Alex Trebek Reveals Why He Loves Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ So Much — ‘I Hate Spending Time With Stupid People’

Alex Trebek already admitted that he doesn’t know every Jeopardy! answer off the top of his head. But over 36 years of hosting America’s favorite trivia game show, he’s certainly honed his knowledge to be better than average. There’s a good chance the 78-year-old host would perform just as well as the contestants.

And this truth is part of what makes Trebek love his job — he’s constantly surrounded by people with his caliber of intelligence. In an interview, the Jeopardy! legend took the sentiment one step further when he admitted how much he hated being around “stupid people.”

Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

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Alex Trebek has become the face of ‘Jeopardy!’

In the wake of Trebek’s cancer diagnosis, plenty of fans are starting to wonder if the host should retire and finally pass the reigns on to someone else. Even his wife Jean suggested that he should slow down and relax, especially while going through chemo. But Trebek is determined to keep on hosting for as long as he’s physically able.

“Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad, but it comes with the territory,” he told CNBC of going through chemo treatments. “When you’ve been in the same job for that long period of time, it moves you to think at some point about retiring. Thinking about retiring and retiring are two different things.”

He can’t imagine doing anything else besides hosting

Just like fans associate Trebek with Jeopardy!, the host has made his longtime gig part of his identity. He has other hobbies, like fixing stuff around the house. But it’s not enough to make him retire — or to start hanging out with people who aren’t his academic equals.

Trebek said his favorite part of the show is spending time with the contestants, Variety reported. “I hate spending time with stupid people,” Trebek joked. “You can’t find any better environment in which to work than hosting a program like Jeopardy!… It’s the very best kind of reality television.”

Trebek has a plan for the last 30 seconds of his last show

Of course, Trebek’s Jeopardy! tenure must come to an end one day. And when it does, the Canadian-American host already has a plan for the last 30 seconds of his final time on air.

“I will tell the director, ‘Time the show so that I have 30 seconds at the end,’’’ Trebek explained.

“Because when Ken Jennings lost after 74 wins in a row, I had a tear in my eye and no time for a good-bye. So all I want on my last show is 30 seconds, and I’ll do what Johnny Carson did: ‘Hey, folks, thank you. Been a good run and all good things must come to an end.’ Then I’ll move on.”

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A one-year update from Alex.

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Who will host ‘Jeopardy!’ after Trebek retires?

Though Trebek swears he has no say in choosing his replacement, he did suggest that producers would be wise to cast a female host into the role. Another rumored successor is the fan-favorite contestant and greatest of all time player, Ken Jennings.

One thing is for certain: it will take a lot to fill Trebek’s shoes. Whoever takes up the mantle next better love hanging out with smart people.