Like millions of others, I was saddened back in November by the death of longtime (36 seasons) Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. The veteran TV star taped his final show for Jeopardy! on Oct. 29; he died a few days later. The broadcast of that last Trebek episode will air tonight, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. on Tampa-St. Pete's WTSP channel 10 station.
I was fortunate enough to appear on four shows of Jeopardy!, back in 1991. I won three. Almost inevitably, after perhaps the first question of “How much did you win?,” the second question people would ask me afterwards was, “What is Alex Trebek really like?’
Well, obviously I didn’t really get to know the man during the taping of the four episodes I appeared on. But aside from the on-air back-and-forth he engaged in with each contestant, I did get to pose for a picture with him—gaining me an extra two or three minutes of time with him.
All I can say, really, is that he appeared to be the same man faithful viewers would recall: professional, smart, cordial, with a sense of humor and an occasional twinkle in his eye. And he must have had stamina, not just during his fight with pancreatic cancer, but during those tapings of the show (there were five a day, pretty much back to back, as I recall).
I’ll miss him, as all Jeopardy! fans will—and I’ll be watching Friday evening to say farewell.
P.S. You can read more about my time on Jeopardy! here.