What is a legend?

A tribute to beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek


Alex Trebek at the podium where he served as host of Jeopardy! for over 30 years.

If your TV is on Channel 7 at 7:00 at night, chances are you’ve heard the familiar voice of Alex Trebek hosting “Jeopardy!”, and perhaps remotely participated in the show yourself, shouting wrong answers at the TV, like what host of TSN’s Sportscentre Kayla Grey wrote on Twitter upon his passing.

Kayla Grey on Twitter: “Alex Trebek didn’t know it but he was also the host of Screaming wrong answers at the TV a hit I would star in alongside grandparents every single night growing up. There will never be another. Greatest game show host of all time”

We lost Trebek Nov. 8, at the age of 80, ending his long fight with pancreatic cancer — a disease he’s been battling with since March 2019. But hosting the TV show for over 37 seasons (since the year 1984 according to the official “Jeopardy!” website) was not all his career consisted of.

Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, so naturally, being Canadian, he found himself around hockey. He announced an award at last year’s NHL Awards, and made many appearances in a hockey jersey, and he even announced the fourth overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft for his favorite team, the Ottawa Senators. Coincidentally, he’s also a graduate of the University of Ottawa.

Alex Trebek announces the Sens third overall pick

“Jeopardy!” wasn’t his only hosting gig either. According to his Biography page, after college, he took a job with the CBC as a “fill-in reporter and newscaster”, then began with the game shows.

“He became the host of the Canadian quiz show ‘Reach for the Top’, which pitted teams of high school students against each other in academic competitions,” the Biography article says. “In 1970, Trebek graduated to hosting the more prominent, nationally televised Canadian game show Jackpot.”

He then left Canada for California to continue his career in hosting game shows. From 1973, he hosted a show called “The Wizard of Odds”, which had a short lifespan. He then hosted another show — one that ran for longer — called “High Rollers”, from 1974-1976, and once more from 1978-1980.

“At the same time, he also expanded his repertoire to host other game shows such as The $128,000 Question (1977-78) and Pitfall (1981-82), which aired in both the United States and Canada,” the Biography article says.

From then on, he was the host of “Jeopardy!”. He did multiple specials, from the various college tournaments, to “Celebrity Jeopardy!”, to multiple tournaments of champions, and an ABC special called “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time”, starring the three winningest players in the show’s history: Ken Jennings, James Holtzauer, and Brad Rutter.

According to his “about” page on the “Jeopardy!” website, he also was a big supporter of the nonprofit Worldvision, an organization that helps kids in developing nations escape poverty.

“I don’t think life would be as rewarding if I weren’t helping my fellow man out whenever I get the chance,” Trebek was quoted as having said on the “Jeopardy!” website.

As someone who grew up with the show, I feel that it will be hard to replace him, despite there being actual Vegas odds to his replacement (shows anyone would be willing to bet on anything if it has odds to it). He is such a familiar face at that podium, and not seeing him there as the next shows get produced is going to be weird. It just won’t be the same.