‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Answers the Question, ‘Why Does Johnny Gilbert Always Mispronounce Your Name?’

It’s the show intro every Jeopardy! fan has come to know and love – This. Is. Jeopardy! And now, here is the host of Jeopardy!, Alex Treeebek!

Recently, however, Alex Trebek was asked why the classic quiz show’s announcer mispronounces his name as he does.

The ever-diplomatic Trebek answered as honestly as he could. And here’s what he had to say.

(From left to right): Johnny Gilbert and Alex Trebek of 'Jeopardy!' in 2006
(From left to right): Johnny Gilbert and Alex Trebek of ‘Jeopardy!’ in 2006 |
Evan Agostini/Getty Images for Chanel

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How Alex Trebek and Johnny Gilbert met

Trebek and Gilbert have worked together as a team for a longer period of time than most marriages last. The two met in 1984 when they began working the game show circuit.

“[Alex and I] met at a party 30-some years ago in Hollywood – it was a television party,” Gilbert told Jeopardy!‘s website. “All television game show people were there, and I met him then casually. And then I met him in and out as we were doing shows.”

Alex Trebek and Johnny Gilbert
Alex Trebek and Johnny Gilbert

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The 95-year-old Gilbert revealed his true feelings about his longtime work companion, Trebek.

“I really got to know him only when I started working on Jeopardy! My first impression of Alex was how bright he was,” Gilbert recalled. “He’s a really smart guy – and it’s because he works at it. He studies, he reads things, he travels all over the world…because he loves it, it’s what he wants to do. [He’s] a really terrific guy.”

Gilbert is proud to be the voice of ‘Jeopardy!’

Johnny Gilbert has worked an incredible amount of game shows from the start of his career in 1958. From Music Bingo to Fast Draw to Beat the Odds and Dialing for Dollars, Gilbert has done it all. Then he found Jeopardy! Or perhaps it found him.

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“Being associated with Jeopardy! has changed my life from the standpoint that I have become such a part of it,” Gilbert said. “And that’s a proud thing to be able to say, because it is a show for all people and for all time. So to be known as the Jeopardy! voice is a wonderful thing for me, and it’s certainly different from anything I had ever done before that.”

Why Trebek has never corrected Gilbert

On the Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone podcast, in May 2020, the question came up regarding Gilbert’s seeming mispronunciation of Trebek’s name. Every day. For almost forty years. Trebek addressed the issue.

After hemming and hawwing just a bit before answering the question, he got to the point.

“I don’t know,” he said with resignation in his voice. “I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t mind slight variations in the pronunciation. “

At the suggestion by Poundstone that Trebek raise the issue with the announcer, he refused.

“No, no. Johnny and I have been together now thirty-six years, there’s never a spat, never a nasty word between us.”

That’s one good working relationship between these two Jeopardy! icons.

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