This Dude Got Bleeped on 'Jeopardy!' for Swearing Mid-Game

When you imagine the average Jeopardy! contestant, you probably have in mind a stereotypically bookish, buttoned-up smartypants with a mild-mannered sense of humor, because, well, most of them are exactly that. That's what makes it so refreshingly entertaining when one comes along and manages to spice things up on the legendarily stodgy trivia show, like this guy on a recent episode who got bleeped for letting out a good ol' s-bomb on national television in reaction to a flubbed response.

During the July 13 episode, contestant Vincent Valenzuela buzzed in to respond to the answer, "To law enforcement, KA's are known these, potential accomplices the suspected bad guys hang out with." However, he seemed to draw a blank, then stuttered for a moment before uttering "shit," which was all-but audible despite it being bleeped by the censors. He immediately reacted by putting his hand over his mouth as an "oops" gesture, though the crowd ate it up and broke into laughter. Even host Alex Trebek seemed to think it was funny after revealing the correct response, "Known Associates," and declaring Valenzuela's four-letter word as "not acceptable" with a smirk. 

The bleeping incident wasn't Valenzuela's only notable moment of the game, either. During Final Jeopardy, he scribbled out "What is a treehugger?" which would have been the correct response to the answer "This slang term for an environmentalist is literally true of groups that used passive resistance vs. deforestation, as in India in 1973," and instead wrote down a baffling change-up: "Who is Carl Sagan?" It cost him the game, but he argued that he came up with that response because of a typo in the version of the question on the screen shown to contestants versus the one Trebek said aloud (it read "his slang term"). The Jeopardy! judges confirmed that to be true, and have since invited Valenzuela to return to tape another episode next week. 

Fingers crossed he spices things up again. 


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.