Alex Trebek

Game Show Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour interview, Alex Trebek talks about his early career interests, his school years (including earning a Philosophy degree), and his start in broadcasting on the CBC in Canada. He reminisces about his days in radio and television broadcasting in his early twenties and the excitement of those days and the pranks he and his colleagues played on each other. He talks about hosting the "live" CBC series Music Hop, which resembled the later American series Hullabaloo. He talks about hosting several series on the CBC, including talk and game shows. He discusses how he came to appear on American television as the host of the NBC daytime game show The Wizard of Odds, and his move to the States. He describes how his "look" was desirable since it was different, saying he was the first game show host since Groucho Marx to have a mustache.  He talks about his continual hosting in game shows in the 1970s in the U.S. and Canada and how he never felt like a celebrity and insisted to be introduced as the "host" of the show, rather than the star. He speaks in great detail about his long association as the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! Among the topics he discusses are the game play, Celebrity Jeopardy!, contestant selection, his approach to his hosting duties, and the winning streak of Ken Jennings. Trebek also talks about his association with the USO over the years. Barrie Nedler conducted the interview in Studio City, California on August 22, 2007.

"That's really what a host is supposed to do. You are there to make players relaxed enough that they can demonstrate their skills. They're the stars of the show. They're the ones that the viewers are interested in seeing. You're going to be there five days a week. Every week. Put the emphasis on the players."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Alex Trebek on hosting Music Hop in Canada, his big break in Canadian broadcasting
Alex Trebek on hosting Reach for the Top, and on parodies of Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on choosing contestants, the live studio audience, and favorite categories on Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on his association with the USO
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and growing up in Canada; on how he got started on Canadian television; on hosting Music Hop in Canada, his big break in Canadian broadcasting
On hosting Reach for the Top, and on parodies of Jeopardy!; on deciding he wanted to be a game show host; on coming to the United States to host The Wizard of Odds

Chapter 2

On hosting High Rollers and on appearing on Hollywood Squares; on handing fame and celebrity; on hosting Double Dare for producer Mark Goodson
On returning to Canada to host Stars on Ice and $128,000 Question; on hosting Battlestars and Pitfall; on how he came to host Jeopardy!
On the early years of his stint on Jeopardy!, and on changes made to the format and how the game was played; on his input into Jeopardy! and on the technology the show uses; on special weeks for Jeopardy! like College Week and Celebrity Week

Chapter 3

On the Jeopardy "think" music written by Merv Griffin and on Jeopardy! becoming a cultural touchstone; on Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert ; on a typical production week on Jeopardy!
On Jeopardy! and standards and practices; on choosing contestants, the live studio audience, and favorite categories on Jeopardy!; on figuring out pronunciation of words in clues
On the Jeopardy! roundtable, and on the Jeopardy! answers; on his hosting style

Chapter 4

On his decision to shave off this iconic mustache while hosting Jeopardy!; on winning a Daytime Emmy for hosting Jeopardy!; on then-recent changes to the show including repealing the five show limit, and on Ken Jennings record breaking streak
On Jeopardy!'s first three-way tie, and on what advice he'd give to a contestant on the show; on Merv Griffin's involvement with Jeopardy!, on his selling the show to Sony, and on the pairing of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune; on the then-future of Jeopardy!, on his considering retiring, and on keeping the show fresh
On the then-future of Jeopardy!, on his considering retiring, and on keeping the show fresh; on the legacy of Jeopardy!; on playing himself on several shows and features

Chapter 5

On his association with the USO; on getting to carry the Olympic torch; on career achievements and regrets
On how the television industry has changed since he started; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Battlestars

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Alex Trebek on hosting Battlestars and Pitfall

Double Dare (1976-77)

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Alex Trebek on hosting Double Dare for producer Mark Goodson

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Alex Trebek on winning a Daytime Emmy for hosting Jeopardy!

High Rollers

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Alex Trebek on hosting High Rollers and on appearing on Hollywood Squares

Jeopardy!

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Alex Trebek on how he came to host Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on the early years of his stint on Jeopardy!, and on changes made to the format and how the game was played
Alex Trebek on his input into Jeopardy! and on the technology the show uses
Alex Trebek on special weeks for Jeopardy! like College Week and Celebrity Week
Alex Trebek on the Jeopardy "think" music written by Merv Griffin
Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! becoming a cultural touchstone
Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert
Alex Trebek on a typical production week on Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! and standards and practices
Alex Trebek on choosing contestants, the live studio audience, and favorite categories on Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on figuring out pronunciation of words in clues
Alex Trebek on the Jeopardy! roundtable, and on the Jeopardy! answers
Alex Trebek on his decision to shave off this iconic mustache while hosting Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on winning a Daytime Emmy for hosting Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek on then-recent changes to Jeopardy! including repealing the five show limit, and on Ken Jennings record breaking streak
Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!'s first three-way tie, and on what advice he'd give to a contestant on the show
Alex Trebek on Merv Griffin's involvement with Jeopardy!, on his selling the show to Sony, and on the pairing of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune
Alex Trebek on the then-future of Jeopardy!, on his considering retiring, and on keeping the show fresh
Alex Trebek on the legacy of Jeopardy!

Pitfall

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Alex Trebek on hosting Battlestars and Pitfall
Topics

Emmy Awards

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Alex Trebek on winning a Daytime Emmy for hosting Jeopardy!

Pop Culture

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Alex Trebek on handing fame and celebrity
Alex Trebek on the Jeopardy "think" music written by Merv Griffin

TV Theme Songs

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Alex Trebek on the Jeopardy "think" music written by Merv Griffin

Television Industry

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Alex Trebek on how the television industry has changed since he started
Professions

Game Show Host

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Alex Trebek on deciding he wanted to be a game show host
Alex Trebek on his hosting style
Alex Trebek on what goes in to deciding which shows he wants to host

Hosts

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Alex Trebek on deciding he wanted to be a game show host
Alex Trebek on his hosting style
Alex Trebek on what goes in to deciding which shows he wants to host
Genres

Game Shows

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Alex Trebek on hosting Jeopardy
Alex Trebek on hosting Jeopardy!
People

Merv Griffin

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Alex Trebek on the Jeopardy "think" music written by Merv Griffin
Alex Trebek on Merv Griffin's involvement with Jeopardy!, on his selling the show to Sony, and on the pairing of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune

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