Alex Trebek’s sense of humor came out “even more so in person than you would see on the show,” Brad Rutter said

By Ally Mauch
January 07, 2021 06:18 PM
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Jeopardy! champion Brad Rutter is recalling a time that late host Alex Trebek decided to play a light prank on his contestants.

During a radio appearance on WOGL Thursday, Rutter reminisced on the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, during which he competed against fellow stars Ken Jennings and Jerome Vered.

“We were so nervous, we were just all pale as a ghost,” Rutter said of the experience.

To “cut the tension,” he said one of them jokingly suggested that they participate in the show without pants on.

Brad Rutter and Alex Trebek
| Credit: Eric McCandless via Getty (2)

“What we didn’t know was that our mics were live, and Alex heard us,” Rutter said.

When the announcer introduced Trebek, the longtime host decided to have some fun with the three competitors. “Alex came out with no pants on,” Rutter recalled.

Rutter added that Trebek’s sense of humor came out “even more so in person than you would see on the show.”

“You’re really just not allowed to talk about much,” he told WOGL of being on Jeopardy! “I was lucky enough to be on the show so often that I got to know Alex a little.”

Alex Trebek
| Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Trebek died in November at age 80 after suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Jeopardy! began airing the final episodes with Trebek as host on Monday. He finished taping his last shows on Oct. 29 — just 10 days before he died.

Though his final episode was originally set to air on Christmas Day, the show announced at the end of November that it would instead air "10 of his best episodes" the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. His last week of shows were held until the New Year "in order to give his millions of fans a chance to see his final appearances," the show said in a press release.

Beginning Jan. 11, a rotation of familiar faces will take over Trebek's position for now, starting with Jennings and followed by other members of the Jeopardy! family.

"Though a long-term replacement host will not be named at this time, Jeopardy! will return to the studio with a series of interim guest hosts from within the Jeopardy! family, starting with Ken Jennings," said the ABC show, which resumed production on Nov. 30, in a statement.