SNL’s Celebrity ‘Jeopardy’ With Norm Macdonald’s Burt Reynolds’ Parody

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Darrell Hammond's Sean Connery always exasperates Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek

Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery always exasperates Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek

The 2021-22 season (#47) of Saturday Night Live will return this fall so we’re gonna give a little love to the long-running sketch comedy series. It’s easy to mock the show with the “Saturday Night Dead” insult that was clever for about half a second. Or the “Back when the show was funny” comments. The program has continued to discover top talent, decades after introducing us to that beloved cast of its first season.

One of the series’ hallmarks is developing recurring sketches that became water cooler fodder over the years and now get shared on social media and blogs. We all have our favorites: Dana Carvey’s Church Lady; Mr. Bill; Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman as the Coneheads; Martin Short’s Ed Grimley; Mike Myers’ Wayne’s World; and Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Rosannadana, to name just a few.

SNL‘s Celebrity Jeopardy sketch made its debut on December 7, 1996 with Will Ferrell playing Alex Trebek, the real life host of the popular syndicated series, since 1984. The sketch ran roughly twice a year through the 2001-02 season. Celebrities were portrayed by SNL cast members and guest hosts: Norm Macdonald does a greatBurt Reynolds, for instance, and Ben Stiller has famously impersonated Tom Cruise.

On Oct. 23, 1999, two seasons after Macdonald departed the program, he returned as a guest host, and reprised his impersonation of the gum-chewing Reynolds.

Watch this 1999 edition of the sketch, in honor of Sean Connery who died on Oct. 31, 2020, of Reynolds, who died Sept. 6, 2018 at 82, and Macdonald who died on Sept. 14, 2021.

Trebek revealed on March 6, 2019, that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. He died November 8, 2020, just months after he turned 80 on July 22.

In a video statement when he shared the news of his cancer diagnosis, he said: “Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now normally the prognosis for this is not encouraging. But I’m going to fight this. And I’m going to keep working, and with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”

Trebek shared a message to Jeopardy! viewers in July 2020

The most memorable celebrity guest has been Sean Connery played by SNL‘s Darrell Hammond who takes great pleasure in tormenting Ferrell’s Trebek by misreading categories and subbing in sexual references (“Famous Titles” becomes “Famous Titties”).

snl-jeopardy-who-reads-category

Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery somehow skewers this category

After a nearly six-year absence, Celebrity Jeopardy returned for the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary special in February 2015. And, of course, Connery mistakes the category “Who Reads” as “Whore Ads.”

Ferrell celebrated his 54th birthday on July 16, 2021.

Related: Even more of SNL‘s Jeopardy! sketches

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