Jake’s Take Pays Tribute to Alex Trebek (1940 to 2020)

Celebrated television personality Alex Trebek lost his battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. He spent 37 seasons as the host of Jeopardy! (Photo property of Sony Pictures Studios)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Multiple media outlets, including The Daily BeastTMZand TVLine, reported that legendary game show host Alex Trebek lost his battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. He was 80-years-old.

Early Start: 

Alex Trebek was born on July 22, 1940, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. While he was growing up, he attended Sudbury Secondary School and the University of Ottawa. In 1961, Alex Trebek began working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He worked through the ranks and covered many events that ranged from the national news to horse racing. He also hosted several television programs, including Music Hop, Reach for the Top, and Strategy. 

In 1973, Mr. Trebek moved to the United States and became a rising star in the game show circuit. He hosted several incarnations of The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, Double Dare (not the Nickelodeon version), and Battle Stars. He also did several guest spots on various television programs and caught the interest of a television legend.

What is Jeopardy? 

Television luminary Merv Griffin asked him to film two pilots for the revival of the classic quiz show: Jeopardy! In 1984, the revival was syndicated nationwide through Sony Pictures Television. For 37 seasons, Alex Trebek hosted countless contestants as they battled it out in the ultimate trivia challenge with questions that range from the US and World History to pop culture.  

Throughout Alex Trebek’s time as a host, several contestants have become parts of pop culture, including Brad Rutter, James Holzhauer, and Ken Jennings, who won 74 regular games. All three men faced off in the 2020 primetime Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time limited series, where Jennings took the crown.

Alex Trebek made an appearance on Saturday Night Live on May 18, 2002 for Will Ferrell’s final episode as a regular cast member. (Video property of Broadway Video & NBC)

Alex Trebek in Pop Culture

In addition to hosting Jeopardy, Mr. Trebek appeared on various television programs as himself. Fans can see him on episodes of Mama’s Family, The Golden Globes, Beverly Hills 90210, The Nanny, and How I Met Your Mother. He also lent his voice to various cartoons such as Rugrats (as Super Stumpers host Alec Quebec), The Simpsons, Arthur (as Riddle Quest host Alex Lebek), and Pepper Ann.  On May 18, 2002, he appeared on Saturday Night Live on Will Ferrell’s final show as a regular cast member. The future Anchorman star portrayed the Jeopardy! Host on the famous recurring skit: Celebrity Jeopardy! 

Awards & Accomplishments

Throughout his long career, Alex Trebek won seven competitive Outstanding Game Host Emmys. He also received stars on both Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmy Awards. On June 13, 2014, Alex Trebek overtook fellow game show legend Bob Barker to become the record holder for the Guinness World Record for “the most gameshow episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program)” for having hosted 8,200 episodes of Jeopardy! 

Jake’s Take sends its deepest condolences to his wife, Jean, his three children, and countless of Jeopardy! Employees.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar