Darrell Hammond's Sean Connery hilariously tormented Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek during SNL Celebrity Jeopardy!

By Tyler Aquilina
October 31, 2020 at 12:49 PM EDT
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Legendary actor Sean Connery died Saturday at age 90, and though his legacy primarily consists of originating the role of James Bond and his other acclaimed screen roles, we'll also always remember him for repeatedly tormenting Alex Trebek on Celebrity Jeopardy!

Okay, no, that wasn't actually him. But Darrell Hammond's impression of the Scottish actor on Saturday Night Live became one of the show's most indelible creations, as Hammond's Connery, often in concert with Norm Macdonald's Burt Reynolds, gave Will Ferrell's exasperated Trebek many a headache over the years.

Though Hammond played a more gentle, befuddled Connery in the first Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch in December 1996 (below), the character soon evolved into an aggressive, foul-mouthed prankster who bore little resemblance to the real-life Connery. However, one of his defining character traits was present from the beginning: his tendency to misread category names (for instance, "'S' Words" becomes "swords" and "An Album Cover" becomes "Anal Bum Cover").

Of course, perhaps the best of the sketches came in 1999, with an installment best summed up in two words: "Turd Ferguson." Here, Hammond introduced another key attribute of his Connery character, his frequent claims to have slept with Trebek's mother.

The sketches continued after Macdonald departed SNL, with Hammond's Connery becoming Trebek's primary tormentor, fond of lobbing dirty jokes ("There once was a man named Trebick, who had the world's tiniest...") and old-fashioned insults ("Take that, you poltroon!"). Hammond would often reprise the role when Ferrell returned to host the show, with another sterling installment coming in 2009, featuring Tom Hanks playing a very dumb version of Tom Hanks.

And even after he left the cast, Hammond — who has served as SNL's announcer since 2014— returned in front of the cameras to play Connery on the show's 40th anniversary special in 2015, unleashing his full misreading might on such categories as "Who Reads" ("Whore Ads") and "Let It Snow" ("Le Tits Now").

It remains to be seen whether Hammond will reprise the role one last time in tribute to Connery, but his legacy of laughs is already secure.

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