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Jeopardy! has made a number of appearances on Saturday Night Live over the years, and apparently Alex Trebek really loved Kenan Thompson’s turn as host of the legendary game show.
Thompson appeared on Hot Ones this week and told a story about meeting Trebek backstage at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas in 2019. The story comes at the 9:45 mark of the Hot Ones video. Host Sean Evans asked Thompson if Trebek was “aware of Black Jeopardy!” But apparently one of the first things he said to Thompson when they met was how much he appreciated the sketch, which aired in 2016. In it, Tom Hanks played a MAGA hat-clad white man who did his best to compete on the show.
“That was the first thing he mentioned,” Thompson said. “He actually said ‘God bless you for figuring out how to do a Jeopardy! behind the legendary Will Ferrell Jeopardy!”
You can watch the SNL sketch below.
Thompson credited his writing partners, including Michael Che, for coming up with a concept that was “just chock full of too many jokes to ignore,” which helped get the sketch on the air in the first place. And while Trebek was certainly complimentary of both Ferrell and Thompson, the latter made sure Trebek knew he was appreciated as well.
“He was patting me on the back about that, but I was patting him on the back for probably being one of the smartest people in the world,” Thompson said. “Because it seems like he knows the answer to all of those Jeopardy! questions. He has a way of responding to each question like, ‘No, of course, it’s this, and that, and the other, because I read this book or I’ve known about this historic town in Rome.’ You know what I’m saying? He was incredible.”
While a more sympathetic look at a Trump supporter perhaps didn’t hold up very well over the last four years, Trebek certainly felt that Thompson did a great job with the sketch. And he’s right: putting something together that rivals the infamous Ferrell-led sketches about Jeopardy! certainly is an admirable feat.