Trebek: I’ll Take ‘Possible Retirement’ for 200


Very few things have remained the same since 1984. The highest grossing movie that year was Beverly Hills Cop; now, we have The Hunger Games. Michael Jackson’s Thriller ruled the airwaves; 28 years later, Adele’s 21 hasn’t budged from Billboard’s top spot. And who had heard of the Internet yet besides Al Gore?

Alas, one thing has certainly not changed: Alex Trebek as the host of Jeopardy!. The 7pm segment, at this point, really needs no background description (search: Daily Double). The show created the career of knowledge-superstar-turned-Twitter-riot Ken Jennings and indirectly revived Sean Connery’s, for better or worse.
Trebek, the trivia show host we all know and love, has been coming back to the same workplace for almost 30 years nowBut, according to the New York Post, that could all end pretty soon.

In an interview that will air tomorrow on “FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace,” the apathetic know-it-all (and we don’t say that offensively) said, “Yes, I have been thinking of retiring.” But the slick questionnaire is stuck between his passion and his legacy. In two years, the show will be a 30-year-old and, after mentioning how much he enjoys hosting the show, Trebek added his true anniversary goal: “Put in your 30. And go help people.

In February, Trebek first admitted his possible retirement to Newsweek in a story about WATSON, IBM’s creepy supercomputer that made its public debut on the show. He simply stated that he didn’t “want to do this forever” – a quick reminder to us that Trebek is human and the show will technically have to end at some point.
But no one can imagine Jeopardy! without Trebek. And no one wants to – continuing a show that was made famous by a single character is always a risky TV move. Sometimes, it can work – the cases of The Office post-Michael-Scott or the later seasons of M*A*S*H* are perfect examples – but, other times, it can backfire terribly, especially for game shows. Just think Drew Carey replacing Bob Barker on The Price is Right! or Meredith Viera after Regis Philbin on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?


In other words, the day Will Ferrell’s impression of Alex Trebek becomes nostalgia will be a sad day for all of us who tune in at 7 on weeknights to shout out obscure Motown albums from the late 1970s or plants that live underwater. And that is today’s Daily Double.