Alex Trebek made a lot of TV appearances over the years, the best of which is almost certainly the time on Cheers when Cliff Clavin unexpectedly bombed on Jeopardy! But he didn’t do a ton of movies, even if the only thing he did in them was play his charming self. (His filmography’s wild, too, spanning the Julia Roberts cancer weepie Dying Young, the Leslie Nielsen spoof Spy Hard, and the 2000 Charlie’s Angels.) But one of the last times you see him may wind up being his cameo in the long delayed Ryan Reynolds movie Free Guy, in which he played himself. And during the final run of Trebek’s Jeopardy! episodes, Reynolds paid back the favor, making a cameo on the beloved game show — a move that now seems extremely bittersweet.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 5, 2021
Reynolds’ appearance came on the first Jeopardy! of 2021, when he appeared in the video of one of the night’s clues. His answer involved “NPCs,” and if you don’t know what that acronym stands for, well, then you’re not as up on things as Brayden Smith, the contestant who got it right. Here’s a hint, though: It involves the plot of Free Guy, in which he plays a Regular Joe he discovers he’s been living inside an open-world video game.
Reynolds’ appearance was paired with a brief montage from the film, which was supposed to open in July of 2020, but then, well, you know. (It’s now scheduled for May 21, but frankly even that seems optimistic.) Is this the first time what was essentially an ad for a movie was sneaked into a Jeopardy! clue? Possibly! Still, two of Canada’s most beloved entertainers briefly got to share a screen, even if that now feels unbearably sad.