It wasn't often that Will Ferrell played the straight man on Saturday Night Live, but he did it so well as forever-exasperated Alex Trebek on the show's Celebrity Jeopardy! sketches that they became one of the most beloved running sketches ever.
From 1996 to 2015, it was done 15 times, only two of which didn't feature Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery (although those two did feature Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds). Jimmy Fallon appeared in multiple guises over the years, including French Stewart, Robin Williams, Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage, Dave Matthews, and even Hilary Swank.
Other celebrity idiots — er, contestants — spoofed that you may have forgotten include Jerry Lewis (Martin Short), Marlon Brando (John Goodman), Michael Keaton (Matthew Perry), Jeff Goldblum (David Duchovny), Tom Cruise (Ben Stiller), Calista Flockhart (Drew Barrymore), Keanu Reeves (Tobey Maguire), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Lucy Liu), Anne Heche (Reese Witherspoon), Björk (Winona Ryder), and even Tom Hanks... as himself.
The late, great Alex Trebek himself made a cameo in 2002, which marked Ferrell's last episode as a regular cast member. Even though Trebek's mustache vanished in 2001, Ferrell's Trebek never lost his.
In tribute to Alex Trebek and Sean Connery (whose eternal enmity throughout these sketches is one of life's greatest joys) , Saturday Night Live has posted all fifteen sketches online.
Here they are, in chronological order:
12/07/96: Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Lewis
(SNL's first-ever Celebrity Jeopardy sketch)
5/10/97: Phil Donahue, Burt Reynolds, Marlon Brando
10/4/97: John Travolta, Burt Reynolds, Michael Keaton
5/9/98: Minnie Driver, Jeff Goldblum, Sean Connery
10/24/98: Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, Sean Connery
3/20/99: Nicolas Cage, Calista Flockhart, Sean Connery
10/23/99: French Stewart, Burt Reynolds, Sean Connery
4/15/00: Keanu Reeves, Hilary Swank, Sean Connery
2/8/01: Ozzy Osbourne, Martha Stewart, Sean Connery
9/29/01: Chris Tucker, Anne Heche, Sean Connery
5/18/02: Dave Matthews (with Boyd Tinsley), Björk, Sean Connery
(Alex Trebek cameos; Ferrell's last appearance as a regular cast member)
5/14/05: Bill Cosby, Sharon Osbourne, Sean Connery
5/16/09: Kathie Lee Gifford, Tom Hanks, Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds
2/15/15: Justin Bieber, Tony Bennett, Sean Connery
(SNL 40th Anniversary Special)
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Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.
TOPICS: Saturday Night Live, Alex Trebek, Darrell Hammond, Jimmy Fallon, Norm Macdonald, Will Ferrell