HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’: How Lucille Ball Helped Select Alex Trebek as Art Fleming’s Replacement

‘Jeopardy!’: How Lucille Ball Helped Select Alex Trebek as Art Fleming’s Replacement

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The late Alex Trebek began his run on the iconic game show, “Jeopardy!” in 1984, and it was, in part, thanks to another legendary icon. 

“Jeopardy!” fans may not know is that Trebek’s run on the show may have never happened without a nudge from another beloved TV legend: Lucille Ball. 

Before landing his role as host on “Jeopardy!,” Trebek served as the host on several game shows, including “Battlestars,” “Double Dare,” “Lucky Numbers,” and “The $128,000 Question.”

According to The New York Times, the “I Love Lucy” star played a critical part in Trebek becoming the host. Ball suggested to the show’s executive producer and creator, Merv Griffin, that he hire the up-and-coming game show personality.

In Alex Trebek’s 1984 memoir, The Answer Is . . ., Trebek revealed he got the job that made him a household name, with the help of Ball, who encouraged Merv Griffin to hire him.

As a massive fan of “High Rollers,” the late actress was drawn to Trebek’s hosting capabilities and knew that he would be the perfect fit for the gig. 

Ball was even rumored to have made an appearance on “High Rollers” in 1977. However, most footage from the show has been lost, according to CBS News. 

Fans Remember The Late Alex Trebek For Being Iconic Fixture In Homes

“Jeopardy!” fans worldwide suffered a significant loss when Alex Trebek passed away in 2020. 

Trebek was a legend in his own right. Since 1984, generations of fans grew up watching him on the television sets for years to come. 

In March 2019, Trebek revealed to the world that he was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. As proof of just how beloved he was, in a November 2019 episode, during final Jeopardy, contestant Dhruv Gaur used up $1,995 out of his $2,000 bank to send Trebek a heartfelt message that stated, “We love you, Alex!”

After spending fifty years in the entertainment industry, 80-year-old Alex Trebek passed away on Nov. 9, 2020, after losing his battle to cancer.

For 37 seasons, Trebek hosted more than 8,200 episodes of “Jeopardy!,” the most by a presenter of any single TV game show, according to a statement from Sony Pictures.