This Jeopardy Contestant's Epic Wrong Answer Should Already Be A Catchphrase

Going on national television based on one's intelligence is not the easiest thing, so when a Jeopardy! contestant makes a particularly juicy flub, there is sympathy imbued within our laughter. And when it comes to Kevin McGinty, there's also some awe mixed in, as the recent contestant delivered a compact performance of epic proportions with the bungled response seen below. Warning: you may not be able to stop watching and repeating it for the rest of the day.

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Hot Gun! Seriously, there have been some true characters that have graced the Jeopardy! stage over the years, from Arthur Chu to Ken Jennings, but I do believe the show needs to make a mascot out of Randolph, Vermont's Kevin McGinty. Or at least make him an unofficial spirit animal or something.

For those who didn't watch the clip, here's how it played out. For the category "3 + 3," in which each response would be two three-letter words, the clue was "A hired killer." Now, you probably immediately thought of the correct answer, "hit man," but you don't have the pressure of Alex Trebek calling on you. McGinty did have that pressure, and when it hit him, he stalled out for a moment before offering "Hot Gun" as his answer. It was more of an announcement than an offering, really, since it was delivered with the confidence and gusto of Independence Day's big POTUS speech shot out of a cannon. Hot Gun! There's "you fools" addendum that's implied, rather than spoken outright.

jeopardy hot gun kevin mcginty

What's more, and this is where the video is essential viewing, it's not solely what MicGinty's says that makes the moment so epic. It's a combination of everything. He eagerly buzzes in but loses track of where he was going, possibly thinking "hired gun" would be correct, and then falls back on a thinking stance that would have been welcomed alongside George Washington as he crossed the Potomac. And then even if the sorely misguided "Hot Gun!" would have been right in and of itself, McGinty's barked answer didn't even follow the normal Jeopardy! format of being asked as a question. We assume it's because asking a question as dumb as "What is a Hot Gun?" would melt the set.

Alex didn't even sound like he was having any fun in shooting down that response, either, plainly stating "No," rather than chuckling himself into a ball on the ground. Sadly, Kevin McGinty didn't end up winning the Jeopardy! episode, but we're hoping he gets a (hot gun) shot at redemption one day.

There's been a rash of particularly ridiculous game show answers happening recently. Over on Wheel of Fortune, people have been botching classic stage plays and offering surreally terrible guesses, while Family Feud is getting more and more ribald all the time. We should get some kind of Network Battle Of The Game Show Stars to pit these folks against one another.

You can catch Jeopardy! weekdays in syndication, and you can catch local community theater performances of Hot Gun whenever those schedules are released. (Not really.) Head to our midseason premiere guide and our summer TV round-up to see what's heading to the small screen in the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.