Buzzy Cohen, who won nine straight Jeopardy! games, was the 2017 Tournament of Champions winner, and is the team leader in the current All-Star Games competition, is now taking his TV trivia success to another platform.
“Mr. Personality,” as series’ host Alex Trebek dubbed him, is teaming up with Audible to create an Audible Original series in which Cohen will share with listeners his sometimes unconventional, yet proven strategies to train for success, no matter what the field of study, Audible tells Heavy exclusively.
Cohen is self-developing the Audible Original which will be exclusively released on the platform in 2020.
The production will be written and performed by Cohen, who’s married to wife Elisha Levin, and works as a music executive in Los Angeles when not slaying the competition on Jeopardy!. The Columbia University grad is excited to share his personal tips with people through Audible, and plans to interview fellow top Jeopardy! performers as well, to give listeners a wide range of useful training tools, Audible told Heavy.
Originally from New Jersey, the 33-year-old, whose birth name is Austin, credits Jeopardy! for completely transforming his life. Cohen auditioned to be a contestant in April 2015 and made his first appearance on the iconic trivia series the following year. After taking home $164,603 from his nine-game win streak, Cohen’s self-confidence soared.
While clearly mentally fit, Cohen’s success on the show inspired him to also get physically fit. He started hitting the gym and working with a personal trainer. Needing to replace the thrill he felt while competing on Jeopardy!, Cohen set a new goal for himself, to enter a deadlift competition, and to win it. Not long after, he competed at the AAU National Power Competition, and was named the Raw Open Division champion.
By the time he returned to Jeopardy! for the Tournament of Champions, he was training as if preparing for the Olympics. His personal trainer, Kasey Esser, would ask him test questions while he held the top of a chin-up. And the hard work paid off. As the Tournament of Champions champion, he took home the $250,000 grand prize. Cohen now is leading a team on the first-ever All-Star Games tournament, with a $1 million prize on the line. Cohen and his compatriots, Alex Jacob and Jennifer Giles, will be in the All-Star Games Wild Card round on February 28 with a shot at reaching the finals with a victory.
Cohen owes having this kind of drive in life to Jeopardy! Competing on the show has given him a new sense of self-worth, and it’s inspiring stories like these that he wants to share with Audible listeners.
Cohen told Vanity Fair in 2016 that he spent a lot of time preparing for his shot on the quiz show. While studying Trivial Pursuit cards and reading up on facts, he would watch his favorite movie franchise to pump himself up.
“I’m a big fan of the Rocky franchise, and I really loved Creed this past year. I loved it. So I bought it on iTunes and about once a week, I would watch it. When I was tired or didn’t really want to read Trivial Pursuit cards, I would watch Creed,” he told Vanity Fair.
Once he was on the air, he told the magazine he developed rituals to stay focused, “I had a couple little superstitions, I realized halfway through my first ‘week’ of shows that I had accidentally put on my underwear inside out when I got dressed in the morning. So the next day I made sure I had my boxers on inside out,” Cohen said.