(ADDED on Nov 23: Ken Jennings will be an interim host for Jeopardy, see here.)
Alex Trebek, long time host of the TV show Jeopardy! (the exclamation point is part of the name, though I will omit it for the rest of the post), passed away in November of 2020 at the age of 80. He announced he had pancreatic cancer in March 2019.
0) Here is a pointer to a page that has all of our posts with the word Jeopardy in them. Some are about the show and others mention the show in passing. All of the posts relate to the TV show. That is because Lance and I lead fairly safe lives.
1) On April Fools day of 1997 Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy and Alex Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune. Both are on You tube: Trebek hosts wheel, Pat hosts Jeopardy Alex's hosting was more fun because- well, you can see for yourself.
2) Aside from that one day, Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy every night since he began in 1984.
3) My favorite pangram (sentence that has all 26 letters) is
Watch Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek's fun TV quiz game show.
(See my post on natural pangrams here for... more natural pangrams and a discussion of what natural means.)
It's my favorite since I can really imagine someone saying it. The show should have used it for its tagline. And now they can't :-(
4) From Alex's comments he seems to like high scoring games that are not run-a-ways. He also likes when people bet big on the daily doubles and on final Jeopardy. I think he liked having long win streaks like Ken Jenning's and James Holzhauer, but see point 7 below. I think he didn't like it when people go for the high scoring questions first (perhaps looking for the Daily Double) since sometimes the category name is not quite clear (e.g., Country Groups could be things like NATO or things like The Charlie Daniels Band) so you want to do a cheap question to get your feet wet, and also easier for the audience to see what the category means. IMHO they should really make the Daily Double Uniformly distributed on all the squares instead of having it tend to be the bigger-money questions.
5) When the final Jeopardy category is revealed he sometimes says that's a good category! or that sounds hard. Makes me wonder that if he makes no comment he is thinking that's a stupid category or Gee that's easy.
6) Because of the pandemic they could not, for a while, make new shows. Hence they aired old shows including the first ever Alex-Trebek-Jeopardy (the show had been hosted by Art Fleming and the Trebek-version was really a reboot). From that show I found out WHY it's called Jeopardy (a question I had never thought about). It's because if you get an answer WRONG you can LOSE money- that's the Jeopardy. Not really a good name, but by now everyone knows the show by that name.
7) Art Fleming also died of pancreatic cancer, back in 1995 (he was 70). Coincidence? Well, yes, though two game show hosts of the same show dying of the same disease 25 years apart could be the premise of a really bad murder mystery.
8) Alex makes some small talk with the contestants (though some is edited for time). Things like I hear you have a book on muffins that is not a cookbook-- what's that all about?' I wonder if during Ken Jenning's 74-long winning streak, towards the end, Alex ran out of things to ask him. I can imagine I hear you're pretty good at Jeopardy.
9) I wonder how good Alex would be playing Jeopardy. When he hosted Wheel of Fortune he said in passing that he would NEVER go on Jeopardy as a contestant, so he doesn't think he would do well. He could be wrong about that since over time they ask questions that are not quite repeats but draw on the same knowledge- and he's heard all of them. However, it could be that he is too busy concentrating on other things to really absorb all of this knowledge.
10) The we give the answers you give the questions is a bit odd. However, in my classes I sometimes say We'll Trebek this - we know what the answer is, we have to find the question.
11) This youtube video is of a contestant singing WORDS to the Jeopardy theme song that he wrote.The contestant refers to Jon Stewart as having also written words to the Jeopardy theme, but I can't find that anywhere- if you can, let me know.
12) Weird Al did a novelty song about Jeopardy using Art Fleming in the video (see here) I always hoped he would update it and use Alex Trebek. He never did and now he can't :-( OR-with todays technology maybe he can. Here's hoping!
13) Alex Trebek was in a category by himself!