Fans of Jeopardy! remember Alex Trebek for his many talents, from his extensive football knowledge to reciting Shakespeare. And who could forget the episode when the late host showed off his rapping skills? Perhaps in another life, Trebek would be famous as one of America’s favorite rap artists, instead of as one of America’s favorite game show hosts.
In an episode of Jeopardy! in January 2014, Trebek announced the name of a category during Double Jeopardy called, “It’s a Rap.” While most viewers may have suspected some trivia about popular rap artists and songs, they may not have realized they would get to witness Alex Trebek try his hand at rapping, himself.
After the contestants worked through “Books & Authors” and most of the “Eat, Drink” categories, one player finally asked for a clue from “It’s a Rap.” In Trebek’s classic trivia narrator voice, he read the lyrics to Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message.”
As if still reciting Shakespeare, Trebek read, “Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge/I’m trying not to los my head.”
After the contestants correctly guessed the song’s artist, they all seemed to want to hear the famous host cite more rap lyrics. And so, they continued to work through the entire column of clues–all while sharing cheeky grins and hiding their laughs.
As Trebek recited the lyrics from “This ‘Doctor,'” and “Public Enemy,” he began to have a little more fun with the clues, dropping the “h” in “nothing” and “r” in “car.” It seemed the host found his rhythm with the lyrics.
When one of the contestants answered the last clue correctly, she stifled another laugh. Trebek, playing along, told her, “I don’t know why that’s making you laugh so much.”
Host of ‘Jeopardy!’ Is Man of Many Talents
According to Parade, host of Jeopardy! Alex Trebek has many hidden talents. Author and journalist Clare McNear discovered that this includes Trebek’s ability to multitask effortlessly on the show.
While interviewing Bob Bergen, host of the children’s version of the trivia show, Jep!, McNear found out that the buzzer button—which goes off when time is up for contestants to answer the clue—is actually manually operated.
”The very first day,” Bergen shared with McNear, “Harry [who oversees Jeopardy!] is showing me the podium with the button. I said, ‘Wait a minute, there’s no set time? Do you edit it down so people don’t go, ‘How come he had ten seconds and he had four?’ He said, ‘Nope, and nobody in the history of the show has ever questioned it.’”
Trebek’s small but significant talent with the buzzer button just demonstrates his commitment to the show. Never needing an automated option, even during his fight with stage four pancreatic cancer, the host was in tune with the game at its every second. Even now that Alex Trebek has passed, fans of the show continue to learn how vital he was to Jeopardy!.