6 reveals the Jeopardy! host


Illustration of the article titled

Graphic: Natalie Peeples

In March 2019, when Alex Trebek shared his diagnosis of Stage IV pancreatic cancer, it seemed like the whole world was excited with messages of hope and love. As a host of Danger! For 36 seasons, Trebek, who turns 80 today, has become a television icon and unlikely return snack. So how did this French Canadian son of Ukrainian immigrant become the authoritative voice of American knowledge? The charming memory of Trebek, The answer is… Reflections on my life, offers these answers, formulated, of course, in the form of a question.

1. Who is Mr. Voice?

You know that voice. Canadian without being too exciting. Teacher but not harsh. Sensual but not sexy. Trebek won a third grade public speaking competition. He landed a job during his first year of college as a radio announcer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, reading local news, the weather and stockyard reports. He was transferred to the CBC headquarters in Toronto and passed on tv, leading the high school quiz Reach the top, where he was able to showcase his dual French-English language skills, and the teenybopper dance program Music Hop, where he interviewed pop stars while in costume as the aptly named mystery musician, Mr. Voice.

2. What is the curse?

Trebek moved to Los Angeles in 1973, after NBC took the pilot on the fleeting The Wizard of Odds. Other ephemeral game shows followed, among them High Rollers, The $ 128,000 question, Double dare, Trap, and Battlestars, a Places d’Hollywood retreading with a young Jerry Seinfeld. He tried to play the role of the Hollywood insider. He drove a convertible Bentley, bought a house on Mulholland Drive, married another TV host, and trained his children’s ball games (alongside Bryan Cranston!). But he did not participate in the other customary vices. Trebek doesn’t drink (apart from the occasional glass of Chardonnay). He was not on drugs (except during this time he accidentally ate a handful of hash brownies). So he started to curse. That’s right, the iconic game board isn’t the only one Danger! component operating in blue. And in The answer is… Trebek lets the blasphemies fly. “My memory is fading,” he writes in the first chapter, “and I feel like I’m in the same boat as Mark Twain, who in his seventies said he only remembers things that don’t. never happened. If that happens here, hard shit.

3. What is a draft?

When the first syndicated episode of the redesign Danger! with Trebek at its helm airing on September 10, 1984, success was not guaranteed. Creator Merv Griffin much preferred the tasteless Wheel of Fortune. Local TV stations have chosen their own time slots – prime time in some major markets, after midnight in others. the Danger! studio computer screens were difficult to discern. Just check the answers to the very first Final Jeopardy !, to which all three competitors answered correctly.

4. What is muskox?

Trebek earns $ 10 million a year. Recording two days a week, five shows a day, 46 days of the year, that’s a little over $ 43,000 per episode. So what does he do with his daily earnings? He entertained the troops with the USO and is a longtime contributor to the evangelical humanitarian organization World Vision, which sent him on more than a dozen international aid trips, primarily to Africa. He “adopted” the Zambian village of Kabaleka, providing its residents with clean water and a new school and medical center. And he makes a donation to save one of his favorite animals: the muskox.

5. Who is Eugene Levy?

“To be parodied means you’ve arrived,” writes Trebek. What if Will Ferrell lasted two decades Celebrity Jeopardy! Identity theft is perhaps the most famous, Trebek’s favorite impression came courtesy of Eugene Levy, who sang the quiz show’s host on several occasions in the Canadian comedy show. SCTV. Blessed with Trebek’s curls and a sticky mustache, the character of Levy, the irascible host of Half spirit, passed by Alex Trebel before leaving the complete Trebek.

6. Who is Dana Venator?

Trebek recounts his favorite competitors in his memoirs. Ken Jennings, he the longest Danger! winning streak, made an appearance, of course. So are buzzer superstars like Brad Rutter, James Holzhauer, Eddie Timanus and Cindy Stowell. But Trebek’s favorite interview of all time is Dana Venator, a high school student from Decatur, Ga., Who made the inaugural teenage tournament final in 1987. Endearingly wacky, Venator shared stories about bagpipes and bad poetry. Trebek writes: “It might have been the hardest thing I have ever laughed at on the show.”


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