“Lord, don’t make me do it again,” we see Trebek whisper to himself. “Not again.” Typically known for his calm and suave demeanor, Alex Trebek has been slowly losing his cool more and more over the years. So much so, in fact, that over the last few months, he has gone completely off the rails and has begun running Jeopardy! like an Old Testament God and we are eating it up. It’s honestly made me love the show more than I ever thought I could, which is saying something. I have multiple Jeopardy! tattoos, not to brag. For all you other huge Trebek fans, I thought I’d share 4 times he destroyed a contestant with his mind rather than listen to their personal story, my favorite part of the show.
1. The first time that Trebek flexed his psychic powers was all the way back in ’92. Some of you youngsters may not remember this, but our numbers used to go up that high. Jill Stein was on the show and was telling some hum drum story about her time as an environmental lawyer. Upon getting to a point in the story where Stein couldn’t remember a certain person’s name, Trebek gave her one focused look and her entire body simple withered away. The Jill Stein we know now is a shadow world version of the true person. Do not trust the double.
2. Now, back then, Alex wasn’t nearly as powerful as we know him to be today, so it took him a couple of years to recharge his powers and let his rage build. It wasn’t until 1995 that another contestant was brought down by his might. Keith Richards was telling this horrible story about a time that he nearly got stung by a bee, but didn’t. The contempt Alex had on his face was immediately recognizable. Just as Keith was about to enter the third act of this saga, Trebek put his hands together and suddenly Richards was gone. Just like that. Poof. He was then immediately replaced with a pre-determined stand-in that had been hired after the last incident and had been simply waiting for the last 3 years.
3. Over the years, less and less time would pass between outbursts while Trebek only continued to become stronger. On one occasion, all a woman said was the words ‘Family Owned Potato Farm’ and the next instant she was gone. People just got used to this part of the show and many even embraced it. It wasn’t until 2005, almost 13 years since the first destruction, that Trebek faced any sort of backlash from one of his attacks. All I will say is it was Kids Week. It was rough.
4. The unseen side effect of this was that, instead of reigning Trebek in and not letting him use his powers during filming, the studio decided to only bring on unlikeable or boring contestants on the off chance Alex let his mind loose. This has prompted discussion across many academic circles about the morality of such an institution, but ratings have never been better! Just last week, my old neighbor Gary was on the show and began to tell another story about his rutabagas and my dreams came true.
I can’t wait to see who he obliterates next!
This was written by Nathan Ellwood, yes that’s me. Follow him @NPEllwood.