‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek and His Unseen ‘Rugrats’ Role
For kids of the ’90s, one of Nickelodeon animated TV shows, Rugrats, was must-see TV. And for a certain type of game show fan, Jeopardy! has been a viewing pleasure since the mid-’80s.
But what the two groups might not realize is that their worlds met at one time. And as you might expect from a crossover of the adorable pack of babies and the sophisticated, learned Jeopardy! host, the result was fantastic.
Jeopardy! has delighted fans for over 35 years
Alex Trebek has been with Jeopardy since its beginning in 1984. His calm, intellectual style is the perfect match for a show that is much more focused on knowledge than glitz.
As the show nears its 8,000th episode, Trebek is still the host of the popular program, standing up front and reading the answers in his calm voice so contestants can guess the questions.
Last year Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Although this disease has a dismal survival rate according to the American Cancer Society, he faced into the news with typical aplomb.
A year later he let his fans know that the news so far is good. Not only has he beaten the odds so far, his doctor told him that he fully expects him to survive the next year as well.
For viewers of Jeopardy!, the news was more than welcome. Everyone wishes him well, of course, but also — well, there’s just no one quite like Trebek.
Rugrats charmed a generation of kids
In 1991, the Nickelodeon network premiered a new cartoon that broke the mold. Rugrats was the story of a lovable group of babies. Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, Phil and Lil DeVille, and Angelica Pickles made up the tiny gang, and the series showed them figuring out the world under the noses of their clueless parents. Their experiences were funny, engaging, and sometimes surprisingly emotional.
The show was a huge hit. It lasted for nine seasons, until 2006, and spawned three movies and a spin-off series. All Grown Up showed the babies as older kids, premiering in 2003 and running until 2008.
Recently Nickelodeon announced they were doing a reboot of the show, much to the delight of its fans, some of whom are looking forward to introducing their kids to it.
There still aren’t many details available about what the reboot will look like, but the network has said that viewers can expect to see it in the fall of this year.
An unlikely crossover
In the second season of Rugrats, there was a storyline that brought these two very different shows together.
Didi, the mother of Tommy, competed on a game show. Although on Rugrats the show was called Super Stumpers, it appeared very similar to Jeopardy!. Not only did it require lots of arcane knowledge to win, but it was hosted by a familiar-looking sophisticated host called Alex Quebec.
The similarities to the Canadian Jeopardy! host are obvious, but what kids of the day may not have realized is that Trebek himself voiced the character.
The show had fun with the parody, making several references to the show. It may have gone over the heads of the children watching, but their parents enjoyed the unusual matchup.
But this wasn’t the only time Trebek did voice-over work in a cartoon. He played a version of himself in several shows: The Magic School Bus, Family Guy, Arthur, and The Simpsons. He also voiced himself in the Jeopardy video game.
As fans of Rugrats wait for the reboot of their beloved show and fans of Jeopardy hope for Trebek’s continued recovery, both groups could come together to enjoy one crossover to please them all.