The Inspiration for SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy

YouTube / The Second City Network
YouTube / The Second City Network / YouTube / The Second City Network

Years before Saturday Night Live introduced the wonderful Celebrity Jeopardy sketch, SCTV did a similar skit called Half Wits. It's amazing. The only substantial change is that the SNL contestants are celebrity dopes, while these people are just dopes.

Norm Macdonald talked this week about how the SCTV sketch turned into the SNL sketch. Here's a snippet (the whole article is awesome):

...They wanted Celebrity Jeopardy. [Steve] Higgins had two funny categories already figgered. I came up with the idea of Celebrity Jeopardy years ago by stealing it, note for note, from an SCTV classic, Half-Wits. Higgins and I co-wrote the first one years ago and I waited for Martin Short to host so I could ask permission to steal. He said that Eugene Levy had written the original. We received permission and beside Darrel and I, the talented Mr. Short played Jerry Lewis.

My favorite Half Wit here is Martin Short. "Swedish meatballs!"

Here's the championship round, with slightly bad audio:

(Via Kottke.)