During Thursday’s episode of “Hot Ones,” comedian and “SNL” veteran Kenan Thompson revealed the story of meeting the late “Jeopardy!” legend, Alex Trebek. If you’re not familiar with the show, Sean Evans asks celebrities questions while eating increasingly spicy chicken wings. During the show’s segment “Explain That Gram,” Evans pulled a photo from Thompson’s Instagram feed that “needs more context.” The picture showed the two entertainment icons backstage together at the 2019 National Hockey League Awards.”Was he aware of ‘Black Jeopardy!’?” Evans asked Thompson, referring to the recurring “SNL” sketch, which first premiered in March 2014 and was created by “SNL” writers Bryan Tucker and Michael Che.
Alex Trebek Gives His ‘Blessing’ To Kenan Thompson’s ‘Black Jeopardy!’
“That was the first thing he mentioned,” said Thompson. “He actually said, ‘God bless you for figuring out a way to do a ‘Jeopardy!’ behind the legendary Will Ferrell’ Jeopardy!'” — referring to the show’s “Celebrity Jeopardy!” sketch in which Ferrell impersonated Trebek. “You know, seems like anything Will Ferrell’s kind of, like, holy grail-ish, off-limits-ish, you know?” In response, Thompson confessed to Trebek that he thought he was one of the most intelligent people he had ever met.
“So 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 because it seems like he knows the answer to all those ‘Jeopardy!’ questions,” Thompson went on. “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 know about this historic town in Rome’. . . He was incredible.”
When Thompson asked about Trebek’s health at the time, “he was saying he was feeling better, and fighting through.” Tragically, Trebek died at age 80 in November 2020 after battling stage four pancreatic cancer. Thompson’s unmatched 17-season run on “SNL” has earned him four Emmy nominations. As the show’s longest-serving cast member, fans were sad to see him go when he decided to break with the show to pursue other endeavors. However, he hasn’t left television for good; you can catch him on his new series “Kenan,” on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.