The ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Who Called Alex Trebek An ‘Underrated Rapper’
There were so many sides to the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s skill set and interests.
In addition to his extraordinary and iconic hosting duties on the show, Trebek was an expert fixer and builder around his home and was dedicated in his volunteer work for World Vision.
But a rapper? That’s what one winning Jeopardy! contestant claimed.
Alex Trebek dead at 80
The Canadian-born Alex Trebek’s death was sudden in that viewers and fans of Jeopardy! marveled at how well he looked and sounded despite his living with stage IV pancreatic cancer and its treatment.
Trebek made his show duties look effortless, although he at times was in excruciating pain just moments before taping shows. Once he heard announcer Johnny Gilbert introduce him, however, Trebek described it as transforming his mindset.
In his 2020 memoir, The Answer Is…, Trebek said “It’s the strangest thing now with cancer: there are days when I’m just a basket case before we tape. I can barely walk to the production meeting. But when Johnny introduces me and I get out onstage, it all changes suddenly. I’m myself again.”
In one particular moment, Trebek revealed his “stomach cramps got so bad that I was on the floor writhing in pain” and that mere minutes after finishing a show he would just make it back to his dressing room “before collapsing and crying from the pain.”
As he noted, no matter how much pain he was in, “when I get out there, it’s all forgotten because there’s a show to be done.”
James Holzhauer’s tribute to the beloved show host
One of the show’s greatest contestants, James Holzhauer won over $2 million in his eight weeks on the show in 2019.
He recalled meeting the press with Trebek and his fellow contestants Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter during the show’s Greatest of All Time tournament in January.
“I keep thinking about the last time I spent with Alex Trebek,” he wrote. “We were at a media panel promoting #JeopardyGOAT. Ken, Brad, EP Harry Friedman, Alex and I cracked wise about the show for our allotted time, then the reporters approached the stage for interviews.”
Holzhauer was struck by how, although the contest was supposedly meant to crown the greatest Jeopardy! player of all time, it was obvious that Trebek was the show’s most significant draw.
“You’ll recall that the entire conceit of this tournament was to crown the “Greatest of All Time,” a Mr. Jeopardy if you will,” Holzhauer tweeted. “The reporters knew this was crap: both titles already belonged to the host. They ignored us and mobbed Alex to ask him what he ate for breakfast that day.
The ‘medley’ Holzhauer points to as proof of Trebek’s rap mastery
Tweeting a compilation of Alex Trebek rapping clues throughout the years, Holzhauer said, “Alex was so much more than a host. He was an impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that.
“He was someone you could count on to entertain you every weekday, even when his health barely allowed it. And he was an underrated rapper.
At the end of the video medley, Trebek said, “I was just getting into this rap thing. I don’t think I’m too good at it, but I was just getting into it.”
Press play on the video above, close your eyes, and enjoy Alex Trebek the rapper.