'Jeopardy' Contestant Tries to Hide Famous Past As TV Obsessed Cowboy From 'Willy Wonka & T.C.F.'


If you tuned into Monday night’s airing of the TV game show Jeopardy, you may have noticed a familiar face.

But if you didn’t recognize the contestant after Alex Trebek introduced him, you’re not alone.

Just as he does at the beginning of every show, Trebek introduced the night’s contestants to viewers at home.

When he arrived at the second player, he introduced him as 58-year-old Paris Themmen, a North Hollywood entreprenuer with an avid love for backpacking.

But both Trebek and Themmen left out a soon-to-be obvious fact from that introduction: Themmen was a famous child actor.

Watch: Refs Miss Blatant Foul as Caitlin Clark Gets Slapped, Sparks Instant Rage in Fans Who've Had Enough

And not just any child actor.

Fans on Twitter were quick to uncover the identity of the contestant, who left out the huge telling detail about his past.

Themmen played Mike TeeVee, the boy obsessed with television and cowboys, in the classic 1971 movie “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.”

Themmen was just 11 years old when he played the role, but the Twitter storm his Jeopardy appearance created made it clear that the role was a memorable one.

Fans of the movie immediately took to Twitter following the episode to confirm the obvious: the aptly-named Mike Teevee, whose biggest dream was to be on television, finally got his wish.

“I was making dinner in the kitchen, listening to Jeopardy when Alex Trebek started introducing contestants at the break,” one viewer wrote.

“He said @ParisThemmen and I ran out saying MIKE TEEVEE!!! My wife thought I was nuts. Great job Paris!”

Watch: Disney Exec. Admits Company Openly Discriminates Against White Males in 'Spoken' Agreement

Themmen performed well on the game show, coming in second overall and taking home $6,800 in winnings.

While he didn’t reveal his Willy Wonka past on Jeopardy, the former child star hasn’t completely left his role behind.

Last year, he posted a photo on Twitter of himself holding a golden ticket while attending New York Comic-Con. He also posted a still from the movie of Mike Teevee.

Congrats Mike Teevee, you finally made it to the big screen after all.

Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best uplifting stories here.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Health, Entertainment, Faith