Alex Trebek was one of the hardest working people in Hollywood. He never stopped working because he loved to do it. Throughout his battle with pancreatic cancer, he was still hosting episodes of Jeopardy! Once he graduated from the University of Ottawa, he got to work and never looked back.
He began his game show host journey in Canada. Trebek was the host for Reach for the Top from 1966 to 1973 and then moved to the United States to begin his Hollywood career began at age 33.
In 2014, the then Jeopardy! host sat down with Dan Patrick on his show to talk about his career. During the interview, Patrick asked him about his game show career. He asked Trebek about what it was like for his ego to have shows canceled and then to eventually find success with Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek Had Three Failed Game Shows Before He Landed “Jeopardy!”
In true Alex Trebek fashion, he had an outstandingly positive response to the question. He talked about the three game shows he worked on before Jeopardy!
“Well, I was lucky with some of the other game shows,” Trebek said. “The first game show I did in the United States was Wizard of Odds in 1973. It was canceled on a Friday, and I was disappointed, of course.”
At that point in his career, he was working extremely hard. He was trying to find his way in Hollywood and did so by hosting as many game shows as he could. This proved to be a successful tactic for him. While Wizard of Odds was canceled, another show was immediately picked up to replace it.
“It was replaced the following Monday by a show called High Rollers, which I also hosted,” the Jeopardy! host remembered. “Later on, after two and a half years, it was canceled, and it was replaced by another show which I hosted.“
Trebek then joked about how lucky or unlucky he was at the beginning of his career. “So I have either the great honor or dubious honor of having replaced myself on three different occasions.”
The legendary host never seemed to be upset by his odd luck. He was certainly a once-in-a-generation talent, and shows recognized that and gave him work.
“I also have the honor of having hosted three different game shows at one time – Classic Concentration, Jeopardy!, and a show that I tell audiences was one of my favorites because the first time in fifty years as a broadcaster, I got to sit down as the host and that was To Tell The Truth.”