A. This New Yorker left a dozen “Jeopardy!” opponents crying of their beer.
Q. Who’s Manhattan bartender Austin Rogers?
The 39-year-old quiz king, who received $411,000 and the admiration of tens of millions throughout a 12-game profitable streak on “Jeopardy!” final fall, remains to be slinging suds Fridays and Sundays at Gaf West in Hell’s Kitchen.
His goofy gesticulations, unkempt hair and wild wagers resonated with “Jeopardy!” diehards like 30-year-old Maryland mortgage analyst Amanda Sparks, who traveled to the 48th Avenue gin mill not too long ago to get a glimpse of her game-show gladiator.
“Oh my god, it truly is him!” Sparks gushed. “My arms are sweaty, my coronary heart’s racing!”
Rogers — fifth all-time on the present’s chief board — stopped to pose for a photograph with a beaming Sparks, who defined his attraction.
“He had a little bit of persona to associate with the way in which he was kicking all people’s ass,” she recalled.
In between Bud Lights, Ryan Doyle, 23, tried to stump Rogers with an HQ trivia query in regards to the earliest type of contraception.
“The Egyptians used crocodile dung!” Rogers accurately crackled.
Host Alex Trebek as soon as described Rogers to viewers: “He’s received hair, he’s received chutzpah and broad-based information.”
Rogers mixes trivialities and cocktails concurrently at his 12-stool stage, as patrons pepper him with queries about his favourite guide (“Gotham: A Historical past of New York Metropolis to 1898”); whether or not he has a photographic reminiscence (“I don’t, however I simply keep in mind all the pieces.”); and what’s Trebek like offstage (“There is no such thing as a offstage. He solely interacts onstage.”).
Austin RogersJeopardy Productions, Inc.Rogers, grew up in Westchester the son of a park ranger and veterinary employee. He attended Macalester School in Minnesota the place he studied music and historical past. He was an occasions planner with the Asia Society on Park Avenue for a decade and labored in digital promoting for 2 years earlier than an organization merger left him unemployed.
The Spanish Harlem resident started bartending out of necessity — he was out of labor for about two years.
“This was my native bar for 16 years. I used to reside proper across the nook,” he stated. So as a substitute of crying in his beer, he determined to serve it.
He requested house owners Pete Smith and Pat Heenan about his coaching. “They stated, ‘Simply bartend, Austin,’ ” he recalled.
“He’s hilarious!” stated Gaf West common Rohan Kamerkar, 32, who knew Rogers earlier than his “Jeopardy!” star flip. “He’s the identical man. … He at all times knew essentially the most ineffective data. Or what I believed was ineffective.”
Rogers believes he received massive on “Jeopardy!” — $463,000 whole, counting $2,000 the day he misplaced, and $50,000 throughout November’s “Match of Champions” — as a result of he didn’t get flustered when the cameras rolled.
“I’ve been underneath the lights earlier than. I’ve been a musician, I’ve performed standup,” he stated. He has even hosted trivia nights on the pub.
Rogers confessed some guilt in that he performed up the bartender “narrative” for the quiz present.
“A company occasions planner from New York? Or a digital promoting douchebag from New York? However a bartender from New York, everyone seems to be like, ‘He’s certainly one of us!’ And I’m like, “truly not, I’m tremendous educated. However you possibly can consider it — if you happen to actually need!’” he laughed.
“ You recognize what sucks? Desks.”
Rogers stated the opposite query individuals ask essentially the most is why he continues to bartend. The reply is straightforward.
“I’m so comfortable, the second I get behind the bar. … You hang around with your folks all night time — they usually pay you for it.”