Give the Jeopardy Nerds Who Didn't Know Who Spider-Man Is a Break

Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
Image: Sony/Marvel

During this past Monday’s episode of Jeopardy, Debbie Kauffman, Josh Levit, and E.J. Wolborsky duked it out in a battle of the minds for a shot at becoming trivia legends, but the trio of contestants inadvertently ended up breaking some sort of unwritten nerd law when none of them could recall the latest actor to play Spider-Man on the big screen.


As the Jeorpardy round opened, Wolborsky made the strategic decision to knock out a $1200 question from a category about “action movie stars” that was accompanied by a helpful clip from Spider-Man: Far From Home. The question: “this actor returns as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home trying to enjoy a vacation while battling new foes in Europe.”

If you’re reading io9, then the answer to this question’s a no-brainer, but Kauffman, Levit, and Wolborsky all failed to nail it, losing out on the easy cash. Levit took a guess at “Garfield”—one imagines in reference to Andrew Garfield and not to the catwhile Wolborsky went with Tobey Maguire.

Kauffman just shook her head in response, and Alex Trebek, perhaps somewhat surprised, let the contestants know that the correct answer was “Tom Holland” before making a point of adding that Far From Home hit theaters yesterday. Who doesn’t love a good ad spot on the Disney-owned ABC?

As easy as it is to poke fun at folks for not keeping up with which actor is playing which superhero in which rebooted franchise, the fact of the matter is, a lot people don’t pay that much attention to this stuff because they’ve got other things going on in their being on Jeopardy!


Also, it’s worth repeating that there have just been a lot of live-action Spider-Man adaptations, and if you’re only really keeping tabs on them using the corner of your pop culture peripheral vision, it’s easy for them all to blend together. We’ve been watching movies about Peter Parker for years, and they’ve pretty much all been a bunch of skinny white men playing teenagers with varying degrees of believability. There’s also a chance that none of these contestants watch cape films even though they’re ridiculously popular, and (I can’t stress this enough) that’s completely fine.

That all being said, if and when Miles Morales ends up being a Jeopardy answer, this kind of unpreparedness simply won’t be forgivable.


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Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.


Jill Pantozzi