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Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets very excited in 1997 'Jeopardy' episode

March 25, 2013 at 9:38 AM ET

Before he was a time traveler ("Looper") or Abraham Lincoln's rebellious son ("Lincoln"), Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a young actor appearing on "Third Rock from the Sun." And in 1997, he was also a contestant on a celebrity charity "Jeopardy!" episode who was very excited to know the answer. Or rather, to know the question.

As the video clip shows, from the moment host Alex Trebek pulled up the "answer" clue that referred to Holden Caulfield, a long-haired Gordon-Levitt starts pulling an Arnold Horshack (look it up, kids) impersonation in the back: "Oooh! Oooh!" he cries, and is just so thrilled to be able to give the correct "question" of "What is 'Catcher in the Rye?'" adding "that's my favorite book!"

Amusing additional notes: Trebek referring to him as "Joey," hearing his voice break just a little when giving the "question" and a quick flash of the other contestants -- Kirsten Dunst and Benjamin Salisbury (from "The Nanny"). Props to Buzzfeed for explicating the entire episode, pointing out some highlights (Gordon-Levitt, of course) and lowlights (no one knew "Moby Dick"). You can watch the whole show below, if you like!

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