When it comes to the history of game show hosts, no one casts a bigger shadow than longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.
The legendary television personality took on the iconic role of Jeopardy! host in 1984 and would remain in the position for 37 years. Trebek passed away in November of last year after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. The host went out doing the one thing he loves most — hosting. Trebek, 80-years-old at the time of his passing, recorded his final Jeopardy! episodes just days before his death.
Trebek was excellent as the show’s host, combining superior intellect with sophistication and social grace. Unable to completely fill Trebek’s shoes, Jeopardy! officials have turned to celebrities to serve as guest hosts until a permanent host can be found.
Jeopardy! Legend Alex Trebek Talks Debate Aspirations
Trebek was a private man, not wishing to discuss his personal life at length or in-depth. He did occasionally give Jeopardy! fans a peek behind the curtain, providing insight into what made him the television icon he is. In a 2012 interview with CBS This Morning, Trebek discusses his desire to host political debates and lessons learned from his career. Asked by the interviewer if anyone has offered to let him host a political debate, Trebeks is quick with his answer.
“No…but I wish they would,” he says. “I suspect I have to make a very big cash donation to a certain organization who is in charge.”
When he is then asked why he would want to host a political debate, Trebek doesn’t hold back in his criticism of debate moderators.
“What bothers me about some of the political debates I have seen that are hosted by people in the news is that it is all so predictable,” he says bluntly. “The candidates know where you’re going, I want someone from left field to come in and say ‘hey what is your vision for America?’ Nobody talks about that anymore.”
The former Jeopardy! host goes on to say that if he were moderating a debate, he would seek out questions from everyday Americans. While he never got the opportunity to host a political debate, Trebek certainly seems to have a handle on how we would go about it.
The revolving door behind the Jeopardy! where Trebek once stood remains in full motion. Journalist Anderson Cooper is currently handling hosting duties. His final episode will come tomorrow (Friday) with fellow journalist Bill Whitaker seizing the next opportunity.