I’ve been a fan of Jeopardy! for years. Though the show was around in the 60’s and 70’s, the latest incarnation with Canadian Alex Trebek at the helm started airing on September 10, 1984, and has been going strong since then. His tenure as host actually netted Trebek a Guinness World Record back in 2014 for Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter:
I would have thought Bob Barker might hold that record thanks to his years on The Price Is Right, but nope, Trebek is the man.
I fondly remember as a kid watching Jeopardy! and being terrible at the game. Imagine that: a young kid not knowing what he’s talking about during a quiz show for geniuses. But I do fondly remember the moustache…
— braedenetienne (@braedenetienne) November 4, 2015
Though I do recall it being a little more grey than that.
I remember playing a couple different versions of the Jeopardy! PC video game. There was the old-school 1987 DOS-based version:
I remember as a kid actually making a character named “Turd,” long before that was ever a thing associated with Jeopardy! More on that later though.
I also spent hours playing the Hasbro Interactive version of Jeopardy! that came out on PC in 1998.
With both, I was awful. If I wanted to win, I’d have to play as all 3 characters, and then make two of them answer everything I wasn’t sure about wrong so that my one character that represented “me,” if you will, could answer a couple questions right and not risk losing everything over a couple wrong answers.
As I got older, I continued to enjoy watching the show. In fact, I’d say my enjoyment hit its peak when I was a teenager, and CHEX TV featured it every night, right around dinnertime. I’d sit with my parents and watch the show, and blurt out answers that now started to actually be right from time to time. It’s funny how life experience and schooling can make you better at a knowledge-testing quiz show, isn’t it?
Given the show’s nature as an intellectual program, and Trebek’s role as, essentially, the keeper of all knowledge, it usually catches people off-guard when something funny happens or is said on the show. It seems like it’s been happening a little more often lately, with people trying to push the envelope on just what they can get Alex Trebek to say. Well, either it’s happening more often now, OR we all find out about it a lot faster because of how quickly things spread on the internet.
The latest one to make headlines came this week during a University Tournament. Lilly Chin, a student at MIT, was leading the tournament and the current game when Final Jeopardy came up. She was far enough ahead in the game that neither of the other contestants had a chance to catch her, so she decided to have fun with it. She ended up getting Alex Trebek to say something I thought I’d never hear him say:
Who is the spiciest memelord, anyway? Chin may be after pulling off that stunt. Anyway, with the way that tournaments work, ranking is more important than your daily winnings, and Chin was already on top. With her added winnings from yesterday, she was the champion and walked away with a cool $100,000.
Like I said, though, this is something that’s been happening more and more lately. And perhaps it’s literally just the show keeping up with the times, but hearing Alex Trebek talk about meme’s is still a little jarring. Remember that time he said “Yas Queen” when introducing the game’s topics?
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) January 13, 2017
For those of you who, like me, haven’t the faintest clue what “Yas Queen” even means, I’m told it originated here:
Another quite memorable one was when the real-life Alex Trebek was made to say something that had only been uttered by Will Ferrell‘s version of Trebek in Saturday Night Live:
You may remember that’s the name Burt Reynolds (portrayed by Norm MacDonald) uses on the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy! skits, a series that was rebooted for SNL’s 40th Anniversary special:
People in the past have made Alex say his own name backwards:
This was inspired by a bit from Family Guy, which is actually referenced by both the contestant AND Trebek in that clip:
It’s pretty clear when you go looking for evidence that Trebek, despite his outward appearance, isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself from time to time. There was that episode where a category was literally just autotuned clips of Alex Trebek singing:
Just recently, there was a category that required Trebek to rap lyrics. Thankfully, some genius on the internet overlaid the clip of that with actual music, and it flows a little better that way:
There was the time he practically gave away the answer to a question and a contestant still managed to get it wrong:
And who could forget that time during a rather tense tournament when Trebek tried to ease the tension by coming out on stage without any pants on?
Such ridiculousness seems less unlikely when Jeopardy is doing one of their Teen Tournaments. Here’s a great example of one where the contestant didn’t know the answer so she instead replied with a pretty funny joke:
For those of you who don’t understand, it’s a reference to this viral Vine:
I’ll be honest, I didn’t get the whole “What are those?” thing until Eileen Kimmett’s son Quinn asked me one day “WHAT ARE THOSE?” while pointing to my boots. He told me to Google it, and I did, and that’s what I came up with.
One more video to share with you, of Alex Trebek being kind of a jerk, and totally acknowledging it while laughing. I laughed pretty hard at this one:
Who actually was the spiciest memelord, you ask?
Well, evidently based on the answer provided, it was Johannes Kepler.