‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Once Told Audience About Insane Sleeping Habits, Early Morning Drinking

by Josh Lanier

Alex Trebek had some strange habits but some were shocking. The Jeopardy! host once floored a studio audience when he explained his weird sleep routine and morning alcohol drinking.

In a very revealing 2014 profile from the New Republic, Trebek opened up about a lot of his personal habits. Many of them bizarre but routine. Like his breakfast of choice: a Snickers bar and Diet Pepsi.

But it was his comments about his sleep habits that roused an audience during a taping of Jeopardy!

“If I could learn to stop drinking the morning of taping, that would help a lot,” Trebek said. “But you see, um, I have trouble sleeping. Yesterday, for instance, I woke up at two o’clock and was awake until 5:15, and then my alarm went off at 5:25. Today I woke up at 3:00 and was awake until 5:20. … I’m of the old school, which says, ‘It’s five o’clock somewhere, so why not now?!’”

He wasn’t joking. He had severe insomnia issues, the magazine said. His hairdresser Renee would “nag” him lovingly daily to remind him to take his sleep medication. Some mornings, the New Republic wrote, he’d have been up for hours before he got to the office.

And the man enjoyed his alcohol. He joked with the reporter that his pick-up truck wasn’t manly because it had a wine rack instead of a gun rack.

But despite his boasting about his drinking, he enjoyed staying in. And most of his friends came from church. He and his wife Jean were members of the North Hollywood Church of Religious Science.

Trebek died in October from pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old. Memorials have flooded in from fans since his death.

Alex Trebek Shaved Famous Mustache on a Whim

For the first half of his career as Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek was known for his signature mustache as he was anything else. But in 2001, he decided to shave. However, he didn’t tell anyone he planned to do this. He explained what happened to The Archive of American Television.

“On tape day, we were about to tape our fifth show. And I went into the makeup room … sat in the chair … and said ‘I’m gonna shave my mustache,’” the icon recalled. “So I shaved half of it,” he continued. “So then I shaved the other half and walked out, and I’m not sure everybody noticed immediately.”

But when they did, it created a frenzy in the press. Something that Trebek didn’t understand.

“And it got so much press, I couldn’t believe it,” Trebek told the New Republic. “The wars with Iraq or whatever at that time, and people are all in a stew over my mustache. I have one response: Get a life.”