‘Jeopardy!’ Legend Ken Jennings Hilariously Shades Oklahoma’s Instrument of the State Decision in 1993

by Matthew Wilson
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We don’t know what the weather forecast is in the state of Oklahoma. But “Jeopardy!” icon Ken Jennings is throwing shade their way. The former game show contestant and host took to social media to highlight the state’s chosen state instrument.

Did you know states had official instruments? Well, Oklahoma certainly does. While it may not be news for Oklahomans, Jennings is drudging up a state decision from almost 30 years ago. Time may have passed, but Jennings is still not over it.

In 1993, Oklahoma chose to adopt the drum as its official instrument of choice. In a Definitions and General Provisions statement, the state wrote: “The drum is hereby designated and adopted as the percussive musical instrument of the State of Oklahoma.”

That provision went into effect on Sept. 1, 1993.

But Jennings won’t let Oklahoma forget. In a tweet, he wrote with his usual brand of snarkiness, “Huge blow to marimbas and tambourines here.”

Fans Debate Ken Jennings’ Twitter Post

Well, the “Jeopardy!” legend seemed to have started a debate on Twitter. And it’s not over who’s been the best “Jeopardy!’ guest host so far. Instead, some of Jennings’ followers have questions. Music lovers everywhere are a little confused about what it means to have a state instrument.

For instance, the provision mentioned drums as the state instrument. One of Jennings’ followers questioned if the state could be a little more specific. After all, a bucket can classify as a drum if you turn it over and start banging on it. (No offense to any drummers out there).

The user wrote, “Lol ‘the drum.’ Which drum? Snare? Tom? Timpani? Roto toms? Bass drum? Marching quads? Steel drums? Congas? Timbales? Bongos?”

Meanwhile, another of Jennings’ followers noticed a particular wording in the provision. They questioned if the state had other instruments besides drums. They wrote, “This is just the percussive instrument of Oklahoma. Wonder if they have several official state instruments of different kinds, and they hold committee hearings offering musicians and enthusiasts a chance to make their case?”

Well, it turns out that the fiddle is also classified as an official instrument of the state as well. Of course, not all of Jennings’ followers were interested in a debate. Some used the opportunity to make jokes of their own. For instance, one person wrote, “That drum lobby is notoriously powerful and has it out for the marimba. This is a win for “big drum” and a step back for all wind instruments.”

Outsider.com