"Jeopardy!" contestant tricks Alex Trebek into naming his SNL parody's nemesis "Turd Ferguson"

Talia Lavin angered "Jeopardy!" purists with her masterful trolling of the show, but it was glorious to behold


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 17, 2015 11:23PM (UTC)

On the famous "Saturday Night Live" parody of "Jeopardy!" contestants were constantly attempting to get a rise out of Will Ferrell's "Alex Trebek" -- be it "Sean Connery" deliberately misreading "THERAPISTS" as "the rapists" or "WHO READS" as "whore ads," or "Burt Reynolds" insisting that he be called "Turd Ferguson" -- but on the actual show yesterday, life imitated parody as Talia Lavin spent the majority of the episode vigorously fiddling with her buzzer and providing hilariously off-kilter answers, including a "Final Jeopardy!" question for the ages.

Lavin spent the first round making faces at her buzzer, acting as if it didn't work and earning a rare insult from Trebek. "Two of the contestants figured out how to master the buzzer in our opening round," he said as her difficulties continued into the second.

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If it wasn't obvious enough that Lavin was more interested in producing an entertaining episode of "Jeopardy!" than actually winning any money on it, her "Final Jeopardy" response to answer "This song from a 1999 animated film about censorship had a word censored from its Oscar performance" made her intentions abundantly clear.

She replied "What is 'The Love Ballad of Turd Ferguson'?" and, as per the show's custom, Trebek had to read it aloud, thereby forcing him to do what Ferrell's parodic version of him was always so reluctant to.

Lavin spent Wednesday afternoon on Twitter enjoying her 15 minutes of fame, tweeting:

She was also more than happy to re-tweet the whinging "Jeopardy!" enthusiasts who were unimpressed by her performance:

Others were more supportive, if not jubilant:

Salon reached out to Norm MacDonald -- the original "Turd Ferguson" -- but he is, so far, mum on Lavin's tribute to him.

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Watch the "Final Jeopardy" segment below via "Jeopardy!"

Watch an appearance of "Turd Ferguson" on "Saturday Night Live"'s 40th Anniversary special below via "Saturday Night Live."

'Jeopardy' Contestant Gets Alex Trebek to Say Turd Ferguson


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Alex Trebek Aol_on Jeopardy! Talia Lavin Turd Ferguson Video

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