‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Detailed His Earliest Memory, a Scary Fall Through Canadian Ice

by Halle Ames

Former “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek once detailed his earlier memory when he fell through some ice while living in Canada. 

There are few things scarier than falling through a thin layer of ice and into the icy waters below. An even larger fear of mine is falling in and not being able to pull my cold self out. 

Obviously, the experience was enough to ingrain itself into Trebek’s head and become his earliest memory. It’s not exactly a happy experience that traumatized you into remembering it so well. 

Alex Trebek Takes An Ice Bath

In a 2012 interview with The Washington Post, Alex Trebek details the events from that frightening day in Sudbury, Ontario. He recalls the moment from the creek as his earlier memory at the age of seven. 

“Mid-winter, when I was about seven years old, my sister and a couple of her friends were playing on a frozen creek that was not frozen entirely,” explains Trebek. “And I told her, ‘Get off the ice. It’s not safe. It’s too dangerous. I’ll check it out for you.’ And then the ice cracked under me, and I fell in.”

Thankfully, everyone was okay. Alex Trebek climbed out of the frigid water and found comfort in a warm, dry towel. Lesson learned the hard way: the ice is too thin until proven otherwise. 

Alex Trebek went on to become a legend, hosting Jeopardy with pride for over 36 years. Unfortunately, in early November of 2020, the beloved television personality lost a nearly 18 month battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. However, despite the prognosis and pain associated with the grime disease, Alex Trebek remained on Jeopardy, warmly greeting contestants and cracking jokes. He was 80 years old at the time of his death. 

‘Jeopardy!’ Hunt for a New Host

Since his passing, the game show has been tirelessly trying to find a permanent replacement, recruiting the best of the best to have a turn as host. So far, the frontrunner to get offered the position as “Jeopardy!” host is a previous champion, Ken Jennings.  

Jennings was the first person to serve as the game show host’s go-to man after Alex Trebek. “Jeopardy!” featured Ken Jennings on the show for six weeks, unlike two for almost every other celebrity. 

Now, Jennings is growing eager to hear who the Jeopardy producers have in mind for that long-term role. He spoke with Chicago’s WGN Radio about whether that spot has his name on it or not.

“I have no idea. Someone needs to decide this summer because I’ve heard they want to have a new permanent host lined up for next year, and of course, they start shooting those shows during the summer,” Jennings said.

However, for the time being, the list of talented hosts is still long enough that it would be premature to secure anyone for good.