While Alex Trebek is best known as the longtime host of Jeopardy!, the Canadian-born TV personality had a career on other game shows before he became the face of the program. And even after he rose to fame as the host of Jeopardy! Trebek tried other hosting gigs. Ahead, find out more about the game shows he’s hosted.
Alex Trebek started hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ in 1984
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It’s hard to imagine Jeopardy! without Trebek but the show did exist before it became synonymous with the quizmaster. Art Fleming hosted Jeopardy! during its original run in the 1960s and 1970s. Fleming headed up the game show when it had been known as What’s the Question.
The program got canceled due to poor ratings then later returned for a reboot before getting taken off the air yet again in 1979. Fast-forward five years and it got resurrected with Trebek as the host. Now, Trebek has hosted Jeopardy! for 36 years. But before he became synonymous with the program he worked as the host of other game shows.
Before Jeopardy! Trebek hosted the game show High Rollers. According to TV Guide, players would roll dice to win prizes. But to do so, they had to first correctly answer a question.
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From there, the object of the game had been to cross off numbers on the board. For each number that got removed, contestants would win a prize. Part of NBC’s programming, the show also went through a name change. In later episodes, it became known as The New High Rollers.
According to IMDb, Trebek hosted 35 episodes of the game show from 1976-1977. Double Dare focused on two contestants who were placed in “isolation booths” and given clues about answers to trivia questions. If one player got the right answer, they could keep the money they earned or challenge their opponent to guess correctly. If they chose to go that route and the opponent won, they’d lose the money. And if the other player answered incorrectly, they’d receive double the prize money.
‘To Tell the Truth’
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In 1991, Trebek hosted 11 episodes of the game show To Tell the Truth. Contestants would tell stories to a panel of celebrities who would then have to determine who had been truthful.
‘The New Battlestars’
In the years right before Jeopardy!, Trebek hosted The New Battlestars. The game show ran from 1981 to 1983 and Trebek hosted only nine episodes. Celebrities would answer questions for contestants and if they answered enough of them correctly they’d be “captured.” The goal had been for players to “capture” three celebrities.
From 1998 to 1991, Trebek hosted eight episodes of Classic Concentration. A revival of the classic NBC game show, the program followed contestants as they tried to match cards and wins prizes. With Classic Concentration, To Tell the Truth, and Jeopardy! All on the air, Trebek hosted three game shows at the same time.
Today, in the wake of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Trebek continues to host Jeopardy! and is set to release a memoir, The Answer Is… : Reflections on My Life, in July 2020.
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