“Jeopardy!” star Ken Jennings is not sweating losing the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album to Rachel Maddow.
Jennings was nominated for his efforts narrating part of “The Answer Is…,” Trebek’s 2020 memoir. Trebek himself also narrated the audiobook in parts.
“I lost a Grammy to Rachel Maddow,” Jennings tweeted Sunday. “But as problems go, that’s a pretty good one to have.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Asked Jennings for Help
Late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek was working against the sands of time as he first wrote the book, then published it, then read it aloud for the audio version. All the while, his pancreatic cancer was getting worse.
“I wanted to narrate as much of the book as I could, especially certain parts, but I was worried my voice would give out, so I asked if Ken Jennings would help me out,” Trebek said in a press release for the audiobook version of his memoir. “He graciously agreed, and now you can hear the stories as read by both of us.”
Trebek died on Nov. 8 of last year from the pancreatic cancer, which had spread to his stomach lining. He left behind a wife and two children.
As for Jennings, he was as surprised as anyone by the Grammy nomination.
“Wait, what?” Jennings tweeted upon learning of his Grammy nomination. “This should 100% be Alex’s Grammy nomination. He wrote the book and reads much of the audiobook! Who do I speak to about this?”
Jennings later said that “I want to win this for Alex,” but he was up against some stiff competition. The other nominees were Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Flea, a.k.a. Michael Balzary, for “Acid for the Children: A Memoir,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for “Blowout,” Ronan Farrow for “Catch and Kill” and Meryl Streep for “Charlotte’s Web.”
Trebek’s Memoir Answers the Question, ‘Who Is Alex Trebek?’
As a major celebrity, Trebek certainly had a platform from which to sell a lot of books. But before his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, he had always recoiled at the idea of writing a memoir.
“I always felt that I had nothing particularly relevant to say to our viewers,” he told NPR last summer. “I’m just a quiz show host who’s been doing the same job for 36 years.”
The cancer diagnosis changed all that. Suddenly Trebek found himself flooded with well-wishers, and he realized people were hungry for his thoughts on life.
“The outpouring from our viewers after I revealed my diagnosis… that caught me by surprise and that humbled me a great deal,” Trebek said.
The memoir became a bestselling book in Trebek’s native Canada and in the United States. Trebek decided to donate all the proceeds from the book to charity.