And so this was the final Jeopardy!


Kelly Stiles

Opinion editor Lance Brownfield views the famous Saturday Night Live Jeopardy! skit where Alex Trebek makes a surprise appearance.

As we discussed the news of the day, someone brought up that Alex Trebek had died. That’s when my parents and I looked at each other and said simultaneously, “Suck it, Trebek!”


Of course, we don’t hate Alex Trebek, we were just remembering an old “Saturday Night Live” skit in which Will Ferrell played a sensible Trebek and other cast members portrayed celebrities on “Celebrity Jeopardy!”


That’s when we realised that only a week earlier Sean Connery died. Connery, as portrayed by Darrell Hammond, was the most important part of the skit, appearing in all but two of the 15 sketches. In the skit, the two would bicker as Connery insulted Trebek, his mother, and generally made his life more difficult.


“I’ll take Anal Bum Cover for 7000,” Hammond’s Connery said referring to the category called “An Album Cover.” The character was well-known for mispronouncing categories and taking every opportunity to derail the show.


The real life, Connery was much less mean-spirited, and in fact was never even on a game show. The Scottish actor brought the character of James Bond to life in six 007 films such as “Goldfinger” and “From Russia with Love.” He’s also appeared in some other big Hollywood franchises, like “Indiana Jones” and “Highlander.”


Trebek, as you may know, was the host of “Jeopardy!” for 30 years. Luckily, he never dealt with the headaches that his fictionalised version had to face. Trebek was a good sport about the spoof of his show and even made a cameo on an episode of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” on “SNL.”


The “Celebrity Jeopardy!” skit on “SNL” was a fan-favorite spanning almost two decades. Skits like this remind me of when comedy wasn’t quite so drenched in politics. A time when people weren’t so offended by jokes as they are today. My family and I no longer watch “Saturday Night Live,” yet we still occasionally say phrases to each other like “Attention teachers and students,” in the voice of Jay Pharoh’s lousy principal. You might hear us mention a “van down by the river,” or a place called “Lunchlady Land.”


Watching the old skits again with my family was like opening a time capsule to a simpler time. We even uncovered an odd kind of foreshadowing to their dying so close together. In one skit, during “Final Jeopardy!,” Connery drew himself defecating on Trebek’s grave. It’s only fitting that the two would leave this world only a week apart.


“And so this was the final ‘Jeopardy!’,” the real Trebek said as he entered the “SNL” stage on the 12th installment of the “Celebrity Jeopardy!” sketch. Although their deaths are tragic, getting the chance to bond with my family through the old skits was a nice walk down memory lane. The circumstances aren’t the best, but it was our way to celebrate the lives of two great men. While the sketches are entertaining, they are very loose representations of men who made a big impact on countless people.