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Dankey Kang refers to a two-pane image that consists of a Jeopardy! question describing Sonic the Hedgehog and a screenshot of a contestant erroneously answering “Dankey Kang,” a misspelling of Nintendo’s iconic gorilla character Donkey Kong. Though it was subsequently debunked as a photoshopped hoax, the image went viral on Twitter anyway, wrongly labeled as an example of FAIL humor.
On May 31st, 2010, YouTuber geminitech uploaded a video clip of the Final Jeopardy round on the television game show Jeopardy!, in which the contestant Jen McFann answers “What is Berkeley?” in response to a clue about the only United States city to share a name with an element from the periodic table (shown below).
On January 8th, 2014, cartoonist Mike Rosenthal tweeted a photoshopped screenshot of the Jeopardy! clip with the answer “Who is Dankey Kang?” written as a response to a clue about the video game character Sonic the Hedgehog. Within the first week, the tweet gained over 1,300 retweets and 1,000 favorites. According to the Jeopardy! Archive, the Sonic the Hedgehog clue has never been used on the game show.
For Final Jeopardy: This Video Game character is blue, collects rings, and goes fast! pic.twitter.com/Dtk539MGeC— Mike Rosenthal (@VectorBelly) January 9, 2014
Immediately after, Rosenthal tweeted another screenshot of a Jeopardy! contestant whose answer had been photoshopped to read “Who is Princess Zorldo,” a misspelling of Princess Zelda from the Nintendo action-adventure game series Legend of Zelda.
Also on January 8th, 2014, Redditor lividd3ad submitted a link to Rosenthal’s tweet to the /r/gamegrumps subreddit, where it garnered more than 150 up votes and 20 comments in the following week. On January 9th, Rosenthal tweeted a screenshot of his Twitter interface displaying the hashtag “#DankeyKang” as a trending topic in the United States.
On January 11th, the image was reposted to the /r/funny subreddit, gathering upwards of 26,000 views and 900 comments. On the same day, DeviantArtist Kevin Bolk uploaded several illustrations of a blue gorilla named “Dankey Kang,” who bears many similarities to the video game character Sonic the Hedgehog (shown below, left).
Also on January 11th, the Jeopardy! image was reposted by blogger Tyler Oakley on his Tumblr blog. On January 12th, NeoGAF Forums member Vanillalite posted the Dankey Kang screen capture in a thread titled “Who is Dankey Kang?" On January 14th, an eBay listing was created for a shirt with the phrase “Who is Dankey Kang?” screen printed on the front (shown below).