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Ken Jennings Made A Circumcision Joke On Jeopardy And It Seems To Have Gone Over Well With Fans

Ken Jennings hosts Jeopardy!
(Image credit: CBS)

Ken Jennings made his return to Jeopardy! on Monday, July 18, taking the baton back from co-host Mayim Bialik, who had been leading the charge since May. What a great night for a comeback, too, as the game ended with a rare tie-breaker question and the crowning of a new champion. It was another part of the episode, however, that had fans giggling at the LOL-inducing host, as Jennings surprised the contestants and home viewers alike with a circumcision joke following one of the clues.

In the Double Jeopardy! round of the July 18 game, the $2,000 clue in the category Active Bible Verses was chosen, with the answer reading, “Since no one had done this for 40 years, God told Joshua to get a knife and do this to male Israelites.” Contestant Erica Weiner-Amanchi correctly answered with, “What is circumcise?” which led Ken Jennings to confirm her response in the most cringey way. He joked:

That is correct. A painful $2,000 for you.

The host’s quip caused the contestant to flinch, and the others on stage could be heard reacting as well. Fans at home immediately took to Twitter to share in the amusement:

‘A painful 2000 dollars for you’ 😂 @KenJennings continuing to be one of my favorite humans ever. @Jeopardy has the easiest decision in their hands.

This viewer was obviously referring to the classic game show’s continued search for a permanent host, following the 2020 death of Alex Trebek. Following a chaotic audition process in the months following Trebek’s death, former Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings and The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik were given co-hosting duties through the end of the current season, which concludes July 29. 

It’s long been believed that the full-time position will go to one of them, however, recent comments from executive producer Michael Davies seem to indicate Jeopardy! might be leaning toward multiple hosts to represent the show’s diverse audience. Some fans, including Men’s Health culture editor Evan Romano, thought Ken Jennings’ brand of humor proved he’s got the goods to nab the position, tweeting

Ken Jennings just made a circumcision joke on Jeopardy, Make him the official host already

The trivia master is certainly no stranger to cheesy humor. In November Ken Jennings made a Dean Martin “That’s Amore” joke after a clue about an eel, which led to a collective groan from fans so loud it prompted an amusing apology from the host on social media. 

Even the show got in on the dad joke of it all, making a “cut” joke on Instagram as they shared the clip of Ken Jennings’ circumcision humor:

A post shared by Jeopardy! (@jeopardy) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Despite whatever hijinks were happening on the Alex Trebek Stage that night, it seems like many fans are just happy to have the champ back behind the lectern, as one tweeted:

So happy to see Ken Jennings back on Jeopardy. His rapport with the contestants is so refreshing. #jeopardy #KenJennings

Viewers are hoping that a decision regarding a permanent host for Jeopardy! will follow soon after the Season 38 finale on Friday, July 29. Celebrity Jeopardy! is set to premiere this fall on ABC, and while the spinoff’s host has not been announced, Deadline reported that Mayim Bialik is likely to get the call, as she was originally planned to lead the game show’s primetime tournaments after Alex Trebek’s passing. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see the premiere dates for all of your fall shows.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.