Of all the things late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is known for, one stands out in a delightful way. The legendary game show host had a tendency to use a specific phrase with a variety of meanings. The current “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions host, Buzzy Cohen, remembers Trebek’s use of the phrase fondly.
“Good for you,” Trebek used to say in any number of situations on stage. And depending on the context, it conveyed all sorts of different feelings. He always seemed genuine when he said it, of course. But sometimes, he almost used it as a backhanded insult, in the most innocent and hilarious of ways.
Former “Jeopardy!” champion and current Tournament of Champions host, Buzzy Cohen, spent a good amount of time in Trebek’s presence. As a result, he got pretty familiar with his mannerisms and phrases. In the video of his exclusive guest-hosting interview, Cohen recalled his favorite memory of Trebek.
“Among the contestants, we always joke that once he gives you a ‘good for you,’ that was the kiss of death, that you weren’t going to do well in the tournament or in the game. But really, I mean what an amazing wish and what an amazing thing to say to people. I think about that a lot. I hear it in his voice,” Cohen said. “It was so genuine, it was so real. And it’s a really simple thing but it really resonates for me.”
It’s a fond memory by which Cohen remembers the well-meaning nature of Alex Trebek. And it’s heartwarming to hear him recall it in this way. But touching as the memory is, not all of Trebek’s “good for you’s” were made the same.
A Whole Different Perspective on the ‘Jeopardy!’ Host’s Favorite Phrase
As discussed, there is no denying the good-hearted nature of Alex Trebek. By all accounts, he wanted to see all of the contestants on the show perform to the best of their abilities. And you could rest assured knowing he would run the game accordingly.
But sometimes, only occasionally, the iconic “Jeopardy!” host would use the phrase “good for you” in situations where he wasn’t overly interested in a contestant’s story, or even just to keep things moving on the show. To be fair, the man had a game to run. And he couldn’t come up with clever color commentary for every single contestant anecdote.
He still sounded genuine when he used the phrase in these contexts. But some could definitely interpret the “good for you” as a little patronizing. And some have.
Whether or not you agree with this Twitter user’s take on Trebek’s intention, the compilation they put together serves as a good example of the “Jeopardy!” host’s use of the phrase.
The “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions gets underway tonight. Tune in to see Buzzy Cohen host a game full of tough competitors. He may even drop a “good for you.” Who knows?