Has Jeopardy! Ever Had Another Host Besides Alex Trebek?
Is there anyone who doesn’t know what Jeopardy! is?
The American television game show was created by Merv Griffin and debuted in 1964. Basic in premise, it’s a quiz show where contestants are given general knowledge clues in the form of a question.
The show has moved to several networks over the decades, but the popularity hasn’t waned after all these years. It’s won 33 Daytime Emmy awards and a Peabody. It’s also ranked on TV Guide’s list of the 60 greatest shows in American TV history.
Viewers automatically associate Alex Trebek with Jeopardy! and vice versa. But has anyone else ever hosted the show?
Alex Trebek didn’t always host Jeopardy
The first three iterations of Jeopardy! were hosted by Art Fleming. Don Pardo worked as the announcer for the NBC version and the syndicated version until John Harlan took over. But ever since 1984, Trebek has worked as the show’s syndicated host.
To date, Alex Trebek has hosted close to 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy!.
How did Alex Trebek get started hosting Jeopardy?
Alex Trebek was born in Ontario, Canada in 1940. His first hosting job was with a Canadian music program and he had several other hosting gigs before moving to America in 1973. There he worked on several game shows such as High Rollers and The $128,000 Question. He also made guest appearances on other game shows.
But it was Jeopardy! that made Trebek’s career as legendary as it is today.
Will Trebek keep hosting?
In early March, iconic Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” Trebek said during a taped announcement. “And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
Trebek is the undeniable face of Jeopardy!. He’s been hosting for over 30 years, since 1984, and it’s almost impossible to picture anyone else taking over. Unfortunately, it sounds like that may happen sooner than expected.
Trebek’s health has been deteriorating for a while
The cancer diagnosis is a shock, but it’s not the first time Alex Trebek had health issues. The game show host had a subdural hematoma in 2017 and had to take time off the show. He’s also had two heart attacks.
There were rumors that Trebek was thinking of retiring in 2020, but then he renewed his contract until 2022. Trebek joked that the contract renewal is the reason he’ll beat cancer.
“Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
Trebek will be 80 when his current contract expires. But did Trebek already pick out his replacement a few months ago? It sounds like he might know who will step up to host Jeopardy! next.
Did Alex Trebek pick out his replacement?
Even if Trebek’s cancer does go into remission, eventually he will need to retire. When that happens, who will fill the huge shoes Alex Trebek left?
He may not get to pick his replacement – hiring duties will be left to the network. But in an interview last year, Trebek said that producers should consider Alex Faust, who announces the play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings hockey games.
“I mentioned to our producer not so long ago that the fellow that does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings — they should consider him,” said Trebek. He also named CNN anchor Laura Coates and TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. “There are so many talented people out there that could do the job,” he said.
That may be true. But no one else will be Alex Trebek.