The longtime host prides himself on getting everything right when it comes to interacting with contestants and reading the prompts. However, on Thursday night’s episode of the trivia competition show, he got off to a rough start with the pronunciation of contestant Dewi Harjanto’s first name.
According to Yahoo, Trebek spent the first round of the episode referring to the contestant as “Doo-Wee.” However, at the beginning of the Double Jeopardy! Round, Trebek realized his error.
“Dewi (Day-Wee), I’ve been mispronouncing your name, but I’m sure I’m not the first person who has done that over the years,” he said. “My apologies to you.”
The gaffe was lighthearted enough, but when the host made a similar mistake later in the show, it made it a lot funnier for both him and the home viewers.
After reigning champion Jessica Babbitt won her Final Jeopardy! Round, Trebek accidentally mixed up her name with a character from the classic film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
“Jessica Rabbit, you’re going to wrap up the week with us having earned $46,598,” said Trebek.
When Babbitt began laughing, an embarrassed Trebek charmingly corrected himself.
“And your last name is not ‘Rabbit,’ it’s ‘Babbitt.’ This is not my day for names,” he said.
It didn’t take long for a handful of people on social media to comment on the mistake.
“Jessica Rabbit? I love Alex. #Jeopardy,” a third user wrote.
“Trebek just called the Jeopardy winner Jessica Babbit ‘Jessica Rabbit,'” someone else chimed in.
“Alex Trebec calling the champion Jessica Rabbit on accident (her name is Jessica Babbitt) made my day so much better!” one excited user wrote.
“Did you watch Jeopardy this evening? Alex Trebeck congratulated tonight’s winner. Her name is Jessica Babbit, he called her Jessica Rabbit, she even has red hair. Lol!” wrote another person.
Trebek was in on his own joke, opting to sign off for the evening by pretending to mess up his own name.
“This is Alex ‘Rebek’ saying goodbye until tomorrow,” he joked.
The famed game show host, 79, recently gave fans an update on his ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer after one year.
“Hi, everyone. If you’ve got a minute I’d like to bring you up to date on my health situation. The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker,” Trebek, who is not in remission, told viewers while standing in his “Jeopardy” studio.
Alex Trebek messed up two contestants’ names during a broadcast of ‘Jeopardy!’
(Kris Connor/Getty Images)
He previously admitted that his chemotherapy has caused sores in his mouth that affects his speech and may one day prevent him from hosting the show.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” Trebek said at the time. “But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.'”
However, Trebek has no plans to retire at this time.