‘Jeopardy!’ Legend Alex Trebek Once Detailed His ‘Fond Memories’ of Working as ‘Garbage Man’

by John Jamison

We know Alex Trebek as the iconic “Jeopardy!” host, but can you picture him as a garbage man in Cincinnati?

Well, he was a man of the people. Alex Trebek loved learning new things and sharing knowledge. And the show he hosted for almost 40 years gives normal people the opportunity to improve their lives. But before he ever got involved with broadcasting, the Canadian-born “Jeopardy!” host spent a summer of his youth in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In a 2012 interview, Alex Trebek talked about his memories of the time he spent there.

“My mother was working for a family as a governess,” he said. “They were the owners of an apartment complex. And she mentioned that I was going to be out of work for the summer, and they said, ‘Have him come down here, and he could work on one of my projects.”

He said of the work that “most of it had to do with garbage detail. And so I’ve often told people that I was a garbage man in Cincinnati.”

Okay, so he wasn’t quite rolling down the street hanging on to the back of a garbage truck. And he was 18 years old at the time. But it’s still fun to picture the legendary “Jeopardy!” host as maintenance man of sorts.

Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Loved Cincinnati

Alex Trebek didn’t just hold down a summer job doing manual labor in Ohio and forget about it the moment he left. From everything he said, it seems like he thoroughly enjoyed the time he spent there.

He fell in love with a Broadway star (who probably had no clue he existed), he dated a girl who drove a 1958 Chevy Impala, and he drank gallons of lemonade to combat the summer heat.

“I’d go back to my apartment, because they let me have an apartment in the complex, and I had no furniture except a bed and a television set,” he said in 2012. “My dresser was a cardboard box that the TP (toilet paper) came in. And I’d go there for lunch and drink about a gallon of lemonade because I was so thirsty. Cincinnati, as you know, in the summer, you get 95 degrees and 99 percent humidity. But it’s a lovely city.”

Despite the heat, it looks like Alex Trebek had a memorable summer working as a garbage man in 1958.