I am figuring that most of you have gotten the news this past week that one of America’s most treasured figures, a certain man by the name of Alex Trebek, had announced via video that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer; Apparently, this news comes just a couple of days before I was about to announce to all of you that I would be leaving blogging, but the news also came as a surprise to those who have grown up watching this beloved television personality…He was born George Alexander Trebek in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada on July 22nd, 1940, and he was the son of a chef who emigrated from Ukraine as a child, George Edward Trebek, and a woman by the name of Lucille Lagace. Trebek had been growing up in a bilingual French-English household.
In 1961 Trebek graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa, and while he was a student at the university, he had been a member of the English Debating Society; In that very same year, he began his broadcasting career working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Three years later he had his first hosting job on a music program called “Music Hop”, and then two years later he hosted a high school quiz show called “Reach for the Top”.
Alex Trebek moved to the United States in 1973; He then began working for NBC as the host of a new game show called The Wizard of Odds. The very next year, he would host the popular game show that was produced by Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley, High Rollers. You might also be surprised to know that at one time Trebek was a contestant on that show as well as “Celebrity Bowling”.
In 1984, Trebek became the host of a certain show in which he would be at the helm of for all of those years to come: He hosted a revival of a show that was once hosted by Art Fleming, and that show was called Jeopardy! Ten years later, in 1994, Trebek hosted the baking contest the Pillsbury Bake-Off; He hosted that event until 1998. The only time when Trebek hosted something other than Jeopardy! Was on April Fools’ Day, 1997, when he traded places with Pat Sajak-Sajak hosted Jeopardy! while Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune, and co-hosting the latter was Sajak’s own wife, Lesly…(REALLY?!?)
Alex Trebek is also a spokesman in commercials for Colonial Penn Life Insurance, and in those commercials, he is a “compensated endorser”; In a 2010 commercial for DirecTV, he reprised his role as the host on another game show that he had hosted at one time, To Tell The Truth. Trebek has also made guest appearances on such shows as The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and even Hot in Cleveland. And then, he has made the most incredible achievement of all: He was presented by the Guinness World Records with the world record with the most episodes ever hosted by a game show host, with a total of 6,829 in all.
All of which makes this something to think about when this news came: On March 6th of this year, Alex Trebek announced that, via video, that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer; He also noted that the prognosis was “not very encouraging”, but he said that he was going to fight this cancer in the hopes of beating the “low survival rate statistics” and to continue to host Jeopardy! as long as he was able, claiming that, through joking, he had no choice: He had only three more years of his contract left! See this video below: