‘Jeopardy’ contestant loses game but wins Internet – Los Angeles Times

The Internet has a new unlikely superhero and her name is Talia Lavin. 

Lavin, a fact checker for the New Yorker and recent “Jeopardy” contestant, found herself stymied by the final “Jeopardy” clue, “This song from a 1999 animated film about censorship had a word censored from its Oscar performance,” and in lieu of a legitimate guess opted to answer, “What is the Love Ballad of Turd Ferguson?”

To the uninitiated, this may seem like a random outburst of lowbrow humor and, even though that’s probably true, it’s also a reference to one of the most amusing bits of recurring “Saturday Night Live” humor in history.

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During Will Ferrell’s tenure on the show, he famously portrayed Alex Trebek in the late-night show’s “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketches, in which Trebek would be intellectually tortured by mind-numbingly stupid contestants, none so hilarious as Burt Reynolds, as portrayed by Norm Macdonald. In one sketch, Reynolds opts to switch his name to Turd Ferguson, saying, “Yeah, that’s right. Turd Ferguson. It’s a funny name.” (Reynolds also appears later wearing a giant foam cowboy hat explaining that it’s funny because it’s bigger than a normal hat.)

Burt Reynolds on “Celebrity Jeopardy” is so popular that it actually recurred in “Saturday Night Live’s” 40th anniversary episode, complete with Ferguson moniker and comically oversized foam cowboy hat.

With that in mind, Lavin scored a major victory in getting the actual Alex Trebek to acknowledge the running joke from the “SNL” classic. The only problem is that Trebek apparently had no idea what the answer was referencing. Lavin told E! News that Trebek asked her who Turd Ferguson was, leaving her to try to explain the joke’s origins.

“I was like, ‘They are from the “SNL” skits about you,’” Lavin reported. When Trebek told her that he had seen them, but not for many years, she responded, “If I were you I would watch them every day.”

The correct answer to the Final Jeopardy clue was “Blame Canada” from “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.”

Follow me on Twitter at @midwestspitfire.


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