Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Once Listed the Three Presidents He’d Like to See Compete on Show

by Thad Mitchell

Gone but not forgotten, legendary Jeopardy! host and Icon Alex Trebek is still on the minds of fans of the hit game show.

For 36 years, Trebek stood behind the Jeopardy! lectern, officiating the quiz show with immense skill and talent. Known for his superior intellect, Trebek became a household name for class, grace and charm. Millions tuned in nightly to watch Jeopardy!, knowing Trebek’s calm demeanor and soothing elegance would be there to greet them. The television icon passed away in November of last year at 80-years-old. He battled pancreatic cancer for years before his death. In typical Alex Trebek fashion, he remained behind the host’s podium until the very end. He recorded his final Jeopardy! episodes just days before his passing.

Since departing this world, Trebek’s remains strong on the minds of many. Numerous celebrities and former Jeopardy! contestants have paid tribute to the game show legend. Jeopardy! fans are remembering his legacy by digging up old Trebek-related media such as award speeches and television interviews. In one such interview with Time Magazine, Trebek is asked an interesting question. The interviewer asks him “which three U.S. presidents would you like to see compete on your game show?”

As you might imagine, Trebek gave an intelligent and insightful retort to the question.

“That is a good question but a difficult one,” the Jeopardy! legend says. “Keep in mind that our first president served almost two and a half centuries ago. So, the amount of information George Washington had is a lot different than the amount of information Barack Obama has.”

Jeopardy! Fan Asks Trebek a Presidential Question

After pondering the question from a Jeopardy! fan for a moment, Trebek selects the three presidents he thinks would do well on the show.

“All other things being equal — I would think perhaps Woodrow Wilson might have been a good contestant,” he says. “Jimmy Carter was known as one of the smartest presidents when he took office. Certainly, Barack Obama would qualify as well. So, I would pick those three as legitimate Jeopardy! contestants.”

Since his passing, Jeopardy! producers have utilized celebrities to fill in as guest hosts until a permanent host can be found.

Former contestant and champion Buzzy Cohen, a Trebek favorite, is currently handling hosting responsibilities.

Jeopardy! is currently in its annual Tournament of Champions, which will conclude next Friday. Upon Cohen’s exit from the show, actress Mayim Bialik will step in as the new guest host.