While many of us non-celebrities are often jazzed about seeing our names used coincidentally in movies and TV shows – I get to celebrate the twisty legal drama Primal Fear for its rare use of a fictional "Venable" – famous folks are far more used to seeing themselves specifically referenced across the entirety of pop culture and beyond. But that doesn't mean they all take it for granted. Case in point: Ryan Reynolds gave Wheel of Fortune a shout-out for using his name within a puzzle, while also sharing a hilarious tidbit about his mom in the process.
Since the name "Ryan Reynolds" isn't exactly overflowing with letters, Wheel of Fortune used it for one of the show's fan-favorite "Before & After" puzzles. And that's where the confusion with Reynolds mom came into being. Check out the still below from the actor's Instagram Stories.
Understandably, Ryan Reynolds' name wasn't used for the first part of the Before & After puzzle, since it's obviously harder to find common nouns or phrases that start with the name "Reynolds." Well, I guess there's "Reynolds teach an old dog new tricks." No wait, that starts with "you can't." Okay, I'm stumped.
Similarly, Ryan Reynolds mom must have been confounded over why her son would have been a part of one of modern cinema's most celebrated war movies but chose not to tell her about it. Who wouldn't immediately brag to anyone listening about working with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg? Not to mention everyone else in that talent-oozing ensemble cast.
Weirdly enough, Saving Private Ryan was released in 1998, which was the same year Ryan Reynolds more or less cemented his TV stardom, despite having previously starred in Nickelodeon's Fifteen, among other small screen roles. That's right, 1998 was the year that ABC debuted Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, which later brought in fellow beloved actor Nathan Fillion, who – that's right – had a role in Saving Private Ryan. It all comes full circle, people!
While he wasn't in the Oscar-winning WWII movie, Ryan Reynolds did appear on Jeopardy! for one of Alex Trebek's final episodes, and he was both thrilled and honored to have taken part in it. Understandably, the clue tied into Reynolds' new movie Free Guy, which will finally be released on August 13 after a series of pandemic-related delays, and which also features a cameo from Trebek himself. Reynolds isn't alone when it comes to game show fever, either. Earlier this week, Ashton Kutcher won at life for being part of a Jeopardy! clue/question.
Maybe one of Ryan Reynolds' Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place co-stars will factor into a Wheel of Fortune puzzle next. Or his soccer team-owning partner Rob McElhenney, of It's Always Sunny fame. Or Deadpool. Yes, Deadpool should take over as host the next time Pat Sajak falls ill or takes a vacation. Make it so, universe.
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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.