During a 2013 interview, legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek explained why he never kept souvenirs and never took anything from the game show’s set.
He joined the Baltimore Sun that summer for a Q&A session. The late game show host discussed his years on Jeopardy! and donating some items to Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The museum has other similar items on display for some of American television’s most popular shows. For example, Archie Bunker’s armchair from All in the Family and Fonzie’s leather jacket from Happy Days.
The conversation about the memorabilia eventually turned to Trebek’s own collection. However, he admitted he doesn’t have much of a so-called collection since he never takes anything from set.
“No. I don’t take things from shows I’ve worked on. I’m not a souvenir hound, if you will,” the Jeopardy! host revealed to the Baltimore Sun. “Years ago I made comments that I collected baseball caps. So people would send me baseball caps from all over the world. I had the most outlandish baseball caps. One cap had a little oil derrick on it from oil country. Or ‘I survived Spacelab.'”
“After awhile, it got to be overwhelming,” he added. “I think at one point I gave away 250 caps to a charity and I still had 100 left. I told the staff, my one regret is that I did not mention on air that I collect Rolex watches. I’m sure people would have sent me their Rolex watches. I made the mistake of saying I collected the wrong thing. Boo. Hiss.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Icon Alex Trebek Shared Things ‘Fans Should Know’ About Him in 2016 Interview
We now know that longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek didn’t keep any souvenirs from his career while he was alive. While that’s one interesting thing about himself, he shared other details from his personal life during a 2016 interview.
Trebek talked with The Saturday Evening Post in January of that year. The outlet shared the interview titled “3 Questions for Alex Trebek,” which had the host answer three quick questions. Considering he became a household name on Jeopardy!, Trebek lived a fairly private lifestyle for a celebrity. But he did open up about certain aspects of his life off-the-set of Jeopardy!.
The interviewer asked Trebek if there was anything his fans should know about his life outside of the show. From his answer, you’d think Trebek was like anyone else making weekend trips to the hardware store.
“I’m not going to dispel the notion of viewers that I am this brilliant human being,” Trebek said to The Saturday Evening Post. “But the truth is, if I were a contestant I could never get my hand on the button in time. Maybe fans should know I like to fix things around the house when they break and I shop at Home Depot. They should know I am highly competitive, but more with myself than others.”
“I’m always trying to better myself. I try to read more,” he added. “When I was a kid, I would read and get so excited I just couldn’t wait to get to the next page. Reading a book can provide a level of enjoyment that television can’t seem to do on a regular basis.”