‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek’s Simple Piece of Advice For the Quiz Show’s Next Host

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek had a few choice words for the lucky person who gets to take over at the helm of the classic quiz show when Trebek eventually retires.

The Canadian-born host’s contract runs out in 2022, and while he wants whoever assumes his role to make it their own, a little advice wouldn’t hurt, either.

Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

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Who Trebek would like to see replace him

As stuck-up as some may feel Alex Trebek is, perhaps because he hosts such a cerebral quiz show, by all accounts he seems to be quite the regular guy. When it comes to his replacement on the show, Trebek – who turns 80 in July of 2020 – makes it clear that he’s certain whoever takes over will be just fine.

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Speaking at New York City’s 92nd Street Y center in 2019, Trebek mused that it could be anyone, including in his opinion, TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz, LA Kings announcer Alex Faust, or CNN’s Laura Coates.

“It’s probably going to be a woman, somebody younger, somebody bright, somebody personable, somebody with a great sense of humor, so I nominated Betty White,” he said, jokingly. “There are so many talented people out there that could do the job.”

The host is eager to go on with the show

Trebek has been on hiatus, along with almost every other televised program, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Jeopardy! was filming straight through the beginning of March 2020. At that time, producers decided to film episodes without a studio audience to keep the crew, and especially the host, who has been battling late-stage pancreatic cancer, safe from the virus. A week later, all filming ceased until further notice.

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Sources from the quiz show have shared that the host is eager to resume filming as soon as possible. Three months is a long time to be sitting out on the sidelines waiting for the world to get back to work.

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.”

Alex Trebek’s advice for his replacement

As for what Trebek would like his replacement to keep in mind, it’s not “stand up straight,” or “be sure to smile as much as possible, and enunciate when you read those clues.” It’s actually advice that’s much more contestant-focused.

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A one-year update from Alex.

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In a May 2020 conversation with comedian Paula Poundstone for her podcast, Trebek said, “The trick is to always be on the side of the players.”

It can be a daunting experience for contestants. Now no longer yelling answers from their couches, nerves are high and they’re out of synch with the buzzer.

Trebek noted that the best players are teachers, lawyers, and students. “They’re used to thinking on their feet — and that helps you a lot … someone who can deal with the pressure of the moment.” 

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