Last night's episode of Jeopardy! featured a question about DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- although nobody on the episode could successfully answer it. The long-running quiz show is in the headlines a lot this year, with host Alex Trebek undergoing cancer treatment and a 20+ episode winning streak for James Holzhauer, who now has the second-longest winning streak (22 games) and second-highest cash total ($1.6 million), both behind Ken Jennings (74 wins, $2.5 million). But for comic book fans, the coolest thing going on last night was a reference to The CW superhero show, in which Caity Lotz plays Sara Lance/White Canary, a role she originated on Arrow.
“Filipino martial arts training helped Caity Lotz play Sara Lance, the “White Canary,” who leads the time travelers on this DC show,” the answer read (the question, of course, was “What is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow?”). In spite of being one of the lowest-rated of The CW's superhero shows and a series populated by relatively unknown characters to casual fans, Legends of Tomorrow has made something of a mark on pop culture outside of fandom. Even before appearing on Jeopardy!, the series was referenced in a 2017 episode of the cult classic TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The joke came when Jonah Ray and the Bots were riffing Starcrash, a 1978 Star Wars knockoff starring Christopher Plummer and a young David Hasselhoff. During a bit where the trio are joking about a prospective toy line for the movie, they offer a number of mocking names for starships piloted by characters in the film (including "Southern Comfort" and "Thor's dead now," which wasn't a ship name so much as a joke about the fact that they didn't get around to doing the gag until one of the major characters was already gone).
One of the names? "Stella's Permanent waverider." A permanent wave is the full name for a perm or permanent, a hairstyle particularly popular in the '70s and '80s that uses heat and/or chemicals to create wavy hair in people who aren't naturally predisposed to it. The Waverider is the name of the time-traveling spacecraft in DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which was in turn named after a DC superhero created by Dan Jurgens and Archie Goodwin in 1991.