Since 1984, Alex Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy!, which is a long time in any occupation. Trebek has been providing the answers to questions ever since the show was rebooted by Merv Griffin. Trebek has been around television a lot longer than that though. He broke into television in 1963 on a Canadian show called Music Hop when he was 23 years old. Prior to landing Jeopardy!, Trebek hosted The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, and Double Dare. Even after landing a steady gig, he continued to host other shows, such as Classic Concentration, or sporadically appear as a celebrity contestant or host on other game shows. He even compiled 21 movie and television guest appearance credits on everything from The Simpsons to Orange Is The New Black.
After all of those episodes and countless times responding to questions with an emphatic “Yes!”, Trebek appears to be serious about hanging it up and relaxing with his wife Jean. In an interview with Harvey Levin, Trebek said he is 50/50 on retiring soon. At 78 years old, he has certainly had a strong run in an industry that turns over talent rapidly. Earlier in the year, taping was placed on hiatus when Trebek underwent brain surgery, according to Fox News, an event that may have opened him up to the idea of retiring more seriously.
He has gone so far as to set an approximate time for his retirement and toss around a few ideas about who should take over as the host. According to TMZ, he is pretty high on Alex Faust who is the the L.A. King’s play-by-play announcer. If not him, he thinks CNN legal analyst Laura Coates would do quite nicely as well, and definitely change the face of the game. As for when he is ready to retire, he has said 2020 is when he will step down as his current contract ends then.
“I mentioned to our producer not so long ago that the fellow that does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings – they should consider him. There is an attorney, Laura Coates, she’s African-American and she appears some of the cable news shows from time to time.”
With odds like 50/50, there is always the possibility Trebek hangs around a bit longer than his current contract, but when asked point blank if he could imagine stepping down, he didn’t hesitate before confirming he could. Trebek will be 80 when his contract expires, and it is thought by most that he is, and has been, ready to pass the torch.