‘Jeopardy!’: Ahead of the New Season, Here Are Alex Trebek’s Thoughts on the Long-Running Show’s Legacy

Jeopardy! begins its 37th season on Sept 14. To call it iconic is an understatement for a quiz show that has become such a part of American culture.

Even more impressive is that the classic answer-and-question show has had the same host, Alex Trebek, for all of its 37 seasons.

Here’s what Trebek had to say about what the program has meant to the generations that have grown up watching it, raised their children watching it, and the generations that will continue to do so.

Alex Trebek of 'Jeopardy!'
Alex Trebek of ‘Jeopardy!’ | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Ken Jennings is joining ‘Jeopardy!’

Ken Jennings

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Jennings, 46, has been brought on to the program as a consulting producer. Part of his duties will include presenting entire categories of clues on Jeopardy! for the new season. Viewers will begin seeing the quiz show champ in the second episode of the new season.

Jennings won the game show’s Greatest Of All Time title earlier this year in Jan. 2020. The exciting tournament brought together Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer to compete for the ultimate title in the popular show’s history.

About his new role, Jennings stated in a press release, “Though I’ve played my last round of Jeopardy! as a contestant, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to remain involved with my favorite show.”

“I’m still in on all the action, but I don’t have to worry about phrasing things in the form of a question anymore.”

Alex Trebek’s contract ends in 2022

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Trebek is under contract with the show through 2022.

The 80-year-old host doesn’t plan on retiring from the syndicated game show. Trebek’s diagnosis in 2019 of stage 4 pancreatic cancer and his treatments have required enormous energy on his part. But it seems that his work on Jeopardy! has given him the purpose he needs on a daily basis.

“Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad, but it comes with the territory,” he told CNBC in 2020 about his body’s response to cancer 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.”

Alex Trebek on the legacy of ‘Jeopardy!’

In a 2007 conversation with the Archive of American Television, Trebek stated his thoughts on the show and how it will be remembered and known.

“We’re part of Americana,” Trebek noted. “This program can be on forever. There’s no reason it can’t just be one of those programs that my grandchildren watch and my parents watched and everybody watches.”

The show’s legacy, according to Trebek?

“A respect for knowledge,” he stated. “There’s nothing wrong with being bright. There’s nothing wrong with comporting yourself in a decent manner, with respect for your fellow individuals. We don’t take cheap shots at people, in our clues or on the program. I think that says a great deal about us.”