. We went to the Abraham Lincoln museum and were allowed to touch documents.

More than 5,000 people reportedly applied for the original Clue Crew positions. What might have made you stand out? 
We’d audition in front of other people, and there were guys who would juggle and do imitations. One guy had a duffel bag. He’d put a hat on, do a thing, put another hat on, and I thought, ‘I’ll never top that.’ What I told the producers was what I bring to the table you can’t put in a duffel bag: hard work [and] enthusiasm, and I guess my approach was a genuine approach. To this day, I’m still excited about what we do.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Technological innovators present what could be “the next big thing” at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homewood.
Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference Helps Writers Tell Their Stories

Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference Helps Writers Tell Their Stories

The fifth annual Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference brings writers from across the country together to improve their craft.
Watch: Radio-Synced Highlights of Pens 7-0 Win in Game 5

Watch: Radio-Synced Highlights of Pens 7-0 Win in Game 5

Nothing beats listening to Mike Lange describe a Penguins' goal.
Break It Down: Byham Theater

Break It Down: Byham Theater

When you walk into the Sixth Street entryway of the Byham Theater, Downtown, you will see patches of green and black tile on the walls: These are originals from the early 20th century, says John Mumper, facilities manager at the Byham. The grand theater has plenty of history to go with its 100-plus years; let’s break it down.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

A small group of dedicated residents sees the restoration of their church in Tarentum as a window to the potential rebirth of their once-booming community in suburban Pittsburgh.
Remembering Henry Hillman

Remembering Henry Hillman

Reflecting on the impact of the businessman, civic visionary and philanthropist.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Technological innovators present what could be “the next big thing” at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homewood.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Station's Hours Expand and Le Lyonnais Opens Downtown

Station's Hours Expand and Le Lyonnais Opens Downtown

Station, the excellent Bloomfield eatery, now offers lunch service. The Big Y Group opens a French bistro in the space previously occupied by Sonoma Grille.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

The third outpost of local distillery Wigle, found in the Omni William Penn Hotel, is an instant destination for cocktail fans.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Frightened about Game 7? You Should Be

Frightened about Game 7? You Should Be

A win will send the Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals for a second year in a row and re-write team history.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The Alien Series Jumps the Shark with Covenant

The Alien Series Jumps the Shark with Covenant

Reviews of "Alien: Covenant" and "Everything, Everything," as well as local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New York Bridal Designer Shares Her Secrets

New York Bridal Designer Shares Her Secrets

Pennsylvania native Jaclyn Jordan brings her newest collection to the Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique in Carrick.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Explore lavish homes and gardens with the West Allegheny Historic District’s annual Tour and Tasting, or go on the hunt for hidden treasure during The Great Mexican War Streets Yard Sale.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Explore Your Future with Point Park University

Explore Your Future with Point Park University

The university will host three summer workshops for high school students from July 17-20.

Comments