George Alexander Trebek, or Alex Trebek as he was popularly known, was a Canadian-American game show host renowned for his work on the game show Jeopardy!, along with a slew of other shows like The Wizard of Odds and Double Dare.
Favoring facts over flair, Jeopardy! is seen as a cut above the average game show, and it owes its sterling, acclaimed reputation to the humble, witty Trebek. He hosted the show for 37 seasons, right up until his death. The TV personality passed away on November 8, 2020, after battling pancreatic cancer for two years.
Beloved by many, tributes to Trebek have been pouring in from all over, with many fans rewatching his sweetest moments on his legendary show.
10 ‘We Love You, Alex!’
In a Final Jeopardy segment from November 2019, Trebek asked a question in a round dedicated to famous phrases. The question read, “In the title of a groundbreaking 1890 exposé of poverty in New York City slums, these three words follow ‘How The’.”
One of three contestants decided to ditch the answer and wrote, “We Love You, Alex” instead. Overwhelmed by emotion, the host quickly responded by saying, “That’s very kind of you, thank you.”
9 Birthday Greeting For A Longtime Fan
In 2016, Alex Trebek opened the show, saying he would like to kick off things with a birthday greeting. This sounded strange as no other episode of Jeopardy started like this.
He said, “I want to send out birthday greetings to a longtime fan of Jeopardy. A woman called Lucille celebrates her 95th birthday.” He then concealed his tears as his voice cracked up. “Way to go, Ma,” he said, and a photograph of Trebek’s mother appeared on the screen.
8 Trebek’s Rapping Skills
With some questions focusing on hip-hop music, Trebek had to read lyrics as part of the clues, resulting in a hilarious scene that features him trying his best to rap out songs like Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” and Desiigner’s “Panda.”
The audience laughed while he continued reading out the lines in a robotic fashion. “I was just getting into this rap thing. I’m not good at it, but I was getting into it.” He said with a straight face after the questions.
7 “A True Story”
Trebek has been an inspiration for many in a few unexpected ways. One of the show’s winners, Burt Thakur, got emotional in a post-game chat when he was asked by Trebek if he has any family members cheering for him back home.
Thakur teared up as he revealed how he picked up English from his show. Trebek listened as Thakur added, “And so, my grandfather who raised me — I’m gonna get tears right now — I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day. So it’s a pretty special moment. Thank you very much.”
6 Football Fans
A football category baffled three players in one of the episodes, as all three had minimal knowledge about sports. This resulted in Trebek taking sarcastic digs at the contestants.
At first, he remarked, “I can tell you guys are big football fans.” After the second clue, the players still failed to answer, making Trebek say that they should skip to a commercial. Three clues later, the contestants were still bewildered to which Trebek laughed and said, “If you guys ring in and get this one, I will die.” While this definitely sounds dark given the present context, the host found it to be one of the funniest moments in the show, as he wrote in his 2020 memoir.
5 No Pants
In a 2005 Tournaments of Champions episode, one of the contestants suggested backstage that they should shoot the episode without their pants to relieve the intensity of the round. Trebek took the suggestion in the literal sense and actually showed up to the main stage in boxers!
“I was informed backstage a few minutes ago that our three contestants Ken, Brad, and Jerome wanted to relieve some of the tension and said we must do the program without trousers.” He said in his usual tone, only to find out that all three contestants were still wearing their pants. He quickly walked away to put his own back on.
4 “What Is A Threesome?”
Although the show has a very family-friendly tone, things can get a little risqué every now and then. For instance, one episode featured the question, “If Andy yearns for Brenda and Brenda yearns for Charlene who pines for Andy, the three of them form one of these.” While the answer was “love triangle,” a contestant named Carol ended up saying, “What is a threesome?”
The audience roared with laughter as Trebek smiled subtly, adding that Carol definitely has had more life experience than him.
A furry rodent was shown on screen, as Trebek asked a contestant to identify it. The clues were that its fur was 30 times softer than human hair, and its name started with that of a human body part.
An awkward silence ensued as the contestant kept on staring at the screen, desperate for an answer. Finally, he couldn’t resist saying “What is a titmouse?” Cutting a sorry figure, he said apologized profusely. Unaffected by the bizarre answer, Trebek said aloud the answer. It was “chinchilla.”
2 A Gardening Tool
This is another one of hilariously inappropriate Jeopardy! moments as Trebek asked for a long-handled gardening tool, the name of which also refers to an immoral pleasure seeker.
A contestant was quick to jump to an answer saying, “What is a hoe?” (while the actual answer turned out to be a rake). Carrying on his charming persona and dry wit, Trebek exclaimed, “Woah. They teach you that at school in Utah, huh?” as the audience carried on laughing.
1 Kinky Boots
When Jeopardy‘s contestants have no clue about a particular question, they end up giving some of the most amusing and hysterical answers. So, when Alex Trebek asked for the name of a Jew and Christian hymn that also shared its name with the 2005 Tony-nominated musical, a contestant ended up writing “Kinky Boots” as his answer.
“Yes indeed. Whenever people go to the temple or go to church, they sing “KINKY BOOTS!” Trebek said in jest. The answer turned out to be “Rock of Ages.”
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