Getting to know Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek
LOS ANGELES, CA. -- (CBS 58) America’s favorite quiz show is celebrating 35 seasons this year and you can catch it every weeknight on CBS 58.
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek actually holds the record for “Most Gameshow Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter.”
We asked him if it felt like 35 seasons have passed and he replied,"Not at all.”
He first walked onto the Jeopardy! set in 1984. While the game’s format has stayed pretty much the same, He said every day is different.
“It’s still fresh for me because every day I come out and I greet new contestants and I deal with new material,” Trebek said.
He reads 61 clues a game and Jeopardy! tapes five games every day - that’s more than 300 clues. On television he makes even the most complicated words and phrases seem so effortless. That’s all thanks to some preparation.
“They give me the games for that day at 7:30 in the morning and I spend about an hour and a half to go over all the material and to familiarize myself with words that might be difficult to say properly,” he said. Then we come out and shoot the shows.”
Jimmy Mcguire stands in for Alex as host during the practice round that all contestants go through before the actual show taping.
“Let’s just say Alex makes it look extremely easy,” McGuire said. “People are always asking Alex what he has on the lectern. Basically, it’s just a score sheet. It’s just a sheet of clues [that] pretty much replicates the game board.”
So how does he keep track of all the clues during the game?
“He’s simply just marking it off so he doesn’t re-read a clue,” McGuire said. “Back in the old days the magic marker would make a squeaky noise and became sort of a distraction so someone smart on the crew said, ‘Hey, let’s use a crayon and it’s worked.”
Outside of Jeopardy!, Trebek is a big sports fan and he said having Aaron Rodgers on for Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2015 was definitely a treat.
“He is certainly one of my favorite players and the Green Bay Packers is my second favorite team after the Washington Redskins,” he said.
But celebrity or not, he said as long as contestants have the smarts to make it on the show, he’s a fan.
We asked him what his favorite part of the show was and he replied, "The half an hour I spend on stage with the contestants because I like spending time with bright intelligent people. I hate spending time with stupid people so there’s really no downside to hosting Jeopardy!”
Trebek said what he doesn’t really like is when contestants jump from category to category. He’d just rather they finish one first before moving on.