Monday, July 24, 2017

Alex's other gigs

Hard to believe, but Alex Trebek was not born hosting Jeopardy. He's actually had some other jobs over the years, and Parade tracked down a few videos. Seven of them, to be exact.

The site says that one of Alex's other shows, Double Dare, was "very short-lived." But as an entry pointed out a few days ago, old game shows live on and on, and Double Dare turns up on Buzzr on the weekends. The other shows are all relegated to YouTube for now, but you never know when they might see the light of cable again.

We have to make an exception for Wheel of Fortune, where Alex did his April Fools gig as host. He was a little too emphatic on the show, I thought, but it wasn't his usual job so I'll cut him some slack. Pat Sajak seemed a lot more relaxed on Jeopardy.

Parade doesn't note Alex's very first game show hosting gig, on the Canadian high school quizzer Reach for the Top. A bit of video shows him asking students about wombats. They're from Australia, if you didn't know.


  1. Alex was loved by all game show producers. GT Double Dare was a creative game. Really enjoyed the game play. Never enjoyed Alex on celebrity game shows such as Battlestars (now there was a dumb game, part HQs with a face jigsaw bonus round!) Lots of Respect for Alex!

  2. The only pre-J! Alex show that will ever be seen in reruns again are Double Dare 1977 and maybe To Tell the Truth 1991. Concentration's format rights are owned by NBC, the other shows may or may not have their master tapes still existing, and Pitfall did air in reruns in the mid-80s in both the US and Canada but its now known Trebek didn't get paid his salary for that show and some of the contestants didn't get some or all of their prizes. Catalena Productions went bankrupt sometime in 1982 after the season of Pitfall shows was taped.

    1. Double Dare is already on Buzzr. Concentration might turn up somewhere one of these days, along with some of Alex's other old shows. Never say never on old TV in general and old game shows in particular.

    2. Casey, NBC is rough and tough with regards to the Concentration property. So is Hasbro with the Scrabble. That's why people say those two will never be rerun on Buzzr or GSN.

    3. I think this "rough and tough" stuff is just phony Internet legend. I bet that hardly anybody at NBC even remembers Concentration, much less cares whether it runs somewhere on cable TV. Same with Hasbro and Woolery's Scrabble.

      The real reason these shows haven't been seen for a while is probably a lot simpler: no network has wanted to run them. The game show oldies boards have a tough time believing this, but the demand for decades-old game shows is not enormous. In fact, it's pretty miniscule.

      But you never know with old TV shows. They might turn up somewhere one of these days.

  3. The second run of Battlestars had the players trying to agree or disagree on three celebrity answers to questions correctly to win a jackpot of prizes, which grew each time the bonus time was not won until it was won. After a contestant disagreed correctly, the contestant had to pick which of the two answers to the question that the celebrity didn't give was correct. The bonus round was called the Main Event. THe 1981-82 Battlestars bonus round was taken from the 1976 Face Lifters game which was in the maingame of High Rollers towards the end of its first run, which itself was taken from the early 60s HQ show DOuble Exposure.

  4. You are absolutely correct! I forgot that piece from Winks version. Speaking of Wink, havent seen his vault shows for a long time. Hope he's doing well.