Delivering the questions with conviction, and conversing with the contestants with wry wit and charismatic charm, Trebek is a fully fledged professional when it comes to hosting a show. But his appearance on screen is only one side of his personality. There is a whole other side to the man that you’ve never heard of before, and sometimes it’s even more interesting than his character on screen.
It’s not that Alex doesn’t want to share these intimate details about his personal life. It’s just that at the end of the day, he is a star – and he needs to maintain a certain public image. With that being said, it’s interesting to hear about all the crazy shenanigans he’s got himself into off the set. Trebek isn’t perfect, and we don’t expect him to be. In fact, we love him all the more for it.
His hefty salary
Have you ever wondered how much Alex Trebek makes for his work on Jeopardy? After all, it is perhaps one of the most popular game shows of all time, and Trebek has been its fearless leader throughout its entire run.
Apparently no good accolade goes unpunished, because to this day Trebek actually makes a whopping $10 million a week, for only two days of work every week. This is obviously a pretty darn awesome salary, even as far as celebrities are concerned.
There is a huge difference between how TV personas act on our screens at home, and what they are like behind the scenes. People who have been fortunate enough to witness some of the Jeopardy blooper reel know this well, for Trebek is quite the funny personality.
He has been seen drinking on set, as well as cursing and get himself into all kinds of shenanigans. This is, of course, why we love him. He seems like the type of guy who would be a blast to hang out with.
Imagine that you had your own show. Would you watch yourself on a nightly basis? Alex Trebek has stated that he watches himself all the time – but with one condition. If the Lakers happen to be on, he’ll choose to watch the Laker game instead.
Yes, it seems as though Trebek is a hardcore Laker fan, and who could blame him? He’s been around since the Showtime era, with Magic and the boys, so it makes sense that he would develop such a love for the Lake Show.
Bye bye mustache
When a person has a mustache, it becomes a part his signature look. When a man shaves his mustache, the entire world goes nuts – and that is exactly how it went down when Alex Trebek shaved his mustache back in 2001.
Everyone associated him so strongly with the ‘stache, almost as if it had its own personality. When he got rid of it, it seemed as though he was assuming a new identity. People eventually grew to love Alex’s new look, but it was still crazy at the time.
When you’re the host of the show, you have to get used to conversing with the crowd. And sometimes, it’s hard to know when you’re taking too many liberties with what you can say, and what you can’t.
It seemed as though Alex may have crossed the line during a special filming in Washington DC in 2012, when he scared a young girl by talking about the rough death of a dog he once had.
The ‘no pants’ episode
There have been all sorts of crazy antics that shows have run over the years, and there was one episode in which it was decided that no one should wear pants.
The contestants weren’t supposed to wear them, and as a sign of solidarity Trebek emerged on screen without pants as well. But later on, he had the cameras go behind the scenes and check whether or not contestants were wearing pants or not, and they weren’t. He responded by quickly putting his on too.
Don’t take his things
Alex may have a light and pleasant personality on screen, but don’t take him for a pushover. There was one time that a thief tried to sneak in his hotel room on a vacation and steal a load of his stuff. How do you think Alex responded?
He chased the thief down, and did it so intensely that he blew out his Achilles tendon. In other words, Alex is not afraid to look for you if you try to take any of his things. He’s as gritty as they come.
Why he majored in Philosophy
When most people go to college, they major in something that they are passionate about, or at least something they believe will help them get a job one day.
But when Alex went to college, he majored in Philosophy primarily because the classes took place in the morning hours. His preference for this particular time slot was that he needed a job, and apparently the “best jobs” all started in the afternoon. Talk about being practical.
In this day and age, just about everyone you meet is obsessed with eating healthy – and considering the fact that Trebek looks pretty fit, it would seem that he’s one of those people too, right? Apparently, this is not so much the case.
He actually admitted once that is perfect breakfast used to be comprised of a Snickers and a Diet Pepsi. The funny thing is that when a nutritionist advised against it, he replaced the Snickers with a Milky Way. Solid compromise, no?
Remember that story we told you about how Alex Trebek chased down the thief? Well, there was actually another caveat to the story that Trebek didn’t leave out. He admitted that he had to throw on his undergarments before chasing the thief down.
For those of you who can add two and two together, it’s clear that Trebek sleeps with no clothes on. This is a practice that is not uncommon, but knowing that Trebek does it may be a little “T.M.I.,” as they say.
World record holder
There is a reason that Alex Trebek makes as much money as he does. It’s because he can confidently walk up to the producers and point out that he’s not only a charismatic TV star, but also a world record breaker.
In fact, the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records has Trebek in their catalog for number of game show episodes hosted. The throne was initially held by Bob Barker of The Price Is Right, and surpassing him must have felt pretty good.
Why he needed surgery
One of the reasons he was able to break such a record is because he’s been around so long! In fact, he is 78 years old, and in his old age he hasn’t been immune to his share of illnesses.
As recently as January of 2018, it was reported that Trebek needed brain surgery to remove a blood clot, which was categorized as a subdural hematoma. It was pretty serious at the time, but thankfully the surgery was successful, and he would later return to filming as per usual.
Suits, suits, and more suits
Have you ever wondered how many suits Alex Trebek has? The effect is subtle, but for those people that know a thing or two about suits, they know that Alex is constantly flitting in and out of all kinds of different suits on Jeopardy.
It turns out that he actually has up to 100 suits, a claim that he made himself. He owns them himself, and we’re guessing he probably had an enormous room dedicated solely to the presence of these high class blazers.
When you only have to work two days a week, you tend to have a fair share of advantages. One of those advantages is all the free time you have to do all the things you want to do, and in the case of Alex Trebek, he likes to utilize this time doing what he does best – hosting game shows!
That’s right, Jeopardy is by no means the only game show that Trebek has hosted, and in 1991, he became the first person to ever host three game shows at the same time.
His mountain house
When you have all the money that Alex Trebek has, you tend to get pretty creative in regards to how you use it. In fact, Alex once bought an entire mountain just so he could build his own house on top of it.
The mountain costed $1.5 million, and that’s not included the cost of cutting the top off so they could build a house, nor the cost of building the house itself. Sounds like a blast, to be quite honest!
First hosting gig
Alex has certainly been around the block when it comes to hosting game shows. You might think that Jeopardy was something that he just fell into, but his professionalism was no accident.
In fact, he has been hosting popular game shows since 1963, when he hosted a show called Music Hop in Canada. From that moment on, his road to success was clear. He know that he was getting great experience, regardless of how successful he was at the time.
The powers of the mustache
Remember when we talked about the fact that Alex shaved his mustache in 2001, and everyone went crazy about it? Well, another fun fact about the removal of his ‘stache is that he stopped playing ice hockey because of it.
It’s possible that the whole thing was a coincidence, but it’s certainly strange that he stopped playing the intense, gritty sport at that particular time. Maybe there really is some mythical magic to the mustache?
His producing days
We mentioned earlier that Alex makes a boatload of money on only two days of work throughout the entire week. But there was once a time that he worked a lot more on Jeopardy than he does now.
In fact, he was a producer on the show for the first three years of its existence, from 1984 to 1987. He later became primarily a host because he wanted to focus on hosting other shows as well, but it’s impressive to see that he had a solid amount of producing experience.
In addition to his stellar talents as a game show host, Trebek is also no schlub when it comes to the world of acting. He was actually casted in the hit crime series The X-Files as a guest star, playing the role of a mysterious “Man in Black.”
His acting career was short lived, but this is only because it was something he never really pursued. He also has no need to pursue it, given that he has a perfectly good thing going with Jeopardy.
Because a famous TV persona can be fun, but it can also lead to a number of people, such as comedians, doing their own impersonations of you. Two well known comedic actors who did this were Will Ferrell and Eugene Levy.
Ferrell is well known for his antics in films such as Anchorman and Old School, and Levy is especially known as portraying Jim’s dad in the teen comedy American Pie. Guess whose impersonation Trebek prefers? The answer is Levy’s.
Back in 1986, Alex invested money into a California winery by the name of Creston Wine. If you enjoyed any of its sweet tastes before the 2002, then you have partially Trebek to thank for it.
That being said, the winery got discontinued when a virus destroyed all of the vineyard’s grapes. But for nearly 20 years, many people around the world enjoyed getting buzzed off of the aromatic texture of the Trebek-owned Californian wine.
Kids’ show host
In addition to his love for questioning mature citizens on their vast wealth of knowledge, Trebek also loves testing bright young kids on what they know. For this reason, he hosted what was known as the National Geographic Bee for a total of 25 years.
He was great with the brilliant young students, which made it that much harder for him to leave the show in 2013 when he decided he wanted to spend more time traveling the world.
The bounced check
Successful people have always had their various methods of keeping themselves motivated. One of the ways that Alex did that was framing a bounced check that came from show he hosted that went bankrupt.
The fact that he framed it on his wall tells us a little something about Alex Trebek. It shows us the positive manner in which he perceives his failures. He understands they are simply stepping stones to greater future, and as we can see, he was right!
It seems that the subject of Alex Trebek’s facial hair will forever be one of the underlying cornerstones of Jeopardy that continues to change and surprise people over the years.
The newest change actually took place quite recently, in September of 2018, when Alex briefly unveiled his potential new look – a face full white beard. Jeopardy on Twitter even started a public poll, inviting us all to vote on whether we want the beard or not. What do you choose?