The quiz show Jeopardy! re-aired its very first episode, when the program became syndicated in 1984, featuring Alex Trebek as the game show’s new host.
Watching this half hour of television from nearly four decades ago was both a pleasure – and slightly disturbing – based on present-day fans’ reactions to it.
Going to the vault after the Teachers Tournament ended
The Jeopardy! 2020 Teachers Tournament was filmed before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took hold in the nation and around the world. It aired in late May and early June 2020.
The tournament is a two-week series of games, with teachers from schools around the United States competing for the $100,000 prize and a chance to return to play in the Tournament of Champions.
Reflecting the show’s desire to give educators their moment in the sun, Alex Trebek said in a show clip of the teachers appearing in this year’s tournament, “That’s why we have the Teachers Tournament — to honor the men and women who spend so much quality time with us and with our children.”
Once the Teachers Tournament ended, the quiz show had no choice but to start airing older episodes, to the delight of many fans.
Trebek is eager to get back to work
As much as Alex Trebek has been keeping busy filming intros for the older Jeopardy! episodes airing until filming resumes once again, the host is very eager to resume filming on the show.
In fact, the Canadian-born show host wants the question-and-answer show to be one of the first to get rolling as soon as pandemic restrictions are lifted.
A representative for Jeopardy! told TVLine in June 2020 that “Alex is looking forward to resuming production as soon as we are able to do so. He’s told us he wants to be one of the first shows back in production.”
‘Jeopardy!’ fans went back in time
Going back in Jeopardy! history to 1984, so much was different from the Jeopardy! of today. Alex Trebek, sporting darker hair and a full mustache, was speaking a mile a minute. The audience reacted to everything contestants did: clapping after every, single correct answer and gasping at incorrect ones. And contestants were buzzing in before Trebek was done reading the clue.
Fans on Twitter had no shortage of commentaries on what they were watching.
A recent contestant on the show tweeted, “Just watched the re-airing of the first 1984 episode of #Jeopardy, and lemme tell ya – I am so glad they stopped the audience from screaming out in horror at wrong responses by the time I was a contestant. What kind of anxiety nightmare is that?”
“Getting to watch the first-ever episode of #Jeopardy is truly the best thing that happened to me all week,” tweeted a happier fan.
Another fan got frisky at seeing a much younger Alex Trebek, tweeting “#Jeopardy sure looked different back in the day (1984) .. And young Alex Trebek .. meow!”
“This old episode on #Jeopardy is great,” another tweet said. “I think Alex had at least 4 cups of coffee before taping.”
The reaction on social media can be likened to going through one’s parents’ wedding or prom photos. Simply a blast from the past.
“#Jeopardy is now showing their first ever show Alex Trebek ever hosted. 1984. Wild. That 80’s theme music. And that mustache!,” said another tweet.