Alex Trebek's Final 'Jeopardy!' Episode to Air on Christmas Day

The longtime host, who died Sunday at age 80, taped his final shows last month

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away on Nov. 8 and left behind an amazing legacy. We’ve compiled a list of nine interesting things you probably didn’t know about the longtime television personality from a new biography written by Lisa Rogak called “Who Is Alex Trebek?” out Tuesday from Macmillan.

Trebek, his wife Jean, and his son Matt, courtesy of "Who Is Alex Trebek? A Biography" by Lisa Rogak

  • He was a troublemaker in his youth

    In his teen years, Trebek was sent to a Catholic boarding school after his parents separated. There, he was nearly expelled over disagreements with one of his teachers. 

    Alex Trebek in 1984 (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

  • He nearly became a priest

    In college, Trebek considered becoming a priest and went so far as to spend a summer at a Trappist monastery. But it was the vow of silence that changed his mind. He later said, “I’m not one to keep my big mouth shut.”

    A Trappist monk / Getty

  • He’s a clean-freak

    After quitting his job of 12 years at the CBC, he moved to Los Angeles. There he found a roommate in “Growing Pains” actor Alan Thicke, who compared living with Trebek to Felix, the neat-freak character on the sitcom “The Odd Couple.”

    Felix from "The Odd Couple" / ABC

  • He went through a rough divorce

    Trebek’s first marriage lasted seven years and ended in 1981. He later admitted that he lived “like a very depressed monk,” spending most nights watching TV with a bucket of fried chicken and a bottle of white wine.

    Getty

  • Lucille Ball helped him land “Jeopardy!”

    The “I Love Lucy” star was a big fan of “High Rollers,” the game show Trebek hosted previously. She told her friend, producer Merv Griffin, to consider hiring him when they decided to resurrect “Jeopardy!”

  • He named his cat Sleaze Bucket

    Trebek is an animal lover, but when it comes to names, he doesn’t hold back. He had a dog named Spammer, two rescue cats named Winger Dinger and Sleaze Bucket (A.K.A. Sleazy) and another cat named Safety Puce. 

    Getty

  • Ladies love him

    A woman at a book signing once gifted him a cupcake topped with a pair of breasts made out of frosting. And during the days when he hosted the Pillsbury Bake-Off, a contestant once asked the judges, “Is Alex here yet, and do you know his room number?” 

    Pillsbury Bake-Off promo / CBS

  • He swears like a sailor

    Known for his proclivity for profanity, Trebek has let more than a few f-bombs fly over the years. During a 2014 radio interview with Dan Patrick, Trebek was informed that they were operating on a profanity delay. “I’m worried about your language,” Patrick said at the time.

  • He’s a Luddite

    “I don’t text, I don’t access the Internet, I don’t blog, I don’t tweet,” Trebek has said. He only uses his cell phone to make calls, but he’s not a fan of social media. “Everyone has their face buried in their phones,” he continued, according to Rogak. “Why is it important to know what I did this morning and convey that to other people?”

  • Fun fact: He briefly considered becoming a priest during his college years

    “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away on Nov. 8 and left behind an amazing legacy. We’ve compiled a list of nine interesting things you probably didn’t know about the longtime television personality from a new biography written by Lisa Rogak called “Who Is Alex Trebek?” out Tuesday from Macmillan.

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