Jeopardy! Judges Are Sticklers When It Comes to Coolio Song Titles
In a world of game shows that often pander to the lowest common denominator, Jeopardy! has always stood apart. A certain level of pretension is ingrained in the show—consider its central conceit of having contestants answer in the form of a question—and the public loves that about it. There’s nothing quite like watching three nerds duke it out over useless trivia to see who will be crowned King Egghead.
Still, sometimes the Jeopardy! judges can be a tad too pedantic. On Monday’s show, contestant Nick Spicher buzzed in on a category where he had to mash up two titles. The clue? “A song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.” Spicher got the question right, for the most part, but the judges were more than a little gangsta when ruling on his pronunciation.
The look on Spicher’s face let everyone know just what he thought about the judge’s distinction between “gangster” and “gangsta,” but as a viewer, there is something delightful about the show’s punctiliousness being applied to the title of a Coolio song. While it cost Spicher $3,200, he still went on to win in Final Jeopardy, and in true scholarly fashion, he acknowledged his mistake on Twitter.
Let this serve as a lesson to all future Jeopardy! contestants: it’s “Fuck Tha Police” and “Protect Ya Neck.” You never know when Trebek might try to trip you up with some ’90s hip hop.