‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek’s Wildest Successor Could Be ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Pat Sajak
Even during a difficult battle with pancreatic cancer, Trebek has remained as Jeopardy!’s main host. The show and its host will forever be linked to one another, but Trebek can’t be the host of Jeopardy! forever.
The rumors of Trebek’s eventual retirement have already begun, which has caused fans to wonder who could replace the iconic host. One of the most interesting possible successors is another legendary game show host, Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak.
Who is Alex Trebek?
Born George Alexander Trebek in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, the popular game show host began his entertainment career on a Canadian television show called Music Hop in 1966. Trebek then moved to America in 1973 and took his middle name Alex as his on-screen persona.
The first game show Trebek hosted in America was The Wizard of Odds on NBC. Trebek’s relationship with NBC continued and resulted in hosting jobs on High Rollers, The $128,00 Question, Classic Concentration, Battlestars, and many more.
Then, in 1984, Trebek became the host of Jeopardy!, and has been ever since. Trebek has also made a variety of appearances on some of the most popular television shows in history. These cameos include Cheers, The Magic School Bus, The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210, How I Met Your Mother, and many others.
Most of Trebek’s television roles were as himself, or as a host of a game show. The legendary entertainment figure announced his positive diagnosis for pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and is still in the midst of treatment today.
What is ‘Jeopardy! and its connection to ‘Wheel of Fortune?’
The first host of Jeopardy! was Art Fleming, and the show began in 1964. The game show was created by NBC’s Merv Griffin, who was the creative force behind many of the game shows that Trebek hosted. The original run of Jeopardy! lasted from 1964 to 1975, and was then canceled by the network.
The show was then rebooted in 1984, with Trebek as the host. Trebek has hosted nearly every game of Jeopardy! since 1984, but one episode was hosted by a different popular game show host.
The switch came on April Fool’s Day 1997. On that first day of April, fans were surprised to see Pat Sajak as the host of Jeopardy!, instead of with Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune. That same day of mischief also saw Trebek take over for Sajak’s popular game show, Wheel of Fortune, with Sajak’s wife Lesly as Trebek’s cohost.
Trebek has already gone on record that he will not have any influence in selecting the next host of his show, but Sajak’s experience hosting Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy has caused many to wonder if he is next in line to become the host once Trebek retires.
Could Pat Sajak replace Trebek as the host of ‘Jeopardy!’
Sajak and his co-host White are as synonymous with Wheel of Fortune, as Trebek is with Jeopardy!. It would be strange to see Sajak every night on Jeopardy!, but there isn’t anyone as qualified as he is to eventually take the job.
Game shows are not as popular as they once were, but both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! still draw large numbers and have many passionate fans. According to Deadline, Trebek is under contract to host the game show through 2022, so fans still have time to enjoy the host they’ve known for over three decades.
Sajak and White are also under contract through 2022, so a smooth transition from Trebek to Sajak would be possible. Sajak would be an excellent host as Jeopardy!, and his departure from Wheel of Fortune could allow White the opportunity to step into the role of the main host. What’s more, Sajak would bring loyal fans with him to Jeopardy!.
Whoever takes over for Trebek, fans of Jeopardy! will surely miss him.