I Love Alex Trebek

I turned seven years old in 1984.

It was the year that Ronald Reagan demolished Walter Mondale in the Presidential election, Mary Lou Retton won the hearts of  Americans during the Los Angeles Olympics, and Mark Zuckerberg was born.  It was the year that the first Apple Macintoch went on sale and the year that the AIDS virus was identified. Dallas was the #1 TV show and Ghostbusters was one of the top movies.

It was also the year that Alex Trebek began hosting Jeopardy. And he is still one of the most beloved game show hosts of all time.

How has he been able to maintain his astonishing popularity all these years? Here are my 4 guesses:

1. The Mustache Factor. The fact that Trebek shaved his ‘stache in 2001 really doesn’t matter. When people think of him, they picture him with a gloriously hairy upper-lip. He proved that facial hair isn’t just for the big and burly; guys with small, pasty white hands could rock a ‘stache, too.

2.  The Canadian Factor. What two things do Alex Trebek, Celine Dion, and Keanu Reeves have in common? All three were born in Canada and all three are loved by all. Or not. Anyway, Trebek was born in Canada, but became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998.  If there is one thing we love more than Canadians, it is Canadians that defect. (Just kidding, Larry Hehn)

3.  The SNL Factor. While Trebek was popular prior to the Saturday Night Live skit(s) featuring Will Ferrell as Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, the increased attention surely didn’t hurt anything.  But I’m pretty sure that Trebek would lay the smackdown on Connery in real life.

4.  The Is-He-Or-Isn’t-He-Intelligent Factor.  I have no idea if Trebek is smart of not and I like that about him. He could be a genius or he could just be able to read. I watch Jeopardy just to see if Trebek will ever slip up and say, “Uuuuuhhhhhh.” So far it hasn’t happened.

I love Alex Trebek even though I have never met him and probably never will.

There are plenty of other people who I will come into contact with during my lifetime; some I will interact with and some I will ignore.

If I encountered Alex Trebek, I am certain that I would not ignore him. I would probably go out of my way to meet him and be kind to him.

I would probably treat him differently than someone who isn’t famous. Even though I shouldn’t.

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
James 2: 1

Famous or not.

Clean or not.

Able to repay the kindness or not.

We are to called to treat everyone as we would like be treated.

Alex Trebek is cool and has been around a long time, but Jesus has been around much, much longer.

If we follow His example we will love others.

No exceptions.

(Who is your favorite all-time game show host and why? What have you done to show kindness to those that society has pushed aside? Share away?)


59 thoughts on “I Love Alex Trebek

  1. I am almost unable to answer this one Matt. I didn’t and don’t watch game shows. I suspect that may be the reason for my lack of intelligence. If I had watched more of the Dating Game or Newlywed Game or Wheel of Fortune or Password or Jeopardy, I would have probably been a whole lot smarter. Okay, so the last one does qualify for needing intelligence. What have I done? Some things but not enough.

  2. Wait, wait, wait. You turned 7 in 1984? That means I’m older than you. I turned 8 that year. I was already older than Kristinherdy and I think Acuff too. I haven’t even started a Christian blog yet and I’m already the old man in the room? Good grief. I’m just going to sit over here in the corner with Charles Stanley a while so I can feel young again. Don’t mind me.

    I used to watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Price is Right, Pyramid, Let’s Make a Deal… when you’re homeschooled and get your TV from an antenna, lunchtime choices are pretty much either gameshows or soap operas, and I don’t do soap operas. :> I can’t say I have a clear favorite. The safe answer would probably be Bob Barker, as the man was a legend in the field. Probably my (and a lot of other people’s) most memorable Barker moment was him running around the stage trying to avoid being picked up by an exuberant Samoan. 😉 I think every giant Samoan in existence came to California just to try to pick Bob Barker up.

    Something I’ve done… there’s an organization related to my work that meets at a local church hall each month. I often run the check-in desk. One meeting this winter, a guy came into the lobby from the cold to say he had just gotten out of prison and was trying to get home to a city a little ways away, and needed some money for gas to get there. He seemed legit, and I was able to arrange a reasonable amount for gas to the city he said he needed to reach. You never know, of course, but I prayed about it and felt right about it, so even if he wasn’t legit I felt like I was honoring God. Everything I could see and hear fit a man trying to get home to his family.

  3. My favorite gameshow host is “Don Francisco”. He was on Univision and I grew up watching it (my mother never missed a show on Saturday). It was (still is) called “Sabado Gigante”. He’s funny, but he’s a perv. Nothing worse than an old perv with money and a suit. 🙂

    I show kindness by making conversation regardless of social status and/or nationality.

    • Several of the old-school hosts seemed the same way. Remember Richard Dawson kissing every woman on the lips? Brave man. Surprised he never got punched in the face.

    • Ooh, good call. I wasn’t thinking of Amazing Race as a game show. I do like Phil. He wins bonus points for the one season where the contestant mistreated his wife to the point that Phil got angry. Can’t recall which one that was at the moment. My family and I have watched every season since the first. We did miss the off-season champion’s race they had recently though.

  4. More gameshow names, while I’m thinking about it (some old, some more current):

    Supermarket Sweep. Used to love that one.
    Press Your Luck
    1 vs 100
    Singing Bee
    Family Feud you mentioned with the Richard Dawson reference
    Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
    I Survived a Japanese Game Show
    Hollywood Squares
    American Gladiators

    All shows that I’ve watched at least twice, though some of them only a few times.

    I’m trying to remember the name of another one. Mark something hosted it, and they had two tiers of “shops” that the teams would go in and a final round that was part shopping, part obstacle course. I seem to remember a ball pit possibly even. Anyone remember it?

  5. I’m not sure. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game show all the way through. But if I had to pick I would say Bob Barker because of the skinny mic he uses.

  6. Yes, famous people just make a lot of money. I like this Matt. Great thoughts. I don’t know if I have a favorite host. Maybe Bob Barker because of his fight with Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. Plus I like watching The Price is Right.

  7. From the “I can’t believe I forgot this one” category:
    Tic Tac Dough hosted by Wink Martindale (one of the best host NAMES ever)

    Other game shows I’d forgotten for my list:

    The Weakest Link
    Name That Tune – I almost never knew the contemporary ones, but it was fun to guess anyway

    I mentioned Pyramid before, but should note its host was Dick Clark.

  8. Chris Harrison is my current favorite, but only because he’s got to be much savvier than he looks–else how could he get paid so much for doing so little?

    “Ladies, bachelor du jour, this is the final rose of the evening.”


  9. Hmmm…I guess I’m older than you; I didn’t realize that. I love the fact that Alex is Canadian – just like me 🙂 ! I am actually enjoying Drew Carey on The Price Is Right – he is doing an awesome job!

  10. To keep reaching even when I want to give up. I’m way too quick to say “well, they didn’t respond so I’m moving on.” It’s the Holy Spirit who prompts me to call again, email again, stop by and see them. I just pray that each time removes another barrier or piece of one so they’ll see the value of what God’s given for us. Great post, Matt. Thanks so much.

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