Alex Trebek Called A ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant A ‘Loser’ For Liking Nerdcore

Alex Trebek called a Jeopardy! contestant a “loser” for liking nerdcore (an obscure sub-genre of hip-hop that celebrates all things nerdy) on Wednesday’s episode, AV Club is reporting.

If you’re a regular Jeopardy! watcher, you’re familiar with that part of the show, after the first commercial break, where Trebek makes awkward small talk with the contestants. During Wednesday’s episode, Alex chatted up contestant Susan Cole, a legislative librarian from Bowie, Maryland (and doesn’t “legislative librarian” sound like the most exciting job in the world?).

As you probably suspected, Trebek isn’t flying by the seat of his pants during the interview segment; he’s given cue cards in advance, with tidbits about the contestants’ lives, culled from interviews with producers, so he can have a topic to start the conversation with. And so, approaching Cole, Trebek looked at the cue card, saw a sentence that didn’t make sense to him, and basically told the audience in advance that things were about to get weird.

“Her favorite type of music is something I’ve never heard of but doesn’t sound like fun.”

Cole then explained to the audience that she’s a fan of “nerdcore hip-hop.”

“It’s people who identify as nerdy, rapping about the things they love. Video games, science fiction, having a hard time meeting about romantic partners… you know. It’s really catchy and fun.”

Trebek then dropped one of the most uncomfortable and unnecessary disses in the history of awkward Jeopardy! interviews.

“Losers, in other words.”

A crestfallen Cole awkwardly laughs it off, and then Trebek tries to play the whole thing off as a joke, telling Cole, “I’m teasing you.”

You can watch the awkward exchange in the video below.

Now, some of you reading this article may be thinking, “Wow, that was kind of rude of Alex Trebek, but what the heck is ‘Nerdcore hip-hop?'” Well, today is your lucky day, because you’re getting an explanation in exacting detail right now.

You’re already familiar with the word “nerd,” and you probably already know a few (or if you watch Jeopardy!, you probably are a nerd). The suffix “-core” comes from the word “hardcore,” which is itself used to describe certain sub-genres of music. So “nerdcore” is a sub-genre of music that celebrates all things nerdy, through hip-hop.

And if you’re thinking that nerdcore is produced by talentless teenage fanboys rapping about whether Captain Kirk is better than Captain Picard, you’re wrong. Successful nerdcore artists produce songs with all of the polish, panache, and skill behind the microphone that rivals the best hip-hop artists. Here’s Nerdcore artist Dominik Omega + The Arcitype rapping about Game of Thrones. Check out the sick beat, poetic lyrics, artful sampling, and slick rapping skills in the clip below (which contains strong language, so be warned).

Needless to say, nerdcore fans — and even a few artists — aren’t taking Alex Trebek’s diss lightly. Philadelphia Nerdcore artist Mega Ran shot back at Trebek with a rap.

Here are a couple of lines, via the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Talking sideways on geeks, man you a trip.
Guess you haven’t heard, nerds make up half of your viewership”

Fortunately for Susan Cole, she bounced back from her awkward exchange with Alex Trebek and wound up winning the game Wednesday, taking home a little over $20,000.

[Featured Image by Noam Galai/Getty Images]