Alex Trebek Says His Memoir Came Together in ‘About 6 Weeks’

Alex Trebek’s memoir is available today, July 21, 2020. Eagerly awaiting its arrival have been Jeopardy! fans. Now that viewers of the classic game show can get their hands on Trebek’s book, we’re dissecting some of the comments the program’s host has made about it leading up to its release. Keep reading to learn how the TV personality’s book came together in a matter of weeks. 

Alex Trebek’s hosted ‘Jeopardy!’ for 36 years and counting

Alex Trebek attends 2018 NAB Achievement in Broadcasting
Alex Trebek attends 2018 NAB Achievement in Broadcasting | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Mention Jeopardy! and not long after Trebek’s name comes up. Born in Canada, he’s hosted “America’s Favorite Quiz Show” since 1984 when he took over the gig from Al Flemming, the original host.

Closing in on four decades of hosting the show and dishing out clues and categories to contestants from the Jeopardy! board, Trebek’s name is synonymous with the show. He, and the program, hold a place in pop culture. 

Naturally, after years of hosting the program, Trebek knows what he’s doing. People say he makes it look easy and we can’t argue with that. He chats up contestants during the Jeopardy! small talk segment and has the ability to adjust the pace of the game in whichever way he sees fit. Frankly, he knows his stuff. And not just because he has all the answers to the clues.

He wrote his memoir ‘very quickly’

Debuting just one day before he turns 80 on July 22, 2020, Trebek’s memoir is titled, The Answer Is …: Reflections On My Life. He worked “very quickly” to make sure the book met the July release date.

He worked faster knowing the date coincided with author Lisa Rogak’s unauthorized biography about him. Trebek’s motivation? His desire to tell his own story, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In an interview with NPR ahead of his memoir’s debut, Trebek talked about the writing process. Asked whether or not he enjoyed it, he said, “No, not really.” 

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Noting he mentioned stories spanning years of his life, he called the process, “Just a reasonably pleasant experience — I say reasonably pleasant because we were under pressure.” 

He continued: “We put it together very quickly in about six weeks. … The written part came about fairly easily. I would sit at my desk talking on the telephone … to the editor in New York, and just begin thinking about episodes in my past. … It flowed, and it flowed quickly.”

Trebek’s memoir is 160 pages and in it, he touches on numerous topics including family, cancer, working on the game show, and more. There’s also an entire chapter about Trebek’s mustache.

Alex Trebek didn’t always want to write a memoir

Even though he’s been the face of Jeopardy! for decades, Trebek hasn’t seen a need for him to write a memoir about his life or his time on the show until now.

That is until he changed his mind about it which had a lot to do with his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. After announcing the news in a short clip on the Jeopardy! set, Trebek received an outpouring of love from fans. That support and interest in his life convinced Trebek to pen a memoir.

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