For over 30 years now, Alex Trebek has been a constant presence in our homes as the host of Jeopardy, where he acts as the world’s most lovable know-it-all. In that time, contestants have given him some pretty funny responses. Since Trebek celebrated his 75th birthday this week, it seemed like the perfect time to look at some of the funniest responses of all. Granted, none of these reach the heights of Turd Ferguson or Sean Connery on SNL, but in that they’re unintentional laughs, it’s just a little sweeter.
When Ken Jennings gave this amusing response:
Ken Jennings is mostly known for being the most successful Jeopardy contestant of all-time (and having a great Twitter feed), but he’ll also be remembered for giving us this classic moment. The question involves a name for a gardening tool that can also describe an “immoral pleasure seeker.” The correct answer is “rake,” but frankly Ken’s answer is far more amusing, and really, just as accurate.
When this contestant made things super awkward:
This really, really uncomfortable moment came early this year. In common law, the age of this is accepted to be 14 in boys and 12 girls. The answer is puberty, but when Tom, the contestant in the middle, guesses the age of consent (he thinks it’s 12 for girls?!), the awkwardness in the room is palpable. Admittedly, Jeopardy is a fast-paced game, so this was likely just a contestant struggling to think fast on his feet rather than a pervert. Didn’t make his answer any less unfortunate, though.
This hilarious answer to a question about the Pope:
Here’s your Final Jeopardy clue: Pope III roared at him, “I’ve waited 30 years for your services, now I’m Pope. Can’t I satisfy my desire.” The correct answer was Michelangelo, but when one contestant jokingly guesses Lady Godiva, Alex thoroughly cracks up. Hey, if you don’t know the answer, why not make a joke?
When only one contestant made it to the final round:
As Jeopardy fans know, if you’re in the red after Double Jeopardy, you don’t get to go on to Final Jeopardy. Well, in this game, that happened to two different contestants, one of whom had a Sean Connery-worthy score of -$6,800. This meant that for the final round, there’s only one contestant left. And she got the question wrong! This might have been the single saddest game in Jeopardy history.
This audacious answer from the Jeopardy Teen Tournament:
It’s final round of the Teen Tournament, and after being given a question about the Normandy invasion, the contestant in the lead doesn’t even bother answering. With a commanding lead, he simply writes: “I just won $75,000!” while betting nothing. The fact that he actually still could have been caught at that point makes his answer even more bold.