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  #1  
Old 07-27-2004, 05:58 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
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Why do so many people dislike Alex Trebek?

While we're on hiatus awaiting Ken Jennings' return...

I see and hear a lot of comments from people, when discussing Jeopardy, about Alex Trebek. They're usually not very supportive, and I don't understand that. I like Alex. But to hear some people, you'd think he was the Anti-Christ of game shows, and if you press the issue, it's often nothing more than that he doesn't pronounce Slavik names perfectly or something. Why is that? Was Art Fleming any better?
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2004, 06:39 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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I liked Art Fleming. What I don't like about Alex is the way he overdoes the pronunciation of foreign words. Sort of like the way local sportscasters talk about the Tour de Frawwwwwwwnce.
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2004, 06:52 AM
Fiver Fiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberal
While we're on hiatus awaiting Ken Jennings' return...

I see and hear a lot of comments from people, when discussing Jeopardy, about Alex Trebek. They're usually not very supportive, and I don't understand that.
Cite? I, personally think Alex is quite a cool guy and I've never heard anyone say otherwise.

The worst I've ever heard about Mr. Trebek is that Fleming was a better host, but of course that doesn't also mean that Trebek is bad.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2004, 07:02 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Here's ya cite: based solely on Jeopardy, since I've never seen him doing anything else, Alex Trebek appears to have no personality at all. He's a sort of wooden talking robot figure. Maybe he's been doing it so long, but there never appears to be anything behind those eyes.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2004, 07:22 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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He's no Art Fleming.

Still, I don't dislike him.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2004, 07:28 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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Anyone else remember The Wizard of Odds? That was a pretty cool game that Alex hosted in the early 70s?
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2004, 07:32 AM
NutMagnet NutMagnet is offline
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Well, let's see.

He is very wooden, which in itself is not such a bad thing. BUT, he too often tries to act down with everything. He's especially annoying on Teen Jeopardy.

Also, he can be a prig. If a contestant tells a story about a funny thing that happened at The Louvre, Alex MUST mention something he noticed when he was there.

He doesn't take it well when he is out-joked. In fact, when he tries to be jocular, it comes off badly.

He used to rankle when a contestant brought up his Canadian roots. It was almost as if he was ashamed of them. He seems less insecure about it lately, though.

That's about all I've got.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2004, 08:58 AM
Nutty Bunny Nutty Bunny is offline
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I don't normally watch Jeopardy, but I have to admit that Ken Jennings sucked me in. The reason I don't watch Jeopardy is Alex Trebek. I hate him with the white-hot intensity of 1,000 suns! I agree with NutMagnet on the following points:

1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NutMagnet
He is very wooden, which in itself is not such a bad thing. BUT, he too often tries to act down with everything. He's especially annoying on Teen Jeopardy.
It's painful to watch him try to relate to anyone who does not have a stick up his/her ass. Ken Jennings is a party animal compared to Alex.

2.
Quote:
Also, he can be a prig. If a contestant tells a story about a funny thing that happened at The Louvre, Alex MUST mention something he noticed when he was there.
Yes, because we all know Alex is the most wordly, knowledgable, culturally in tune person in the world. I'll bet if Neil Armstrong had been on Jeopardy, telling a story about the moon, Alex would have had to tell us about his trip to Jupiter.

3.
Quote:
He doesn't take it well when he is out-joked. In fact, when he tries to be jocular, it comes off badly.
Did you see when he tried to do an Al Pacino impression a couple of weeks ago? Oy! I was embarrassed for him--while I was pointing and laughing, of course. MR. Pronunciation seemed to go from a Spanish accent to French in the same impression. Impressive, especially coming from a massive tool. :wally

Now I'll add my own:

1. His overblown pronunciations. The question is in English, I think he can get away with pronouncing it the way the rest of us rubes do.

2. When a contestant gets a question right, but pronounces the word in a way that Alex doesn't prefer, he makes a point of re-pronouncing the word for us. This, from a man who thought the "REO" in REO Speedwagon was to be pronounced as a word, not initials.

He's the most pretentious f*** who ever graced my TV and I'm counting Frasier Crane. F' off, Alex and take Vanna with you! Oops, wrong show.

I hate you, Alex. But I'll put up with you until Ken loses or you kill him in a jealous rage, whichever comes first.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:11 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiver
Cite?
Satisfied?
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:24 AM
Trunk Trunk is offline
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I hear that complaint of his pretentiousness a lot, but I don't get that from him like some other people do.

His job is to give the correct answers to trivia questions on every topic. He doesn't pretend he knows them all.

I think that he can sometimes be self-effacing. Yes, he said "REO" the other day and then corrected himself with a laugh after it was answered. It only bugs you if you think that he acts like he's a know-it-all, and I don't think he acts like that.

He knows he's not "down with it" and he knows that when he does Ah-nuld or Al Pacino that it's just a goofball impersonation. If you asked him, he would agree he can't do impersonations for crap.

That said, he's not colorful enough to actually "like". Most game show hosts are just pretty neutral characters -- I think he falls into that realm. Hard to like or dislike.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:33 AM
NicePete NicePete is offline
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I was never fond of Alex. Struck me as astoundingly pompous, especially when someone got an answer wrong -- he's all "Noooo, the answer is tungsten... tungsten." This is delivered in a tone indicating that a half-bright four year old would have known that... It's easy to be correct when you have the answers written down in front of you, Al.

My impression was somewhat changed when I met him in person in February. Now I don't think he's pompous. Now I think he's just kind of goofy. I will preface my account with the disclaimer that I filmed my episodes on February 4, a Tuesday. Alex was involved in a single vehicle accident the Saturday before. He did remark that he was on some pain-killers that day.

The guy was just flaky. During commercial breaks he'd bop around the set singing. He talked to a group of junior high students in the audience and was just this side of incoherent. Since I won a game, I got to stand next to him and chat during the outro. Since it had been on the news that his wreck had occurred while driving to his horse farm, I talked to him about horses (being from Kentucky I am required to at least feign a passing interest in horses.) His conversation was very disconnected and disjointed. Not unfriendly, really, just sort of spacy.

Not that I expected we'd become close friends or anything. I expected a certain level of reserve. This was something else entirely. As I say, it very well could have been the drugs.

Also, I had always liked Alex's persona on the other game shows he'd hosted, especially High Rollers and Concentration. He always seemed very genial on those shows.
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:40 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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I can only speak for myself, but the reason I hate Alex Trebec is he killed my pa. It was a Thursday, one of those hot humid days you only get in the Mississipp Delta, and it was in a fight over a Filipina dancing gal after a heated game of SORRY!. One day I'll get on that show, and when he comes over to ax me my interesting bio tidbit, that's when I'm gonna take my revenge right there (if that Mormon fella doedn't beat me to it--- that boy's got some powerful backers or he wouldn't be there- I think he's CIA).
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:42 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I like him as a host dude and don't find him wooden at all. That said, I think the reason people hate him is because he acts like he knows all that stuff, when he's really just reading answers that were given to him. He's a fake know-it-all, and that's just wrong.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2004, 09:46 AM
Trunk Trunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AugestWest
I was never fond of Alex. Struck me as astoundingly pompous, especially when someone got an answer wrong -- he's all "Noooo, the answer is tungsten... tungsten." This is delivered in a tone indicating that a half-bright four year old would have known that... It's easy to be correct when you have the answers written down in front of you, Al.
well, I think it's almost impossible to find the right tone when giving someone the answers. He's not trying to trick anyone into thinking he knows it. Personally, I never found his tone "snarky" or "nyah nyah nyah".

It's not like he rolls his eyes and goes, "It was Mongolia, people. Come on!"


Quote:
Originally Posted by AugestWest
My impression was somewhat changed when I met him in person in February. Now I don't think he's pompous. Now I think he's just kind of goofy.
That's what I think just from watching TV. I think he's goofy. Goofy impressions. Goofy jokes. Goofy hair.
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2004, 11:34 AM
Nightwatch Trailer Nightwatch Trailer is offline
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I think Alex is a good guy. He's dry sometimes, sure, but he's the host of the most well-respected trivia show that I know of. If I wanted more talking and more goofy jokes, I'd watch "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" or some such show where the main point is entertainment rather than the actual trivia.

I also don't think he's snarky. He seems pretty reserved when he gives out the right answers...and I personally would want to be told if I was pronouncing something incorrectly.
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2004, 11:39 AM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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Well, he is kinda mean to Sean Connery...
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:10 PM
Nutty Bunny Nutty Bunny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwatch Trailer
I think Alex is a good guy. He's dry sometimes, sure, but he's the host of the most well-respected trivia show that I know of. If I wanted more talking and more goofy jokes, I'd watch "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" or some such show where the main point is entertainment rather than the actual trivia.
I don't need jokes at all. Like you said, it's a trivia show. People are trying to answer all the questions they can so they can make money. If Alex is doing lame impersonations/jokes, then that's less time the contestants have. We don't need to see his personality at all. If I want personality, I'll watch Regis.

Quote:
I also don't think he's snarky. He seems pretty reserved when he gives out the right answers...and I personally would want to be told if I was pronouncing something incorrectly.
No, I don't mind when he corrects someone's pronunciation. In fact, the question is usually wrong if the pronunciation is incorrect. But Alex gets to show us what a huge brain he is when someone answers "to-may-to" and Alex says "Or to-MAH-to". In other words: Ooh, Alex knows an alternate pronunciation that has nothing to do with whether or not the contestant was right or wrong. I'm so impressed.
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  #18  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:23 PM
Agrippina Agrippina is offline
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Bubble Boy: That's easy! It was the Moors.
George Costanza (ala Alex Trebek): Ohhh, I'm sorry. It's the Moops. The Moops.

---Seinfeld
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:36 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Personally, I watch Jeopardy to see if I can beat the contestants. I wouldn't care if it was hosted by a chimp.
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  #20  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:39 PM
Trunk Trunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutty Bunny
I don't need jokes at all. Like you said, it's a trivia show. People are trying to answer all the questions they can so they can make money. If Alex is doing lame impersonations/jokes, then that's less time the contestants have. We don't need to see his personality at all. If I want personality, I'll watch Regis.



No, I don't mind when he corrects someone's pronunciation. In fact, the question is usually wrong if the pronunciation is incorrect. But Alex gets to show us what a huge brain he is when someone answers "to-may-to" and Alex says "Or to-MAH-to". In other words: Ooh, Alex knows an alternate pronunciation that has nothing to do with whether or not the contestant was right or wrong. I'm so impressed.
But it's a show about knowing things.

It's not Alex showing off. It's Alex informing you -- probably with the direction of the people who wrote the question -- that there is an alternate pronunciation. "We also would have accepted 'to-mah-to'".

Watch it without your "alex is a jerk" glasses on -- I really don't think he comes across that way.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:58 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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I think this is an interesting view into the mind of Alex Trebek.

I was on Jeopardy in 2000. I was only on for one day, and came in second place. At that time, though, there was the possibility that you could win five times consecutively.

Therefore, before you competed, you had to fill out a little sheet with five short stories or facts about yourself for your short interview portion of the show. You also had to bring changes of clothing with you, since five episodes of the show were taped daily in Culver City.

I filled out a few stories, but had a hard time coming up with enough interesting ones. Finally, in desperation, I mentioned in the fifth one that I had met Alex Trebek once before, when he had visited the Navy base I was stationed at in Sigonella, Sicily on a USO tour. (I had passed the test on that visit, too, but hadn't been invited on the show.)

Wouldn't you know, that's the story he chose to use.
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2004, 03:18 PM
HPL HPL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JThunder
Well, he is kinda mean to Sean Connery...
Alex: You will notice that I am wearing a different set of pants, because Mr. Connery apparently could not make it to the toliet.

Sean Connery: The Day is mine, Trebek!
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2004, 04:22 PM
Loopus Loopus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem
What I don't like about Alex is the way he overdoes the pronunciation of foreign words.
I don't watch Jeopardy! that often, but I remember watching several years ago and hearing him read an answer that referred to the Brazilian newspaper Jornal do Brasil. He pronounced it as if it were Spanish (horr-NALL doe bra-SEALL) which is almost nothing like it is pronounced in Portuguese (zho-NAO doo bra-ZEEO). I thought it rather silly that he was apparently pretending to know how to correctly pronounce a foreign phrase when he clearly didn't.
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2004, 04:30 PM
wolf_meister wolf_meister is offline
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Wow - now I KNOW my annual subscription to the SDMB is well worth the price of admission !!! I thought I was alone in my dislike of Alex Trebek.
When he first appeared as host (1984?), he was clumsy, he let people get away whithout phrasing responses in the form of a question, and was generally inept. As the years passed he went from inept bumbling host to an (ersatz) erudite, urbane, conceited "scholar". His personality went from something I disliked to something I despise.
Now all of a sudden he revels in the fact that no one was able to figure out that the 3 Fates were
[obnoxious sneering Trebek voice]
"Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos".
[/obnoxious sneering Trebek voice]
He dishes out those "answers" (well they are really questions) as if he KNEW everything. And let's not forget that when he has to pronounce a foreign language answer, he does so in his "here's looking down at you" attitude proudly proclaiming that The Little Prince was written by "Antoine de St Saint-Exupéry". (stated in an accent so thick you can HEAR the acute sign over the 'e').

I'd say my evaluation of Trebek is similar to that of Nutty Bunny's assessment. And Sampiro, I must admit that Trebek did not personally inflict any tragedy into my life and I am sorry for your loss. However, I am currently doing research into linking Trebek with the Hillside Stranglers.
***********************************************************
"I'll have SWORDS for $800"
"That's 'S-WORDS' Mr Connery. 'S-WORDS' !!!"
***********************************************************
And in memorium, a mention should be made to Art Fleming. The only host of "Jeopardy" as far as I'm concerned.
Art Fleming (1924 - 1995)
May he rest in peace.
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2004, 04:55 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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He does come off as a bit pretentious, but I don't mind. Hey, it's Jeopardy, it's not your average game show - and when it tries to be (such as today, when they did College Jeopardy and had a WHOLE CATEGORY about The Matrix), it doesn't quite work.
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  #26  
Old 07-27-2004, 06:14 PM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Yeah, he's always seemed really wooden at times and overly pretentious in others. The foreign-word pronunciation bugs the hell out of me too.

There was one bit where he was chatting with the contestants, and one of them mentioned that he/she was in medical school, and Alex replied with "Yes, so many people go through medical school and it's such a grueling, life-draining experience and still so many people make sacrifices and still fail. Good luck to you on that." The audience started laughing, and he really didn't get how he'd said anything inappropriate. So that knocked him down a peg for me, from pretentious to just goofy.

But I have to give him credit: he was awesome in the best episode of "The X-Files" ever made, "Jose Chung's From Outer Space", as one of the Men in Black. And he's got a good sense of humor about the SNL Jeopardy sketches -- he showed up in Will Farrell's last episode.
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