It’s not uncommon for Jeopardy! to include a question or two about Hip Hop these days. After all, it’s the biggest genre in the world and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. But clearly, not everybody is up to speed.
During a recent episode of the long-running trivia show, temporary host Mayim Bialik was reading a clue from a category called “Chuck D, Times 3.” The clue read, “In the 1990’s Chuck D began fighting the power in this hip-hop group with Flavor Flav, a man who always knew what time it was.”
To any Hip Hop head, the answer is obvious — the inimitable Chuck D — but contestant Halley Ryherd evidently didn’t study her Hip Hop history before coming on the show, answering with, “The Funky Bunch.”
The clip quickly went viral, with many wondering how someone could confuse one of the most revolutionary Hip Hop groups of all time with the “good vibrations” of Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch. But Chuck, being the humble man he is, wasn’t offended. As he told HipHopDX, “This caused a bit of an international cultural uproar. Funny.”
As for Halley Ryherd, she’s embraced being the butt of jokes online, tweeting, “I’ve talked to my therapist about it and I think I’m ready to forever be the person who mixed up Public Enemy and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch on @jeopardy. #mylegacy.”
Chuck D’s longtime friend Ice-T was elated in 2019 when he discovered he’d been a Jeopardy! topic.A fan alerted the Hip Hop legend via Twitter who responded to clip with, “We made it!!!! My life complete. #JEOPARDY.” Ice told DX at the time it was “the pinnacle” of his career.
Late host Alec Trebek read the bit of trivia: “MOM IS COCO, BABY IS CHANEL & DAD’S THIS RAPPER & ‘LAW & ORDER: SUV’ COP; NOW BACK TO HER BABY, & HER 460,000 FOLLOWERS.” But in this case, the contestant got it right.
Megan Thee Stallion was also a clue on Jeopardy! in October 2020 when Trebek read the lyrics to her No. 1 hit single “Savage.” Contestant Daniel Lee picked the $1,000 answer in the ‘On The Billboard Charts in 2020′ category, prompting Trebek to read the clue as if he were rapping it himself.
“Classy, bougie, ratchet” & “sassy, moody, nasty,” says this No. 1 hit by Megan Thee Stallion,” Trebrek read, to which Lee guessed, “What is ‘I’m a Savage’?”