publication date: Friday, February 23, 2018 (part of Winter 2018)

category: Music

clue: This rapper was known for rocking the bells and knocking you out like Mama said, until he decided to go back to Cali to join the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Los Angeles.

explanation: LL Cool J's hits include "Rock the Bells," "Mama Said Knock You Out," and "Going Back to Cali." He stars in NCIS: Los Angeles. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, and Lori Lancaster

player landmarks: This was the last goo solved by Lori Lancaster.

trivia: LL Cool J (1998) was the very first celebrity goo, setting a template that all other goos have followed ever since. Like those of many goos in the early game, its clue relied on euphemisms rather than being straightforward with its hints, but otherwise it still resembles a modern goo when considered twenty years later. I originally regarded this goo as a poor choice to have been first, because LL Cool J at the time did not seem sufficiently famous (a few people struggled to recognize him), but Celebrity Goo Game has had to rely on far more obscure "celebrities" in order to produce some of the 4,266 goos to date. Looking back now on the game's twentieth anniversary, it seems like the perfect place to have begun. –Scott Hardie

20th Anniversary: Celebrity Goo Game has changed a lot since it began in February 1998. The twenty goos in this theme recreate the twenty most impactful and game-changing goos from the last two decades, in order of their influence. Happy anniversary, goo game!

Similar Goos

Takehito Koyasu

This imperial performer carries the burden of white hot popularity. Go »

Long John Silver

If you wanted to open a fast-food restaurant named for this fictional pirate, copyright lawyers would say that you don't have a leg to stand on. Go »

Don King

His hair is almost as famous as the boxers he promotes. Who's the king? Go »

O.J. Simpson

The controversy over this former running back getting away with murder has yet to run out of juice. Go »

Kikawada Masaya

He's best known for regaining his humanity after receiving a motorcycle, and for his romance with the largest planet. Go »

Butch Patrick

This child actor had monstrous success, but remained less well-known than his on-screen parents. Go »