Where Did Norm Macdonald’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Character Turd Ferguson Come From?

Norm Macdonald’s Saturday Night Live skits made him one of the most memorable comedians in the ’90s. And after his death, fans will surely remember all of the joy and laughter he brought to the small-screen. Aside from his work on the “Weekend Update” segments, Norm Macdonald’s Turd Ferguson SNL character received tons of laughs through the years. So, where did Turd Ferguson come from?

Fans remember Norm Macdonald’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ stint as Burt Reynolds

Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek in front of other comedians during the 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' skit. Norm Macdonald's Turd Ferguson on 'Jeopardy!' came from this skit
Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek and Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds during the ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’ skit on ‘SNL’ | Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Norm Macdonald’s Saturday Night Live appearances brought plenty of smiles to fans. But it was Norm Macdonald’s Burt Reynolds impression on the SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch that had fans rolling.

The Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch often featured Macdonald in his finest Reynolds impression, and Macdonald would frequently chew gum and attempt to rile up Will Ferrell, who played Alex Trebek. Ferrell, of course, remained stoic as Trebek, Today reminds fans.

Norm Macdonald’s SNL career lasted from 1993 to 1998. Unfortunately, it seems he made his exit from the show at the show’s request. After frequently making O.J. Simpson jokes, NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer reportedly fired Macdonald — though, at the time, Ohlmeyer said he nixed the comedian due to poor ratings. Macdonald believed Ohlmeyer did away with him because Ohlmeyer had a friendship with Simpson.

Norm Macdonald’s Turd Ferguson character goes down in history — but where did it come from?

Norm Macdonald’s Turd Ferguson was born from an old Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch featuring Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, Jimmy Fallon as French Stewart, and Macdonald as Reynolds. At the beginning of the sketch, Farrell (as Trebek) goes through the introductions of each cast member. And that’s when Turd Ferguson makes an appearance.

“Back again, Burt Reynolds in a commanding lead with $14,” Farrell announces. Then, as Macdonald points to his scoreboard, viewers can see the new name he chose to call himself. “Mr. Reynolds has apparently changed his name to Turd Ferguson,” Farrell continues.

“Yeah, that’s right,” Macdonald says casually. “Turd Ferguson — it’s a funny name.”

Through the sketch, Farrell’s character continues to get aggravated with Macdonald. When Macdonald is first called on as “Reynolds,” he corrects the host by stating, “That’s not my name.” This leads to Farrell aggressively rolling his eyes at the comedian.

“OK … Turd Ferguson,” Farrell corrects.

“Yeah, what do you want?” Macdonald laughs.

Alex Trebek was once tricked into mentioning Norm Macdonald’s Turd Ferguson on ‘Jeopardy!’

Norm Macdonald’s Turd Ferguson didn’t end with his Celebrity Jeopardy! SNL stint. The legacy lived on in a real episode of Jeopardy! with contestant Talia Lavin in 2015.

According to The Wrap, the episode posed this Final Jeopardy question: “This song from a 1999 animated film about censorship had a word censored from its Oscar performance.” To that, Lavin answered, “What is the Love Ballad of Turd Ferguson. P.S. hi mom,” as she didn’t know the real answer.

Once Lavin submitted her answer, it seems Trebek was unfamiliar with the joke, as he read it aloud and wasn’t sure of the reference. But plenty of others remember the moment fondly and still laugh about it to this day.

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