Jeopardy FAQs

And the answer is... Alex Trebek.

Q: Does Trebek act like he knows everything off stage?

A: Not at all. He's actually pretty quiet and keeps to himself once the show is done. He's not anti-social, he's nice if you approach him, he just doesnt "mingle". Just goes in, does his job and takes off. He does have a good dry sarcastic sense of humor.'

Q: There's a clip they play on stern of him cutting lines for a game or a voiceover and he swears a lot and stuff when he messes up. Any funny stories of him doing anything unexpected?
A: Yeah a lot of clips on youtube are from pretty early in the beginning of jeopardy. Sadly, Trebek has become rather domesticated and if he gets out of line too much he is given a quick, though relatively harmless shock to his groinal area. So he never swears much or loses his temper.

Q: Alex always says things that refer to the days of the week, though 'Have a good Friday, everyone!' Does he say things like that on Monday in preparation? Does he/contestants change clothes so they aren't wearing the same thing on two different episodes?
A: Yes, every show that is taped has a date that it will air. There is a message board that tells him what day of the week it is before he goes onstage. Wardrobe picks out his outfits for all the shows and none of them are used twice THAT day. Luckily a suit can be changed up plenty of ways with just a different shirt and tie. All contestants are encouraged to bring several changes of clothing each day just in case they win.

Q: I was thinking the longer timeouts would be with Trebek screaming for makeup and berating some random staff member. Does Trebek drink hard liquor? Skirt chasing?

A: Haha no alex doesnt scream at anyone. He doesnt drink hard liqour anymore, only an occasional glass of wine i believe. He's happily married with children so no skirt chasing. Sorry but hes a fairly normal guy. Oh, and santa claus isnt real either.

Q: Do you have any idea how trebek felt about those SNL skits?
A: He was asked that every day. His usual response was something along the lines of.. "If i ever see sean connery on the streets im going to kick his butt! No, im just kidding, i was flattered by it and actually enjoyed it, although i was sad when will ferrell decided to leave snl to make millions doing movies instead. The nerve of him".

Q: The questions are developed by a team of writers. I've heard a few times that Trebek writes many of the questions. Any truth to that?
A: Very little. He may have a couple questions out there, but any input he has might be in the form of a "suggestion" or an idea to the writers.

Q: I've heard he's smart...I have heard him act surprised and say that even he didn't know the answer. Is he that smart?
A: I mentioned it in another response, but theres no way you cant be smart through osmosis alone after reading the same content over and over for 27 years.

Q: Did he (trebek) ever rage if someone pronounced his name wrong (treebek vs truhbek)? Did he ever show up drunk? Were you on when ken jennings was winning?
A: Never saw Trebek rage about anything. (other than on youtube) He just didnt give much of an eff about anything. Never showed up drunk. He gave up most of his drinking after his heart problems a few years ago. His drink of choice was wine though. Chardonnay I believe. I started a little after Jennings.

Q: Has anybody referred to him as "Kebert Xela" to his face?
A: Yeah. We get two audiences a day that get to ask questions or make statements. Inevitably that gets brought up.

Q: Is Xela a good sport about this, or does he get sick of it by now?
A: Well.. he usually tries to come up with a sarcastic answer to most of the questions. You can tell when he's sick of it because he just answers normally. But there isnt anything you can ask that hasnt been asked a million times and was probably already asked that day. Hes a pretty good sport about it overall.

Q: Is Trebek in debt to the mob or something that he feels the need to peddle lousy insurance products to old people?
A: Haha i dunno why he does that.. ive never heard anyone ask either.

Q: How did you feel when trebek shaved off his iconic stache? I was pretty crushed. Gaze upon its magnificence.
A: A lot of people ask him about his stache and if he will grow it back. He usually reminds them that he cut it off about 8 years ago, but that he has the power to grow it back at any time. Last season on the april fools show, he wore a fake mustache for the first segment.

Q: How does Trebek instantly know whether an answer is correct or incorrect? Is there an edit in between, or is there someone on his earpiece telling him the correct answer?

A: He has the answers on a sheet in front of him. If a contestant gives an answer that may be correct but not on the sheet, he consults the judges.

Q: How does he know that an answer may be correct? Does one of the judges flag him or give him a signal?
A: They will give him a simple thumbs up, or alex does have some discretion as to whether it would be deemed correct or not. If its questionable we will stop taping and consult.

Q: Yeah but then how does he so quickly get to the answer? Doesn't he have to look at the category, then the question? In that case, wouldn't the sheet be pretty large?
A: He has been doing it for going on 27 years now, hes gotten very good at it. I believe the sheet is 11x17.

Q: How does Trebek manage to read the 'answer' so quickly after the contestant has selected a category? What is he looking at behind his podium, is it some sort of screen similar to the answer board screens? How is it controlled? It's so instantaneous that I have often wondered if perhaps this is done with post editing, all the gaps between the contestant picking the category, the answer board screen responding with the words, and Trebek starting to read the 'answer' have been pulled out before broadcast. He often starts reading the 'answer' before the camera has cut away from the contestant.
A: You would be surprised, but no he doesnt read from a category screen, he is actually given a large sheet of paper with the questions and answers laid out like the category screen, he has just been doing it for so long that he has become very fast. He does mess up every now and then, but he just rereads it and its corrected in editing.

Q: So that thing he's always writing on on his podium is actually a big paper with all the questions on it? Is he marking off when a question has been answered or what?
A: Yeah he has a sharpie and a pen/pencil he keeps on his podium and he crosses them out as he reads them.

Q: Has he ever read the wrong question off the paper by accident, revealing another question?

A: Yeah, it happens every now and then, I answer it more elsewhere in this AMA but if he reads most of the wrong question, it is thrown out and replaced.

Q: How far ahead of time does he get the questions? He has a lot of tidbits to add on to some questions that he couldn't make up on the spot, I wouldn't think.
A: He gets all the shows at about 7 in the morning so that he can go over and make notations or ask questions if he has any. He gets the questions at the beginning of each tape day.

Q: I've always been amazed at his ability to read names, place names, and foreign words. As well as his ability to properly inflect and emphasize the clues. It's like he never falters. Is there a lot of editing that goes into that?
A: No not really. He speaks English and French fluently and dabbles in a lot of other languages. But he has a good ability with linguistic pronunciations and he references a dictionary if he is not sure.

Q: Does he know how to pronounce every word in every language ever like it seems, or does he get a chance to look stuff up before the cameras roll?
A: He knows how to pronounce a lot of words, but he is given a chance to look up all the clues before taping starts.

Q: How much tang does Trebek pull in from the show?
A: Not much.. they only had regular orange juice.

Q: Is Trebek really as smart as he seems? Occasionally he'll give the correct answer (or question I guess ;P) complete with some background info and have this cocky subtle air about him like "Duh, of course the The Kiss by Auguste Rodin was in reference to Dante's Inferno."

A: Trebek is really intelligent in general, but even more so due to osmosis. The questions are never repeated verbatim on the show, but the same subject matter comes up quite often, so over the 26+ years of hosting the show, he has amassed a huge amount of knowledge on the subject matter of the questions. So he will know about 80%+ of the answers.


Q:This New Yorker article suggests Trebek gets a lot of undeserved disrespect, like when no one invited him to the softball game against Wheel of Fortune. Did you see any of this first-hand? He seems nice, smart, perhaps elite, but not arrogant. Why are people so dismissive of him?
A: Trebek has a persona that he has to keep up. People assume he is a certain way and want him to be that way in real life, so he is nice enough to oblige. But apart from that image he is nice and smart and a normal guy. He drives around in a dodge dakota and likes working around his house. If anything he's a bit reserved and keeps to himself about his personal life and doesnt live a flashly life. He isnt arrogant but he plays the bit for the audience and viewers.

Q: I know you said that if he messes up a question he just "rereads it", but what if he reads the wrong question? If there are 2 questions left up there in a category, and he reads the wrong one, does he just play it off like it was a usual mistake and just have to deal with the contestants knowing the first 2-3 words of the following clue?
Same with the daily double, ever see him prematurely announce it? He seems like a goddamn pro, so I don't know if you yourself have ever seen it, but my father and I always wonder how many of the more gross mistakes are edited out.

A: Depends, if he only reads like the first word or two, either he will catch himself or the judges will yell out to stop. If he didnt get much into the question, we will just cover up the clue again until its legitmately called and continue on with the correct one. If he read too much of it, there will be a break in taping, the clue will be thrown out and replaced with a new one.

Q: Any insight on why Alex gave up his killer stash about 9 years ago?

A: With the decline of burt reynolds career, more celebrities were trying to distance themselves from him and retain their stock in the celebrity market. Thus, the stache must go. hmm.. that sounds good no?

Q: is trebek a genius or is he being fed information through an ear piece? every now and then he contributes a side fact to the clue, sometimes referring to a relatively unrelated wrong answer...are those predicted wrong answers with pre set facts? does he have someone scanning wiki and sending him info? or does he actually know everything on the show?
A: He has an earpiece but its really only used so he can hear the contestants and himself better. No clue information is sent to him, usually just technical cues and what not. But the little tidbits of info he gives is usually something that he knew about it, or might have done a little research on the question when he was reviewing it earlier. He really enjoys knowledge.

Q: If you had to compare the scent of Alex Trebek to any major spice, what spice would you choose?
A: Is unicorn horn ground into a powder considered a spice?

Q: I heard Trebek is kind of a dick.
A: Probably from someone who doesnt know him that well. He is very sarcastic and dry witted and a lot of people dont understand that kind of humor. He plays to what people expect alex trebek to be, but in real life he's not that person. I mean he's not mr rogers or anything, but hes not a stuck up elitist either.

Q: My aunt's friend was on the show and she said Trebek was a bit of a misogynist (making snide comments to women contestants and such). Did you ever notice anything like this?
A: Its all an act. He plays the part of the Alex Trebek that people expect. He also jokes around about always being drunk, but he doesnt drink anymore besides the occasional glass of wine. So yeah, he jokes about being a womanizer also even though hes happily married with two children. He's very sarcastic and that gets lost on a lot of people.

Q: How does Alex know the correct pronunciation of exotic answers? Does he have a coach? Does he practice them all before the show?
A: No coach. He is just very good with languages, and he also will reference a dictionary if needed for correct pronunciations.

Q: Is it true that alex trebek is a huuuuge fucking douchebag? Especially on commercials?
A: No. I answer this a couple times throughout the AMA. During commercial breaks he actually is pretty funny.. unless you dont understand sarcasm. Then he might come off as a douchebag.

Q: Any idea of Trebek's religious or political views?
A: Actually he really didnt talk about it, id assume he falls near the middle politically and as far as religious.. he never mentions it.

Q: I always imagined Alex as a well hung man. Is he pack'n?

A: was the pope born in bavaria?
 
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