‘Jeopardy!’: Carol Burnett, Regis Philbin and Donna Mills Once Engaged in Spirited Competition on First Ever ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’

by Anna Dunn

Each episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! Brings in its own element of fun, but the first-ever game between Regis Philbin, Donna Mills, and Carol Burnett is a must-watch. In a clip from the documentary Game Changers, Alex Trebek sits down with Regis Philbin and reflects on the hilarious 1992 episode.

“How did you feel being a contestant?” Trebek asked Philbin

“Oh, I was very nervous,” He said, “Just look at you! What you’re doing to me!” He joked.

Jeopardy! Brings out the Competitive Spirit in the Iconic Stars

The hilarious clip shows Donna Mills and Carol Burnett going toe to toe on the answers, answering questions at light speed. Meanwhile, Philbin seems overwhelmed.

Noting the fact that Philbin wasn’t answering anything at all, Trebek jumped in. “Before you get to select again, I would like to ask a favor of Regis. Regis, would you ring in please?”

“Is this thing working?” Regis Philbin joked about the infamous button, causing the women to laugh. He clicks the button. His podium, showing he’s made no money, lights up. “Good. Good.”

While Trebek was known for his professionalism with regular contestants, he didn’t hold back on Regis. “It works. You don’t.” Trebek joked.

The Episode Aired Again After Philbin Passed Away

Sadly, Regis Philbin passed away at the age of 88 in July of 2020. Jeopardy! honored him by releasing a statement before re-airing his episode, which produces described as “an entertaining and spirited competition.” The show had planned to release the 1992 episode anyways as a part of a deep dive into their archives.

“That choice has been made even more poignant with the passing of Regis Philbin this weekend,” the Jeopardy! team said. “What was going to be a funny look into the Jeopardy! archives turned into a way for the show to display their gratitude to Regis for his friendship to the show for so many years.”

“We proudly present it now in memoriam and with love,” they concluded.

If you’re wondering if Philbin ever got a chance to get back at Trebek for his primetime television roast, he never quite did. Though, in the Game Changers documentary, which was released in 2018, he did get the chance to tease Alex Trebek for a poorly made sandwich.

Both figures were icons not only of their time but of today. For many, it’s both fun and bittersweet to see the two interact. In the documentary, they’re all laughs, even if Philbin did find Trebek a bit “scary” on Jeopardy!