pyramid game show obama bin laden

Evan Kaufman

Disgraced game show contestant profusely apologizes for racist Bin Laden answer

Viral '$100,000 Pyramid' star comes clean.


Joseph Knoop

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 15, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 8:43 am CDT

On Sunday, a contestant on The $100,000 Pyramid game show made a gaffe that he later said was “the most embarrassing moment of my life #KillMe.”

The contestant, Evan Kaufman, was participating on the show with SNL star Tim Meadows when his first prompt appeared: “People whose last name is Obama.” $100,000 Pyramid contestants must typically give their partner clues to the answer (think Jeopardy!) without spoiling the prompt itself, which the partner then guesses.

Kaufman can be seen contemplating the prompt for a second, muttering “hmm…” before saying “Bin Laden” with an unusual bit of gusto, much to Meadows’ surprise.

The moment quickly went viral, with people mocking Kaufman’s mental slip.

On Monday, Kaufman took to Twitter to give a little more context to his error, and painted a picture of an exhausted new father with “some inherent racism lurking in my brain.”

Kaufman explained by saying that he was tired due to his son being born two weeks earlier. Kaufman said that show producers had warned him about misreading the prompts. “They have no idea,” Kaufman joked.

After a bad start, Kaufman luckily made it to the last round with Meadows, and the Obama name prompt appeared. Kaufman said he began considering names besides Barack, but that he also began thinking of other people who were associated with President Obama, like Osama Bin Laden, who was killed in a military raid during the Obama presidency.

“Here’s what my brain decided,” Kaufman said on Twitter. “Who is associated with Obama? Who did he kill? What sounds like Obama!”

And the rest is viral history.

Kaufman said the clip above doesn’t show the rest of the program, wherein Kaufman said he quickly corrected himself and gave Meadows more accurate answers. Kaufman said Meadows felt bad he couldn’t have done more for him, and that fellow actor Kathy Najimy wouldn’t look Kaufman in the eyes.

Kaufman said he left with $8,500 and “the story of the worst Pyramid guess of all-time.”

Thankfully, Twitter seems to have calmed down after Kaufman explained his saga. Even some actors chimed in with their condolences.


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*First Published: Aug 15, 2018, 12:19 pm CDT