Alex Trebek, keep your opinions to yourself (kinda lame)

A couple nights ago on Jeopardy!, during the meet-the-contestants section, Alex Trebek asked one of the contestants what he does for a living. He replied he markets video games. Alex then asked him if he markets any of those violent video games everyone’s up in arms about. The contestant replied, “no,” to which Alex Trebek said, “Good!”

Alex, when did you become Jack Thompson? You’re not paid to debate against violence in video games, you’re paid to read answers off of a card. And since when did you become such a prude against violence? You’ve never stated that you were against all of the violent books, movies, and TV shows that have showed up as clues on the show in the past. Heck, you’ve never even mentioned you were against the violent video games that were used as clues on the show in the past. And you probably don’t know shit about them, seeing as you’ve said in the past that the only game you play on your computer is Spider Solitare.

Based on the clues, the writers on your show have shown in the past that they know a thing or two about video games- they even referenced the “Leeroy Jenkins” viral video in a clue about World of Warcraft. I’m sure if you asked them, they’d tell you that there’s more to video games than violence- there’s storylines, there’s fun, and there’s sometimes a message. Just as there is in movies that feature violent acts.

Do what you do best, Alex. If you’re going to be spouting opinions, you shouldn’t be doing it on a game show.

Worthy point, relatively mild rant factor, media-based…

Off to Cafe Society.

One of the great mysteries of our times is how Alex Trebek managed to land one of the cushiest jobs in television, despite being terrible at one of the only two requirements of the job. The first requirement of being Jepordy Host is that you have to be able to read the questions and answers clearly. He can do that, and even does a good job with the foreign pronounciations.

The other requirement is that you have to make semi-interesting small talk with the guests for about 50 seconds each show. Yet Trebek is terrible at this, he almost always pulls some awkward unfunny joke or babbles about some tangentally related item thats been in the news lately (like the comment referenced in the OP).

I mean seriously, there must be half a thousand people who can both read questions clearly and be somewhat quick on their feet during 3 10 second interviews who would love to have the cake job of Jeapordy Host, why did we end up someone who sounds like an introverted engineer trying to make small talk at a cocktail party?

Hey, I didn’t know Sean Connery was a doper!

mobo, during the filming of Zardoz, were you like, super high? Or was it just the director and writer?

Most of my memory of that time was wiped out due to stress during the five years I spent trying to invent an anal bum cover. My friends keep telling me I used to be James Bond, but I think they’re kidding me.

I think you’re making much ado about nothing. Trebek made a one word, mild comment about violent video games; I’d hardly say that constitutes “spouting opinions.” Especially if, by your own account, this is the first such comment he’s ever made. I’d say relax and forget about it.

Perhaps straying a bit from the OP, I’d say Trebek is a terrible host.
But I am not alone in this. Here is a thread from July, 2004 in which Dopers attempted to answer Why do people hate Alex Trebek?

I agree fully. I think Trebek is at best a vacuous talking head (as opposed to a psycho killer Talking Head) and at worst an annoying vacuous talking head pretentiously attempting a foreign pronunciation for no good reason or fumbling his way through a few seconds’ worth of interview with a helpful, friendly guest. Both are excusable foibles in a frosh, but how long has Trebek held his current job now?

Due to all that, the odds-on favorite is that Trebek tried to make a joke that fell flat. Remember Hanlon’s Razor.

Count me as another one who thinks that Trebek was just trying (lamely) to make some kind of attempt at small talk and asked the first question about video games that popped into his head. Saying “good” was then simply the only thing he could think of to say to the response. I think we’ve all been in situations where we’re trying to make conversation with people we don’t know and we end up asking dumb questions or giving dumb responses. Trebek is no different, he just has to do it on television.

As a longtime, twice-a-day Jeopardy! watcher (current show and a daily rerun on Game Show Network), I think Trebek does a pretty good job. His jokes are often on the tame and obvious side, but I think that’s due more to the fact that much of the target audience is a good bit older than I am and accustomed to a more prim style of banter.

Every now and then Alex will stutter or misread or otherwise screw up a question; the rarity of these occurrences always reinforces, for me, the incredible accuracy with which he usually guides the show. His foreign pronunciations, at least in the languages with which I have passing familiarity (French, Japanese, German) are extremely good.

I’m also impressed at his frequent ability to, on the fly, toss in some background knowledge related to contestants’ answers; i.e., not stuff that he got to study ahead of time, but stuff that indicates that he had a surprisingly wide knowledge of the topicc at hand before it came up.

I heard the video-game comment as well. I wasn’t bothered by it; if you’re doing a very short interview with a “video-game marketer,” what else might you ask? If anything, I find he has a superhuman ability to keep from yawning when yet another contestant has nothing better to talk about than a “my cats are so cute” story.

Geez, now I feel like I should start a fan club.


But Trebek is different. It’s his job to make “small talk” with the guests … and he is rather well-paid for his dubious interviewing skills.

Plus, if you read the link from 2 years ago, you would have seen that Trebek murdered Sampiro’s father. :eek:
See? I trust you have just a tad less respect for the guy now. :mad:

Can you think of a gameshow host in the History of Man who is/was deep, multi-dimensional and thoroughly witty?

Heh. Imagine if he’d said instead, “Shame, that.” It would totally change your perspective on Alex Trebek.

Me, I kind of like the fact that he’s utterly awkward during the “interpersonal interaction” segments of the show. He looks relieved to be able to get back to the game, and makes all of us want to get back to it to, as if we’ve finished some awful chore and now get a reward.

Ben Stein comes to mind. As in “Win Ben Stein’s Money”. Witty, funny, smart, not pretentious.

The subject of his “casual conversation”, even the wording, is prearranged by the assistant producers. He has plenty of time to prepare.

Rigamarole, if you get a chance to see any old clips of Groucho Marx hosting “You Bet Your Life”, you’ll have your answer.

According to at least one person who’s been on the show, Trebek’s an ass of the highest order.

Really? I find that hard to believe. I’m thinking of situations like the following (which I am making up):

Category: “The History of Medicine”

Question: “1844: During a tooth extraction, Dr. Horace Wells makes the first use of this gas as an anesthetic”

Contestant A: “What is ether?”

Alex: “No.”

Contestant B: “What is nitrous oxide?”

Alex: “Correct. Contestant A, ether was first used in 1842, two years before nitrous oxide.”

(The question and the answers there are from a recent show; I made up Alex’s response.)

He does this fairly often, dropping in tidbits that expand upon the question or upon a wrong answer. “Oh, sorry, Contestant C, you must have been thinking of X, when it was actually Y.” I.e., comments that show that he knows more about the subject than what’s printed on the card.

I doubt strongly that he does background research on every single question before every single show, and I also doubt that the show’s producers could pre-script contestant’s wrong entries.

Of course, Trebek’s been doing the show for a jillion years now, and no doubt picks up things here and there that stick with him for whatever reason.

More often than you’d think. One of the things I discovered when I was on was that after each show Alex would reread the questions he blew, and they’d splice the sound into the soundtrack. Jeopardy, while taped live, is edited. They edited my interview, which was a good thing. :slight_smile:

I wonder if something else was going on when he blew the questions you saw, or that was before they had the sound editing technology to fix them.

I tried three times to explain testing to the APs simply enough for Alex to get it, but failed.

Would that person be Sean Connery?