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:
Today happens to be the birthday of a dear, sweet friend of mine, and I for one am so very lucky enough to have such a friend as him; Although his real name is Rich Koz, he also happens to go by a certain stage name, one by the name of Svengoolie…
Now I have addressed to all of you bloggers and blog followers out there of the story of that wacky horror host many times(however, you can check out his bio at Wikipedia right here) Today, his birthday, I just wanted to tell you how special this incredible man is; To tell you the honest truth, he is the most special human being that the Lord God has put on this Earth; There is no one else like him, and I certainly do not think that there would ever be another like him ever again.
When Svengoolie and I found out that game show host Alex Trebek has pancreatic cancer, he tweeted to him, telling him to keep on fighting and to stay the champion; That just shows you how caring a soul he really is; Throughout his 40-year career, he has used his heart to help others who are less fortunate than him-He may be a video vampire, but he has got a heart that is made of gold!
And do you want to know something else? His talent has inspired me to use my talents to make people happy, and that happens to be something that I have done for the past 6-1/2 years with my blog, KALEIDOSCOPE; And now that I am getting ready to say goodbye to blogging and WordPress in June while Svengoolie himself is getting ready to celebrate 40 years of his career in that very same month, I think that it is good to say that we have finally done our jobs to the very best of our abilities.
A very happy and blessed birthday 🎂 to you my dear, sweet friend, Svengoolie; and thank you also for teaching me how to and to use my talents to make each and every person from all walks of life smile.
Back in January, the very first anniversary celebration of the new year had happened, and cartoon lovers of all ages honored the 90th year of a very famous character; I have already covered Mickey Mouse last year…And wait, HIS birthday celebration is still going on?!
Anyway, the cartoon character who is turning 90 this time happens to be a sailor whose favorite food happens to be spinach-Yup, it is Popeye The Sailor! Popeye was created by Elzie Crisler Segar and made his very first appearance in a comic strip called “Thimble Theater” on January 17th, 1929, and in later years, the title would then be transformed into just plain Popeye.
An animator by the name of Max Fleischer would then adapt the comic strip into a series of theatrical cartoons called “Popeye the Sailor” for Paramount in 1933; Those cartoons would then go on to become to most popular ones in the 1930s, and both Fleischer and Paramount would continue production of those cartoons until a change would bring about in which Fleischer would leave and then Paramount would form its own cartoon studio, Famous Studios. Famous would close down operations in 1967.
Throughout those 9 decades, in addition to theatrical cartoons, Popeye would appear in a lot of advertisements, as well as comic books, video and arcade games, and television cartoons, as well as peripheral products that range from candy cigarettes to even spinach… (Alas, has one ever tried spinach-flavored bubble gum cigarettes?! BLEAH!!)
And yes, there was even a 1980 live-action film starring Robin Williams in the title role; Alas, the film achieved not very spectacular box office results.
Now, there happens to be a whole, entire backstory of that spinach-eating sailor, so may I suggest that you go to Wikipedia’s article about Popeye here; Meanwhile, there are, I think, a slew of DVDs to watch that feature this time-honored character, so may I suggest that you find some and honor Popeye’s 90th birthday by watching them!