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Ike Barinholtz Defeated A 13-Game Winner On Regular ‘Jeopardy!’ — Not ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’ — And People Are Freaking Out

Ike Barinholtz
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There’s usually a big dividing line between Jeopardy! and Celebrity Jeopardy!, and with good reason: Celebrities don’t have to qualify to be on the show like everyone else. They get to compete because they’re famous (and smart). But after Ike Barinholtz, of shows like The Mindy Project and The Afterparty, conquered the first season of the latter, they decided to make an exception. On Monday’s episode of Jeopardy! Barinholtz duked it out during this year’s Tournament of Champions, with “regular” Jeopardy! champs. And guess what? He kicked butt.

Per TV Insider, Barinholtz — who won three games of Celebrity Jeoaprdy!, ultimately defeating Patton Oswalt and Wil Wheaton — took the stage alongside Melissa Klapper and Ray Lalonde. Klapper had also won three games. Lalonde won 13. If Barinholtz was nervous, it didn’t seem that way. He started off well and continued to do so.

Barinholtz even got one of the Daily Doubles. It was for the category “Numeric Movie Titles,” and he decided to make it a true Daily Double. The clue? “Federico Fellini felt he’d directed 7.5 films before making this 1963 gem.” Did Barinholtz say “What is 8 ½?” He sure did, bringing his total to $15,200.

By Final Jeopardy, Klapper was in the lead, with 21,400 to Barinholtz’s $14,800 and Lalonde’s $13,800. Alas, Klapper did not get the right answer. Barinholtz did, and bet enough to bring it to $28,601 and win the episode.

Before the show aired, Barinholtz excitedly took to Instagram to tell people to watch.

“I feel like a guinea pig a little bit, but I like guinea pigs, they’re adorable, like me. But yeah, it’s an honor to be here.” Barinholtz said. “A lot of people were giving me well wishes, and a lot of them were tinged with the tone of, ‘I thought you were dumb,’ and I am, full disclosure, but it was wonderful. People were surprised, but I was happy they were saying nice things to me.” In other words, it was a “pleasant surprise,” as Jennings put it.

After his win, people on social media couldn’t believe that a famous face was a) a Jeopardy!-level brainiac who b) bested two of the show’s best.

This won’t be the last time you watch one of the guys who wrote the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart comedy Central Intelligence compete on regular Jeopardy! His win means he advances to the semi-finals.

Earlier this year Emma Stone revealed one of her dreams is to compete on Jeopardy! She didn’t want any of that Celebrity Jeopardy! business; she wanted to be on the regular show, qualifying just like anyone else. Barinholtz didn’t take that path, but it should show Stone that a famous person can hold their own with the regulars.

(Via TV Insider)