Fans of Jeopardy! were upset when the show didn’t wish Johnny Gilbert a happy birthday. Long-time viewers of Jeopardy! know exactly why that’s a big deal.
Gilbert has been the announcer and audience host of the show for decades. He’s helmed the position since the show’s revival in 1984.
On July 13th, Gilbert celebrated his 94th birthday. However, neither episode airing Wednesday or Thursday wished a happy birthday to the announcer. Many fans thought this was unfair. They took to Twitter to voice their concern. Some had even prepped the Jeopardy! team in advance.
“Please honor Johnny Gilbert’s 94th birthday on July 13th,” one user wrote. “Shout it from the rooftops!”
Another fan blamed producers for the mishap.
“This one’s on the producers,” user @newbreen wrote. “A newcomer to the show, she wouldn’t be expected to know Johnny’s birthday. But the producers certainly WOULD!” The tweet references guest host actress Mayim Bialik. Many fans recognize Bialik from her time on The Big Bang Theory.
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings share hosting duties currently while the network searches for a permanent Jeopardy! host.
Johnny Gilbert’s legacy on Jeopardy! unparalleled. His tenure on the show began at the same time as Alex Trebek‘s.
Johnny Gilbert’s Life and Career
Gilbert is an American entertainment personality and worked mostly with television shows. He started as a nightclub singer and entertainer and hosted game shows spanning many decades.
Gilbert grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He started performing at a young age. He sang in his hometown church choir. His grandmother had been a church singer, while his family had no professional theatrical background.
In high school, Gilbert decided to become a professional singer and learn from an opera teacher. He regularly sang with Shelly Harmon and His Orchestra, a group that toured Virginia.
He then moved to New York City, where he quickly signed with an agency. In 1958, he received his first job on national television. He became the host of a new game show, Music Bingo. He later hosted game show Words and Music on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles. Next, Gilbert hosted New York game show Fast Draw.
Then, Bing Crosby Productions asked him to host the game show Beat the Odds. Bill Caruthers produced the show in Los Angeles. After that stint, he hosted a local version of Dialing for Dollars in L.A on KCOP-TV.
Mark Goodson choose Gilbert to replace Don Pardo as the announcer and audience host for the original version of The Price Is Right once it moved from NBC to ABC. Gilbert also served as the announcer and audience host for Dinah Shore’s syndicated daily talk show. That show ran from 1974 to 1980.
Then, shortly after, he became Jeopardy!’s announcer and audience host. The rest is history.