Alex Trebek Guinness World Record Holder for Hosting Jeopardy


Alex Trebek, host of the long-running television game show Jeopardy, now holds a Guinness World Record title for the most game shows hosted by the same presenter. On Friday, Trebek hosted number 6,829 of the game show Jeopardy. He has hosted the show since 1984. Jeopardy will begin season number 31 in September.

Trebek noted in a statement that it’s a honor to hold the title for hosting Jeopardy, which he described as the “best of reality TV.” The original Jeopardy dates back to 1964.  It was then hosted by Art Fleming and it ran until 1979. The show returned in 1984 to be hosted by Trebek.

Trebek is 73-years-old and says that he has no plan on retiring, despite recent rumors to the contrary.  His current contract runs until 2016. Trebek noted that when he does retire, he will do so without fanfare, and merely announce the retirement during the final 20 to 30 seconds of the broadcast.  “… I’ll say a few words and thank people and be on my way,” he said.  As for now Trebek is holding on to Jeopardy, the quiz show that has landed him a Guinness World  Record title.

The original host of Jeopardy was Art Fleming. Fleming passed away at the age of 70 in 1995 after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer.

A native a Sudbury, Canada, Trebek first hosted the Canadian quiz show Reach for the Top.  In 1973 Trebek hosted his first game show in the United States called The Wizard of Odds, and finally in 1984 ABC hired Trebek to host the late  Merv Griffin’s re-vamped version of Jeopardy.

Trebek was born in 1940 to George and Lucille Trebek. His mother was French-Canadian, and his father was a Russian immigrant who worked as a hotel chef. Trebek has noted that his father was a heavy drinker who never missed a day of work in his life.

Trebek attended Jesuit boarding schools until the age of 12. From there he left Sudbury to attend the Ottawa High School.  He graduated high school in 1957 and went on the University of Ottawa to study philosophy, where he graduated in 1961.  Trebek then decided to pursue a journalism career, and landed a job as a fill-in reporter and newscaster with CBC TV. It was at CBC in 1966 that Trebek decided to embark upon a more lucrative profession, and try his hand at hosting game shows. He landed a  job with the  local quiz show Reach for the Top.  In 1970 Trebek landed the nationally televised Canadian game show Jackpot.   He left Jackpot in 1973 to try and make his mark in the United States with The Wizard of Odds.  The show only lasted one season.

In 1974 Trebek hosted High Rollers which ran on NBC from 1974 to 1976, and then again from 1978 to 1980.  At the same time Trebek also hosted The $128,000 Question from 1978 to 1980.  From 1981 to 1982 he hosted the show Pitfall which aired in both the United States and Canada.

The 1984 the re-vamped version of Jeopardy married Trebek with a unique game show format in which the clues are first offered in the form of a question.  It has become one of the most popular game shows in television history.

Trebeck is married to Jean Currivan.  They married in 1990 and have two children, Emily and Matthew.

Trebek is also the spokesperson for his pet charities, Smile Train and World Vision.  Both organizations serve impoverished children throughout the world. Trebek’s work as the Guinness record breaking host of Jeopardy has garnered him five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host.

By Janet Walters Levite

LA Times
LA Times

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