Speaking from his home as part of a classic Archive of American Television interview, Jeopardy!‘s late Alex Trebek clarifies at the time that he “makes suggestions” for the game show “all the time!”
“I make suggestions and I’m happy when they accept them,” Trebek tells in the revealing 2011 sit-down. “Recently I made a suggestion. I said ‘You know, there’s a lot of different actors that have played Wyatt Earp… Why don’t we do a category on that?”
Sure enough, the show went with it and it turned into a successful bit.
When it comes down to it, however, Trebek said he doesn’t “have such a big ego that I’m going to get my nose out of joint if they don’t accept” his ideas.
“In the studio, when we are talking about whether we should accept a response, or whether our ruling was correct… I express my opinion! Sometimes forcefully,” the late icon admits within.
“If they don’t accept my opinion, I’m not going to go in the corner and sulk,” he offers, straight-faced, before moving on.
“Hey, I’m past that!” Trebek echoes of himself. “And I get past that immediately.”
On the whole, Trebek revealed that his attitude toward criticism was always “Let’s go on! We’ve got a show to do,” which surely helped contribute to his famously healthy atmosphere on the Jeopardy! set.
Alex Trebek Once Revealed His Favorite ‘Jeopardy!’ Category, too
Revealing himself as quite the Western fan, the late legend’s favorite Jeopardy! category should come as no surprise, either.
“Movies!” the late icon answers with a bit of hesitation. This fits with many of Trebek’s other interviews, when the host would highlight how important it was (and is, still) to not “pander” too much to “intellectuals.”
“Middlebrow is a good thing,” Trebek famously told USA TODAY. “We don’t want to get so esoteric that the viewers can’t relate to the material.”
Alex Trebek wasn’t alone in this approach to Jeopardy!, either. The show’s producers have always sought to include pop culture and other so-called “middlebrow” categories alongside hard-hitters like literature, history, and the sciences. USA TODAY even notes a time in 2014 when Alex Trebek went viral for rapping an entire category. Sound like a movie and pop culture kinda’ guy? That’s because he was!
We sure do miss you, Alex. For plenty more from the irreplaceable icon, watch the full Jeopardy! interview segment below: