'Jeopardy!' Viewers Freaked out When They Recognized This Contestant

Most Jeopardy! viewers flip when they know the answer to a single question in an episode, but some keen home audience members freaked out when they recognized a contestant from Tuesday's show.

Challenging the returning champion Zach Dark, an Alabama investment analyst, was McKayle Bruce, a Washington D.C. attorney, and Paris Themmen, who touted himself as a California entrepreneur.

But Themmen was hiding a sweet secret about his past — one he chose not to bring up during the "fun fact" conversation in the middle of the episode.

The 58-year-old told host Alex Trebek he has visited six continents and 61 countries on backpacking trips, but viewers found him far too familiar and realized they had seen him onscreen before.

"Why wouldn't Paris Themmen mention [the] most amazing fact he had about himself: He played Mike Teavee in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," one user wrote alongside a clip of the 1971 film.

"Is nobody realizing that Paris on Jeopardy right now, is Mike TV from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?… Like legit it's the actor," another pointed out.

"I was making dinner in the kitchen, listening to Jeopardy when Alex Trebek started introducing contestants at the break. He said @ParisThemmen and I ran out saying MIKE TEEVEE !!! My wife thought I was nuts. Great job Paris!" wrote another fan.


Themmen, who now works as an entrepreneur in North Hollywood, was in fact a child actor best known for playing Mike Teavee in Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when he was 11 years old. Since then, he has appeared in cameos on food television shows including Cake Wars and Top Chef: Just Desserts.

The former actor and entrepreneur may have come in second place to the reigning champion on the trivia game show, but surprisingly, it was not Themmen's first experience with Jeopardy!; his wife Nikki is a two-time champion on the show.