We all remember the longtime “Jeopardy!” host’s iconic mustache, but his 1970s afro is criminally underappreciated. The late Alex Trebek always presented himself as a stylish, elegant TV host. Though you Outsiders may be surprised to learn that more often than not, he rolled up to the stage in a pickup truck, sporting jeans and a T-shirt.
Alex Trebek’s daughter Nicky shared a throwback photo on Instagram, showing off her dad’s 70’s style. He posed shirtless wearing a pair of flared jeans, and yes, his afro and ‘stache were on point.
It’s difficult to think about considering his seemingly eternal run on “Jeopardy!” from 1984 to 2020, but the throwback photo shows the late host years before he took on his iconic hosting job. Still, even then, Alex Trebek was a television veteran.
1978 marked the last of two years spent hosting a game show called “The $128,000 Question.” That must have been one of his first TV gigs, right? Wrong. Trebek was nearly 20 years into his broadcasting career when the picture was taken.
The late “Jeopardy!” host and Sudbury, Ontario native got his start at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation immediately after graduating from the University of Ottawa. His first stints as a radio and occasional TV announcer saw him cover things like the weather, news, and sports. It didn’t take long for people to notice his composure and presentation skills. Within two years, Alex Trebek landed his first proper hosting gig on a show called “Music Hop” in 1963.
Not long after, his future “Jeopardy!” hosting skills would be put on full display. According to Brittanica, Alex Trebek accepted a job on a popular quiz show called “Reach for the Top” in 1966.
Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Was Just ‘Alex’ to His Family
It’s easy to hold celebrities up as larger-than-life figures, especially when they carry themselves as admirably as Alex Trebek. But at the end of the day, they’re human beings like the rest of us. The term “icon” is often thrown around when the late “Jeopardy!” host’s name comes up, and rightfully so. He secured a place in our culture through decades of excellent work. To Trebek’s family, however, he was just a devoted dad and husband.
“In looking back, the fact that I did not identify Alex as an ‘icon’ was a gift. We were equal partners in a marriage, and we had our own personal growth issues to deal with just like any ordinary couple,” Jean Trebek told The Eden Magazine recently. “It would have been really weird for both Alex and myself if I thought of him as some celebrity. He could just be himself at home, and that was it.”