‘Jeopardy!’: Remembering Alex Trebek’s Best Moments on Anniversary of His Passing

by Joe Rutland

It’s hard to believe, Jeopardy! fans, that it has been one year since Alex Trebek died. Let us take a look at some of his top moments.

Trebek died at 80 years old after a gallant battle with pancreatic cancer. We get an assist from TV Insider when stepping into the memories machine.

Alex Takes Position at Lectern for First Show

The native Canadian appeared on TVs in a new Jeopardy! on Sept. 10, 1984.

“In the nearly 50 years since I arrived in the United States,” Trebek said in a 2019 interview with ABC News, “I’ve been gainfully employed for all of that time except maybe six months.… That’s a pretty good record.”

Pat Sajak, Host of “Wheel of Fortune”, Vanna White, Co-Host of “Wheel of Fortune” and Alex Trebek, Host of “Jeopardy!” (Photo by M. Phillips/WireImage/Getty Images)

Trebek Switches Jobs With Pat Sajak

What’s happening here? Alex spins the wheel while Pat oversees the questions?

These two jokers! OK, so back on April Fools’ Day in 1997, Trebek and Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak changed jobs.

Sajak also found time to play his game alongside co-star Vanna White. Their bonus round winnings went to charity.

So Long, Mustache, in 2001

One thing that the Jeopardy! host had been known for is his mustache.

Trebek, between show tapings, shaved it.

This caused an uproar.

“The mustache got play in newspapers and television all over the country,” he said in a 2008 interview.

Ken Jennings Arrives in 2004

The big-time winner posted 74 straight victories until real estate agent Nancy Zerg bested him in Final Jeopardy! (He won a record total $2.5 million.)

“All good things have to come to an end,” Trebek noted. The studio audience gave each player a standing ovation.

He would join the Jeopardy! staff this season.

Who Needs Pants? Not Alex

In 2005, Trebek decided to have some fun during the Ultimate Tournament of Champions.

He came out for a new Jeopardy! taping without wearing pants.

What brought this on? Hearing what Jennings, Brad Rutter, and Jerome Vered backstage. Those three were planning to take their pants off to break the tension.

For them, it was a joke. But Alex got the best of them.

Buzzy Shares Humorous Side

In 2016, Los Angeles music executive Buzzy Cohen shared cheeky exchanges with Trebek during his nine-game run.

So, on the day after Trebek’s death, Cohen said that “Alex’s genius was really that he made the contestants the center of the show.… You really felt when you were on the stage or watching that he was rooting for [them].”

These are just a few of the memories Alex Trebek made while hosting Jeopardy!

We’ll hold all of these for a long time.