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A ‘Jeopardy!’ Head Writer Explained Why The Show’s Staff Doesn’t Want You To Play Like James Holzhauer


Every Jeopardy! fan has a plan for how they’d attack the game show, if given the chance. There are entire Reddit forums dedicated to this, and a good amount of research and study has laid out the preferred method of attack. For a lot of those who are Jeopardy! fanatics, there’s a model to follow if you pass the test and can get on the show.

In theory, at least. As you might imagine, things can get blown up pretty fast once you’re on stage and so no matter how much you study the topics statistically most likely to come up, even if you practice with a fake signaling device of your own making and even if you’re usually pretty lucky, you could get waylaid by any number of factors. Which is exactly why the show’s head writer advises against playing like James Holzhauer no matter how attractive, and lucrative, his strategy seemed.

Holzhauer, who won more than $2.4 million over 32 episodes earlier in the year, was famous for blitzing the board by jumping to more valuable questions on the board and then intentionally hunting for Daily Doubles to amass large amounts of cash and effectively shutting out his opponents. It was incredibly effective — sometimes putting the game out of reach before the first commercial break — until it wasn’t. But Jeopardy! head writer Michele Loud called Holzhauer a “a one-in-a-million player” and said she’d recommend players figure out what works for them, not what they’ve seen other players make a ton of money on. In an interview with Vulture, Loud said it’s hard to replicate the success Holzhauer had with his strategy for a number of reasons.

“I would say each player should play the game that he or she can play. James Holzhauer was a one-in-a-million player. A lot of people think that’s a great strategy, when you rack up a lot of money so you have a lot of money when you get to the Daily Double,” Loud said. “Unfortunately, not everyone is that kind of a player. Most people would benefit from starting at the top of the board and figuring out what the category is about. Sometimes the category is more limited than you think or it’s not what you think based on the category title, and you don’t know it until the first clue sets it up for you. So you can get yourself into a lot of trouble by starting at the bottom of the board, and you don’t even know it.”

Alex Trebek is famous for saying he prefers contestants run the categories from top to bottom, which I’m sure is much easier for the show’s host, too. And Loud said there’s another reason she prefers contestants go from top to bottom: the questions are written to flow that way and can help contestants find their footing.

“I’m with Alex. I would prefer players to start at the top of the board because we write the categories so that they flow from top to bottom, and they get harder as you go down the board. There’s a nice rhythm that happens when you play the category in order, and a lot of the time the game feels choppy if it’s not executed in that way.

There are a lot of ways to win on Jeopardy!, but what’s becoming more and more clear as Holzhauer’s time on the show gets further into the rearview is just how much of an aberration his run was.

Alex Trebek Saying ‘Dracula’ Is The Perfect Halloween Gift To ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans


For a Jeopardy! contestant, listening to Alex Trebek give answers is, quite literally, the most important thing to do on stage. Knowing the correct thing to say when you use your signaling device is great, sure, but if you’re on stage, you probably know a lot of things. You can’t signal, however, until Trebek stops talking.

Getting that timing down is key, and many past contestants have talked about how important it is to get Trebek’s cadence down. But that also means paying attention to a lot of Trebek’s vocal quirks, including pronouncing a number of key words with accents. That includes, as Alex Jacob pointed out in a hilarious video, the word “Dracula.”

You may remember Jacob as the former Jeopardy! contestant who broke your brain with a video compiling all the times Trebek said “genre,” which is likely different than you’d think. And just in time for Halloween, Jacob dropped another compilation on Twitter Thursday night: one highlighting all the times he’s attempted a Transylvanian accent and talked about Dracula.

Whether the actual answer was Vlad the Impaler, which the legend was based on, or the Bram Stroker novel itself, Trebek seems to take every possible chance to break out a fangified “Dracula.” It’s funny to see it all in one go here, but Trebek’s accent is actually pretty good.

What we’re missing, of course, is Trebek actually dressed as Dracula. But maybe we’ll get that next season.

Alex Trebek Choked Up During ‘Jeopardy!’ And People Are Losing It, Too


Alex Trebek is a famously cool customer, whether it’s capably moving through answers and questions on Jeopardy! or giving the word “genre” a delightfully accurate French pronunciation. He’s also heroically kept it together while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, which may force him to leave the show he’s hosted since 1984. But there was one moment on Monday night’s episode where he broke down — just a little, but enough to break everyone’s heart in two.

It was the first night of the Tournament of Champions semi-finals, which ended with one contestant, Dhruv Gaur, apparently drawing a blank on the Final Jeopardy question. (For the record: It concerned a “groundbreaking 1890 exposé of poverty in New York City slums,” whose five-word title begins with “How the.”) Instead of making some reckless, way-off guess, he decided to go out in style: He wrote “What is We [heart] You, Alex!”

Ever the professional, Trebek calmly read out the love letter, followed by a warm, “Oh, that’s very kind, thank you.” The crowd let loose a collective “aww,” but the host didn’t simply move on. Instead he choked back a near-sob, his voice breaking as he informed Mr. Gaur that his $1,995 wager took his total down to five bucks.

Social media can’t agree on much these days, but there is one thing: When the longtime host of Jeopardy!, who’s handled his ailment with stoicism, grace, and a sense of humor chokes up, even a little, we all completely lose it.

The dramatic out-pouring of love was, naturally, countered by an avalanche of hate for cancer.

The three-word question to the Final Jeopardy answer, by the way, was “Other Half Lives.”

On a related note, contestants during this week’s Tournament of Champions are wearing purple ribbons to raise recognize Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. They’ve also set up a charitable play-along on Thursday and Friday’s episodes, with viewers donating $1 to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research for each question they get correct. More information here.

The ‘We Love You, Alex!’ Contestant On ‘Jeopardy!’ Is Doing Another Heartfelt Tribute To Alex Trebek


Alex Trebek (and everyone on Twitter) nearly broke down in tears during an episode of Jeopardy! that aired this week after contestant Dhruv Gaur wrote “we love you, Alex!” as his “Final Jeopardy” answer. As Gaur explained on Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, his “Jeopardy Tournament of Champions” appearance taped in mid-September, “right after Alex had actually announced publicly that he was going to re-enter chemotherapy for his pancreatic cancer,” so his message was intended to speak for everyone who has spent decades watching Trebek dunk on contestants.

“He had come back to the green room and talked to all the contestants who were on the tournament. And we could really tell that, like, it was tough for him,” Gaur continued. “So when I got up there, obviously I wasn’t going to win the game or anything,” because James Holzhauer is an unstoppable machine, “so I was like, I could try to figure out the right answer, or I could do something for this person who might need it right now.”

Gaur lost $1,995 of his $2,000 with the incorrect answer, but he gained millions of fans. And he’s not doing paying heartfelt tribute to the gameshow host with the most:

Gaur also said on [The Ellen DeGeneres Show] that he and his fellow tournament contestants are playing along at home tonight and Friday and will donate $1 per correct answer to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. He invites viewers to join the challenge. DeGeneres surprised Gaur with a $25,000 check for the Foundation, as well as a 75-inch TV for himself.

Watch the emotional moment below.

(Via Deadline)

Alex Trebek Explained Why James Holzhauer Is The Favorite In The ‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Tournament


The Jeopardy! showdown fans have been waiting for is really happening, and Alex Trebek already knows who he thinks will win. The trivia quiz show announced on Monday that Trebek will host a special Jeopardy! tournament on ABC in January where three of the greatest contestants of all time will play for a million dollars and the title of Jeopardy! GOAT.

It’s an event that Jeopardy! fans have hoped would happen since James Holzhauer first stood out as an exceptional player and started his record-breaking run of 32 straight wins. The records that fell, of course, were not the win streak, but the huge single-game totals he put up. Last week, Holzhauer added another $250,000 to his winnings by coming out on top in a hotly-contested Tournament of Champions where he beat Emma Boettcher — who ended his win streak earlier in the year — in the finals.

This GOAT Tournament is something brand new, though, and was invented for the sole purpose of pitting Holzhauer against Jennings, who won 74 straight games, and Rutter, who has never lost a Jeopardy! game to a human being and holds the all-time winnings total in the show’s history. Holzhauer jokingly taunted Rutter on Twitter with a wrestling reference before the GOAT tournament was announced, so it’s clear that everyone saw this coming and plans to have fun with it.

But Rutter does have a reputation at stake here, and being known as the Greatest Jeopardy! Player Ever would be a nice title for any of the three to own. So the competition is going to be serious, and most assume that Holzhauer will, once again, be the favorite here. Alex Trebek said as much to USA Today when he gave an interview about the tournament when it was announced.

“You have to realize, I think, that Ken and Brad are going to be at a slight disadvantage,” he told USA Today. “They won the majority of their monies 10, 15 years ago, so they’ve aged a bit.”

Jeopardy! contestants often call it an athletic event as much as a mental one because of the importance of the signaling device. Getting the timing right there is as important as actually knowing the answer so, like video games, it’s considered to be advantageous for younger players with better reflexes.

“Are their reflexes going to be as good as James Holzhauer’s? Who knows?” Trebek said. “But we’re going to find out in this tournament. It’s going to be a blast, we’re all excited about it.”

This isn’t just speculation from Trebek, it’s something Jennings himself has referenced multiple times as a then-hypothetical matchup with Holzhauer was floated. He’s called it a “young man’s game” a number of times and laid out the same argument: Holzhauer is fresher, has been studying, and is younger than both himself and Rutter.

Whether that’s just hedging on his part or genuine analysis is debatable here, but Trebek saying the same thing makes it pretty clear that James is the odds-on pick to win another million dollars. Rutter, for his part, seems to like his chances as the underdog.

It’s all very exciting, and what’s great is that all three seem to enjoy talking a bit of smack about what’s a glorified trivia contest between three extremely smart, social media-savvy nerds. January isn’t that far off, but it’s going to be a fun lead-up to see who the GOAT really us.

Vanna White Said ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Is ‘Doing Good’ With His Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


Jeopardy! fans looking for any sort of heath update on host Alex Trebek’s battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer got some good news from elsewhere in the syndicated game show world. Vanna White, who is currently filling in as host of Wheel of Fortune while Pat Sajak deals with his own health issues, says that Trebek is “doing good” with his second round of chemotherapy.

White talked to US Weekly earlier in the week and gave a positive update on Trebek, a welcome one for fans of the longtime Jeopardy! host.

“He’s doing good. He really is,” the Wheel of Fortune hostess, 62, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, December 10, after being named the godmother of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Panorama. “He looks good. I talked to him recently and he’s got a very positive attitude.”

Trebek has issued a number of statements about his own health since revealing his diagnosis earlier in 2019. And he’s even expressed regret for doing so, saying the mental toll of others sharing their struggles has impacted his own recovery. But White said Trebek is in good spirits and keeps fighting.

“I love that he’s honest and open with his fans, because he’s been doing the show for a very long time also and feels very connected to all of his fans and viewers,” she told Us. “He is definitely keeping everybody updated on how he’s doing, and I am so proud of him. He’s still working, he’s obviously doing chemotherapy but working through it, and has that strong will to, as we say, the show must go on.”

This is a much better update than one we got earlier in 2019, which was from Trebek himself and indicated his time as the host of the trivia show may be coming to an end. Trebek noted sores on his mouth were impacting his ability to speak, though later reports from those working on the show stressed that Trebek is just a hash critic of himself and there’s no clear indication that he will have to retire.

Any news on Trebek, especially good news, is welcome for those who can’t imagine a Jeopardy! without him.

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Knows What He’ll Say On His Final Episode


Jeopardy! fans are hoping the final episode of Alex Trebek’s hosting tenure is a long way off. But with Trebek currently fighting pancreatic cancer and with a long career behind him, the Jeopardy! host says he already knows what his final episode looks like.

Trebek was interviewed by ABC News ahead of the Jeopardy! Greatest Of All Time tournament airing on the network in early January and revealed that his treatments are going well and he isn’t stepping away anytime soon, if he gets his way. But long before his Stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Trebek was contemplating his retirement. And he said that’s made it clear what he needs to do when he decides he’s done.

“It’ll be a significant moment for me,” he said. “But I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want.’ And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me…then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”

Tributes have already appeared on the show in Trebek’s honor by way of contestants sending messages in Final Jeopardy answers, but Trebek officially signing off for the last time will be an emotional moment. Thankfully, Trebek says he’s feeling well on most days and his doctors may try additional treatments for his cancer, which earlier in the year, they believed could be going into remission.

“We may try a new protocol…a different chemo or something in the trial stage that is not chemotherapy,” Alex Trebek told ABC News for the “Jeopardy!” special. “I don’t mind experimenting. I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s go for it.”

What we do know is that Trebek was on stage for the GOAT tournament, which is all the talk of the Jeopardy! universe right now. It will certainly be good to have him at the controls for one of the most exciting events in the show’s history.

James Holzhauer Really Wants To Hear Alex Trebek Say ‘Bitchin’ On Jeopardy Again


Night one of the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time Tournament proved that while James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter are nominally competing for the title of greatest player of all time, Alex Trebek has already secured his claim as the undisputed GOAT.

Trebek was at his best during the first match of the tournament, looking as sharp as ever during the show’s highest-profile event in perhaps its lengthy history. The host was his usual composed and sharp self and even added a new highlight to his ever-expansive canon of Jeopardy! moments.

Before Tuesday, the first word normally associated with Trebek on Jeopardy! would be “genre,” but a new contender is coming from the crown. In the category “The Totally Rad 1980s,” Trebek read a clue that gave the broadcast a PG rating, an almost unheard of event in the 36 years of the game show.

In the midst of a well-played game that was not lacking for memorable moments, Trebek’s line read of “bitchin'” assuredly stands out. He calmly proceeds through the rest of the sentence, though you can hear the studio audience reacting while the clue is recited, and Holzhauer can’t help but crack a genuine smile while Jennings provides the response.

Holzhauer is never one to let an opportunity for a joke slide — he’s been noticeably trolling his opponents on Twitter for weeks in the build-up to this tournament — and he is ready for the beloved game show to take a darker turn after expanding its language boundaries for the first night of what could be a seven-episode tournament.

At this point, I’m crossing my fingers that a subsequent episode forces golden boy Ken Jennings to say “bitchin'” or a similar equivalent in his answer. That might even force a PG-13 designation.

Ken Jennings Was Delighted To Tell Alex Trebek ‘OK Boomer’ During The ‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Tournament


Ken Jennings is sitting pretty through three nights of the highly-anticipated Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament. Jennings has two wins in the first-to-three competition, with James Holzhauer hot on his heels with one and Brad Rutter bringing up the rear with zero. He was able to pull ahead in the competition on Thursday, as he blew out his two foes to put himself one win away from $1 million and bragging rights for the rest of time.

Jennings was locked in during night three, and between a dominant first game and some luck with which competitor snagged the Daily Doubles in the second, he came out on top. He also got to do something that he’s always loved to do whenever he’s appeared on the show: playfully prod Alex Trebek.

The show’s beloved host read one answer during the night’s second game, and as he got called on, Jennings had a smile on his face. He responded correctly, but first, made clear that he was overjoyed with the phrase that was about to come out of his mouth.

“I get to say it to Alex!” Jennings proclaimed as his opponents giggled. “What is ‘OK Boomer’?”

Trebek, realizing that Jennings was extremely happy with this one, thanked him for his answer, while the crowd laughed at the exchange. Despite the big payday on the line, perhaps the best thing about the tournament has been the extent to which all three competitors have had fun, especially when they’ve gotten the chance to roast the person who has long been the face of the program.

Ken Jennings Had The Perfect Sign-Off After Winning The ‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Tournament


The Jeopardy! GOAT tournament between Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer came to an end on Tuesday night, with Jennings taking home the $1 million grand prize and, more importantly, bragging rights. Even before they faced off, Jennings, the highest-earning American game show contestant ever, had a friendly online rivalry with Holzhauer, who won our hearts (and lots of money) after going on a 32-game winning streak, but following last night’s episode, Jennings tweeted his appreciation for his fellow contestant, as well as Rutter, the Kevin Jonas of the GOAT tournament.

“If we ran this tournament back a dozen times, you’d probably see a different winner each time. Brad and James are just that good,” Jennings wrote. “[Holzhauer] is a player so dominant that, when he took on the strongest players ever in his sport, they both had to adopt his exact style of play just to contain him. THAT’s a once-in-a-generation talent.” He added that Rutter got some “tough breaks” in the tournament, but “real Jeopardy-heads know him as the guy who beat me in three straight tournament finals. For over a decade, he’s really had the only credible claim as the Jeopardy GOAT.”

You can read the whole thread here, but Jennings saved the best tweet for last:

Jennings also talked about his win on Good Morning America.

Alex Trebek Is And Always Will Be The True ‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT


Hosting a game show is not as easy as it looks. It can’t be. If it were, more people would be good at it, as opposed to the very few who are good at it now. There’s a tough balance to strike between authority (keep the game moving, maintain control) and charm (get some jokes in, woo the audience). I don’t know if that can be taught either, or even learned through decades of experience. A big part of it has to be natural if you’re going to really pull it off, the whole “one part schoolteacher, one part lounge singer” routine. In the right hands, though, it looks natural, almost like the host was born to do that specific thing, and like, maybe, until specifically proven otherwise, they might live in the studio, in the back, in a swanky apartment right behind the stage, where they mix up cocktails for guests and maintain a library with many leather-bound books and go to sleep at night in a full suit.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a post about Alex Trebek.

Ken Jennings won the Jeopardy! Greatest of All-Time tournament this week, and good for him. It was cool and fun to watch and I’m sure he’ll find a decent use for one million smackers. The entire operation was built on a fraudulent premise, though. It seemed to imply that the Jeopardy! GOAT was, or could be, anyone other than Alex Trebek. Impossible. Inconceivable. The only way I would even entertain the idea is if the winner of the three-person trivia battle royale then had to defeat Alex at a game or activity of his choosing, like a boss level of a video game. I choose to believe Alex would choose arm wrestling and then rip off the sleeves of his dress shirt to reveal surprisingly rocked-up arms. You will never convince me otherwise.

The thing I’ve always liked best about Alex Trebek is that he makes it cool to be smart. He legitimately enjoys when people come on the show and get answers right, in part because it makes the game flow better and Alex lives for a smooth game of Jeopardy, and in part because he just digs intellect. He takes pride in pronouncing things correctly, he likes witty turns of phrase. The best is when a group of contestants whiffs on a whole category and Alex goes from disappointed to annoyed to openly contemptuous. Like, for example, here, where he has no tolerance for three people who know nothing about football.

The first viewing of that makes it seem like he’s irked by them being dorks who use words like “sportsball,” like he’s the cool kid mocking the nerds. I don’t think it’s that, though, really. I think Alex just likes when people know things, when they have a broad base of knowledge, everything from opera to Keanu Reeves movies to 1990s NBA All-Stars. The clues are worth different amounts of money, sure, but none of the correct responses have more inherent value than another. That’s not to say he’s above poking fun at the contestants. He’ll get in some good-natured jabs. He can’t help himself sometimes. There’s a ham inside that suit that can’t be contained 100 percent of the time, as this fan of nerdcore found out.

That’s the other great thing about Trebek: he has a great sense of when to pull back and cut loose. Jeopardy! is a game by and for smart people, make no mistake. But it is a game. Games are meant to be fun. That’s what makes Jeopardy! and Trebek so special and such a great fit. The man can present confidence and knowledge in a category about 17th-century poets but he also might, say, stroll onto the set for the Ultimate Tournament of Champions without any pants on, just to cut through the tension and remind everyone — the contestants, the audience, maybe even himself — that the point of it all is to entertain.

Host and program are almost perfectly intertwined at this point, for good reason. Trebek has been hosting the show since its revival in 1984, a period coming up on 36 years, which means, for a solid number of the show’s viewers in total and 100 percent of the millennial and under crowd, there has never been a world in which Alex Trebek has not hosted Jeopardy. There was, though, and that world was called “the 1970s.” But even then, Trebek just hosted different game shows: The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, etc. The man has done nothing but host various game shows for almost 50 years. He’s a lifer in the business. No one on Earth is more qualified than Alex Trebek to do the thing Alex Trebek is doing. He’s one of one. That’s worth noting every now and then, not even tied to any real reason. It’s just special. It’s good to recognize special things.

(A brief aside about Trebek and the 1970s: Right now, as I type this, the entire collection of the show Celebrity Bowling is available on Amazon Prime. One of those episodes features a young Alex Trebek bowling against a less-young Scatman Cruthers. Trebek has a jet black mustache and a mop of curly black hair piled on top of his head and he’s wearing, I promise, a purple bowling shirt that has “ALEX TREBEK, WHAT THE HECK!” written on the back in white and gold lettering. Television is pretty cool now, with all of our options and various on-demand streaming options, but it will never be better than that episode of Celebrity Bowling.)

In fact, that’s the lens through which I choose to view the Greatest of All-Time tournament, as a way to celebrate Trebek and his legacy. It was a perfect tribute, too, because it was mostly a celebration of the game and the game’s best players. That’s probably how Alex preferred it. I say this with no first-hand knowledge, just as a person who has seen Alex get very uncomfortable and surprisingly awkward when contestants attempt to say something nice about him. It’s happening more lately, these various Final Jeopardy responses like “We love you, Alex” and “You’re the greatest,” which almost invariably make him look like he wants to somehow disappear inside himself for a second. No, this was better. He did the thing he was best at with the best contestants on a highly-rated primetime spectacle. That’s a bigger honor and a cooler tribute than, like, getting a trophy. Although he does have trophies, too. A lot of trophies.

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The uncomfortable part in all of this is the underlying knowledge that the party is almost over. Trebek has had notable health issues recently, with a scary cancer diagnosis in the last year leading the way. He’s also 79 years old. He’s not going to do this forever, even if it’s kind of always seemed like he might. The end of his run as the show’s host could come at any time in the next few years. I do mean “any time,” too, as he’s said he doesn’t even plan to tell the producers until whatever show he decides is his last. That’s… that’s cool. No farewell tour, no tear-filled goodbyes, just a wave as he speeds off in a convertible. He has a history of this kind of impulsive decision-making, too. Please allow me to direct your attention to this quote from an in-depth and illuminating profile of Trebek from The New Republic in 2014, a quote I have posted on this website no fewer than a half dozen times, including as recently as Friday, because it is my favorite quote about anything, ever.

Fact: When Trebek shaved off his moustache in 2001, he did it in the middle of the day, himself, without warning the “Jeopardy!” producers. Renee was alarmed to come in and find him mid-shearing. He just felt like it, he says now. “And it got so much press, I couldn’t believe it. The wars with Iraq or whatever at that time, and people are all in a stew over my moustache. I have one response: Get a life.”

Buzz in with all the correct responses you want, make gutsy wagers, destroy a sea of worthy competitors. It doesn’t matter. Alex Trebek will always be the Jeopardy! GOAT.

Alex Trebek Said He Won’t Help Pick His ‘Jeopardy!’ Replacement When He Retires


Despite how important Alex Trebek is to Jeopardy! it’s clear that the show will continue once he decides to retire. While Ken Jennings has essentially hung up the signaling device following his Greatest Of All Time Tournament win, Trebek is still the host of the long-running game show despite his battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

There will be a time, however, where the show goes on without the iconic host. And much like Wheel of Fortune‘s Pat Sajak, Trebek has revealed that he will not be involved in the process of picking a replacement host once he’s finally done. Trebek has been frank about his health and feelings about retirement in recent years, and that candor extended to a potential Jeopardy! without him as he talked about the show at

According to TVLine, Trebek addressed a replacement host will follow him someday, but that he won’t help those in charge figure out who it will be. And that includes, apparently, suggesting anyone for the role.

“It’s not a decision that would be up to me. And I would not make myself available to presenting an opinion,” Trebek explained to TVLine at the TCA winter press tour, following a panel Q&A for the well-watched Greatest of All Time tournament. “I would leave it up to the people in charge.”

According to other people at the show, Trebek’s intent to stay away from the decision is already well-known. Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman said Trebek has already made it clear he has “no interest.”

“[Alex] really has no interest in being involved in that process,” said Friedman. “We would welcome his opinion, obviously, but he feels like it’s really not up to him. And he has said that for a long time.”

That won’t stop people from asking Trebek who should replace him, though, and he noted “it’s probably going to be a woman” but gave a pretty unlikely answer for his replacement: Betty White.

[via TVLine]

Alex Trebek Shares His Inspiring Message For Anyone Who’s Been Diagnosed With Cancer


It’s been nearly a year since Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek revealed that he had been with diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and a lot’s happened since then. He refused to stop hosting the game show, trolled Mets fans (speaking as a Mets fan, getting owned by Trebek was a privilege), underwent more chemotherapy following a setback, and choked up during a taping, all while remaining the GOAT. During a recent interview with Pittsburgh station WPXI, Trebek called the “great outpouring of warmth and prayerful thoughts coming from people all over America” a “great help” in his battle with cancer.

“Some people would say, ‘That’s a bad deal that Alex has got.’ But there are a lot of people out there who have been informed that they have cancer, they have heart problems, serious other diseases, they have Parkinson’s, whatever, you name it. But they have to deal with it, and that’s what I have to,” Trebek said. “But they don’t have that great outpouring of warmth and prayerful thoughts coming from people all over America and that’s been a great help to me.” He added that he had “no idea that our show and myself had such an impact on the lives of so many people out there.”

Trebek also shared a message for anyone who’s currently battling cancer: “Let’s both agree that we’re going to become survivors.” Like we said: the GOAT.

You can watch the interview below.

(Via WXPI)

Alex Trebek Offers An Inspiring One-Year Update On His Cancer Prognosis


On March 6, 2019, Alex Trebek delivered sobering news to Jeopardy! fans and the public at large. The long-time host announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which carries a discouragingly low 5-year survival rate (9%), but he defiantly stated that he would beat the disease and keep hosting his show. The past year has been filled with ups and downs during this challenge, and the hurdles included Trebek finding himself overcome with emotion when a contestant surprised him with an on-air tribute to the institution himself.

Well, Trebek has surfaced with a one-year update on his health, and he’s still determined to beat the odds. In fact, he’s already done so in a big way. Here’s part of what he said in a video released by Jeopardy!

“The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%. I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker. Now I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days. I joked with friends that the cancer won’t kill me; the chemo treatments will.”

You can watch the full video below, which includes a sentiment (via Trebek) from his oncologist, who believes that a similarly positive two-year milestone is entirely within reach as well. You might get a little teary-eyed, but it’ll be worth it.

‘Jeopardy’ Is Temporarily Ditching Its Studio Audience Due To The Coronavirus Scare


It seems like the whole world is shutting down to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak rampaging the globe. From flights being cut down to Bond films being delayed, many places are cancelling events and film festivals or even delaying Bond films, all to ensure a pandemic doesn’t go from bad to even worse. As such, if you wanted to watch episodes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in person, as they’re taped, you’re in bad luck.

As per TMZ, both longtime game shows will temporarily play to empty houses in response to the health scare. There were many reasons that led to the decision. One is Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, currently battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, meaning he has a compromised immune system thanks to chemotherapy and other treatments.

The others involve the audiences themselves. For one thing, most of the studio audiences for both audiences skew older, and older people are among the most susceptible to the worst parts of COVID-19. On top of that, many of them are from out of town, and travel has been, in many cases, discouraged, especially to parts of the country seeing outbreaks. Jeopardy! films in New York City, which currently has 16 confirmed cases, with 100 in New York State in total. Wheel of Fortune, meanwhile, is set in Burbank, in Los Angeles County, which, as of this writing, has 16 confirmed cases.

Again, both shows will continue to film; the host and players will just play to empty seats. As with all things suspended due to the coronavirus, it’s unclear how long the moratorium will last. It depends entirely on how we combat the virus.

(Via TMZ)

Alex Trebek Wrote This ‘Jeopardy!’ Category About Football Because Contestants Messed Up The Last One


Despite what his assured and calming demeanor may indicate, Alex Trebek does not know all the answers when it comes to Jeopardy! Sure, he reads the questions ahead of time and gets clarifications on pronouncing difficult words, which helps him seem to be the all-knowing host he’s known for being, but he’s not a Ken Jennings-level trivia nerd.

That doesn’t mean he can’t help the show write some categories, though, and it seems he helped the writers create a football category following a disastrous showing from Jeopardy! contestants the last time they tried one. Trebek told players on Tuesday’s show that he helped out after “some difficulty” resulted in some very funny answers from some not-so-sports-inclined players.

“Last year we had some difficulty with a football category,” Trebek said. “So we thought we would try it again, but in this category with referees’ signals.”

The video shared by the Jeopardy! Twitter account actually showed the written up signals Trebek wanted included side-by-side with the actual questions on the big board, which is pretty cool. Trebek actually gave players the signals for “touchdown” and whatnot right there on stage, but the drawings he made for each of them are pretty funny, too. Here’s his version of ‘false start,’ for example.

Jeopardy! on Twitter

And this time it seems the players actually did better, which was admittedly not that hard to accomplish given that players whiffed on the entire category last time. It’s really great when Jeopardy! shows these inside-baseball moments online, and the fans of the show certainly appreciate knowing just how integral to the show Trebek can be. Alex won’t always have all the answers, but this time it’s clear that he definitely knows his stuff when it comes to football.

Alex Trebek Accidentally Congratulated ‘Jessica Rabbit’ For Winning ‘Jeopardy!’


Alex Trebek is a legendary game show host, but even the greats make mistakes every now and again. That was the case on Thursday’s Jeopardy! when he accidentally congratulated a fictional cartoon rabbit for winning the trivia game show.

Jessica Babbitt, the current Jeopardy! champion, is doing well enough to get her own video on the show’s Twitter page.

But one thing you won’t see on the official Twitter feed is Alex Trebek congratulating “Jessica Rabbit” for winning. The mistake happened on Thursday’s episode, which was Babbitt’s second win of her run. Upon winning the game, Trebek called the champion the cartoon character from Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?

“Jessica Rabbit, you’re gonna wrap up the week with us having earned $46,598,” said Trebek.

He immediately caught himself, and Babbitt herself laughed, so it was all in good fun. But it was also the second name he goofed on in the episode, as he mispronounced Dewi Harjanto’s first name as well. He corrected himself then, and did so here as well.

“And your last name is not ‘Rabbit,’ it’s ‘Babbitt,’” he said. “This is not my day for names.”

What makes this so charming is just how good Trebek often is. The host studies each question before going on, and clarifies pronunciation for all the questions in the five episodes the show tapes each day. He’s even known to write a Jeopardy! category or two, so seeing him transpose “Babbitt” with “Rabbit” here is pretty funny. No one seemed to mind too much, and Trebek was quick to poke fun at himself in the show’s final moments.

“This is Alex ‘Rebek’ saying goodbye until tomorrow,” Trebek joked.

A Lizzo ‘Jeopardy!’ Clue Had Alex Trebek Singing ‘Truth Hurts’


Alex Trebek reciting Lizzo. That’s it. That’s the tweet. The tweet, that is, that warmed hearts across the social media platform after last night’s episode of Jeopardy! One of Lizzo‘s lines just so happened to be behind the $1000 square in the “Lyrics Of Today” category, giving us all the gift of seeing one of game show TV’s longest-tenured and most beloved hosts sing one of the most inescapable hits of 2019. Check it out below.

The clue was: “Her: New man on the Minnesota Vikings, truth hurts, needed something more exciting, bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay.” As the contestant correctly answered “Who is Lizzo?” Trebek gave a charming rejoinder: “Yup — and I did it exactly like she does, didn’t I? Yeah.”

Though it was far from the first time the host had been given an opportunity to reference a popular rapper — Kanye has been an answer of the show several times, even stumping one contestant during the Greatest Of All Time competition a few months ago — it’s always delightful when he gets a chance to recite their lyrics. Lizzo was previously an answer herself back in October, to the clue: “In 2019 this 5-letter rap & R&B artist had the “Juice” to be nominated for Best New Artist at the VMAs.” In response, she posted at the time, “MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I MADE IT I LOVE YOU ALEX TREBEK.”

We couldn’t agree more. Check out the clip above

Lizzo is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

Please Enjoy Alex Trebek Singing Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ On ‘Jeopardy!’


We live in trying times, and even the smallest of things that bring us joy as we live out our days in fear and isolation are worthy of celebrating. Thankfully, the good people behind the syndicated game show Jeopardy! know how to please a crowd by making Alex Trebek sing Lizzo songs.

The Jeopardy! writers love to make Trebek recite lyrics because, well, viewers love it. And so forcing Trebek to speak out the lyrics to Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” is exactly the kind of thing they would make him do and get a huge reaction from online. On Thursday’s episode, Trebek gave a clue that included lines from Lizzo’s smash hit “Truth Hurts.”

What’s amazing here is that they picked the line about the Minnesota Vikings, but also the one where she sings rhythmic words that you can’t just say. Which is why Trebek sounded extremely uncomfortable in reciting it, to hilarious results.

Contestant Evan answered correctly, but not without a laugh, prompting Trebek to poke fun at himself.

“Yup,” he remarked, “and I did it exactly like she does, didn’t I?”

For everyone’s benefit, he didn’t. But that’s what makes it so enjoyable. One would love to imagine Trebek at home, perhaps listening to the song on Spotify or something, singing about bouncing back from a bad relationship with a new man on the Minnesota Vikings.

See? It really is the little things that will get you through all this.

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Wrote A Memoir To Give Fans ‘The Answer’ About Life


With production on Jeopardy! effectively shuttered until the COVID-19 pandemic is at bay, it’s only a matter of time until fans of the show are faced with a long period of reruns. Once the backlog of filmed episodes run out we won’t see a lot from Alex Trebek and company, which is why any good news from the 79-year-old host of the beloved trivia show is encouraged.

That news came on Tuesday, as we learned that Trebek wrote a book that’s coming out later this summer. According to the Associated Press, Trebek will release a memoir on July 21, shortly before his 80th birthday. Entitled “The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life,” the book will be published by Simon and Schuster and features “illuminating personal anecdotes” among other thoughts about Jeopardy!, life and, hopefully, Lizzo.

According to the publisher, the longtime “Jeopardy!” host will share “Illuminating personal anecdotes” along with thoughts on everything from his favorite guests to spirituality and philanthropy.

“I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year,” Trebek writes in his book.

It’s welcome news for Jeopardy! fans who may want anything Jeopardy!-related while they self-quarantine. And that Trebek has been busy despite batteling Stage IV pancreatic cancer is a hopeful sign that things are going well and he’s finding success with treatment.

Trebek is one of the most beloved game show hosts of all time, and his involvement on the show is tantamount to its success. There’s certainly a market for hearing what he has to say about pretty much anything, and we all need some good news to look forward to this summer.