Popularity is a fickle thing, both in real life and online. When it comes to viral clips online, sometimes things are instantly clear they will be big, while others build slowly. Things happen all the time that go unnoticed, only to be unearthed much later by the masses. Further still there are little secrets known by a small group that get stumbled upon and reintroduced for a wider audience to embrace in a new way.
Apparently that last part is happening to old Jeopardy! clips right now, as two notable viral moments from the show’s recent past have gotten new shine as life in quarantine continues. Viral moments of smart people failure are nothing new, but seeing old clips of said moments pop up much later is a fascinating revisitation of game show history. The first came on Thursday, in which a moment of contestant interaction between Alex Trebek and Susan Cole went viral once again.
Alex Trebek squared up against death itself and simply doesn’t give a fuck anymore. pic.twitter.com/tiRRD2LmRZ
— Aren R. LeBrun (@proustmalone) April 23, 2020
In the clip, Cole’s nerdcore hip-hop gets roasted by Trebek as for “losers,” and the new tweet alludes to Trebek’s battle with Stage IV cancer as a reason he simply doesn’t care about hurting others’ feelings. The clip is taken a bit out of context, as the actual interaction doesn’t end as abruptly and Trebek generally isn’t nearly as cold-hearted as he appears here. But the moment from the Oct. 12, 2016 episode has lived on far longer than Cole’s win on the night and the $67,800 she won over three games.
Its reappearance on Thursday seems to have sparked a resurgence of Jeopardy!-related moments hitting the timeline once more. We already know new episodes of the show are running thin, and reruns featuring Ken Jennings (which I certainly lobbied for) are on the way. But on Friday, in the middle of the dang NFL Draft, ESPN’s SportsCenter Twitter account tweeted a two-year-old video clip of contestants missing an entire Jeopardy! category on football.
This was tough to watch
(via Sony Pictures Television) pic.twitter.com/AlmcfIIzOr
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 24, 2020
The moment is fairly infamous in the Jeopardy! world, which is why for some this feels quite old. In fact, the moment actually inspired a new Jeopardy! football category, one that Trebek wrote and actually included drawings he did of signals officials make during games.
Today's FOOTBALL category was developed by Alex! Here's a side-by-side view of his write-ups with the actual clues. pic.twitter.com/7735cRComO
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 11, 2020
None of this is as old as the clip that circulated on Thursday, which happened in 2016 and seems to pop up online every few months or so. But it does show that people are extremely bored these days, and any sort of joy or comedy, no matter how dated, is worth another watch or two these days.