Not many game shows have juicy, behind-the-scenes gossip to offer.
But there are few shows on TV with a devoted following like Jeopardy. Fans of the hit answer-and-question show obsess about every little detail, from the questions and the buzzers to the host, Alex Trebek.
And in a recent interview with Vulture, Trebek offered fans a glimpse of the show from his point of view, along with his hopes for what will happen to Jeopardy when he retires in 2022 (or later).
"People ask me, 'Who would you like to replace you?'"
The interview began with the question that has been on everyone's mind since it was revealed Trebek has extended his contract as Jeopardy's host- what comes next?
Trebek is now locked in until at least 2022, and his decision not to retire in 2020 surprised many Jeopardy fans.
But even if he leaves, Trebek says the game show (now in its 35th season) should carry on without him.
"It’s a good show. It should, and will, go one after I’m done," he said.
"People ask me, 'Who would you like to replace you?' The decision is out of my hands."
But in the past, Trebek weighed in on that tricky question.
In an interview for the TV series OBJECTified, Trebek suggested either LA Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Fraust or lawyer and news commentator Laura Coates could fill his shoes.
In any case, Trebek does not believe he's the only man for the job, or even the "star" of Jeopardy.
"The stars of the show are the contestants and the game itself. That’s why I’ve always insisted that I be introduced as the host and not the star," he explained.
"And if you want to be a good host, you have to figure a way to get the contestants to - as in the old television commercial about the military - 'be all you can be.'"
While Trebek has no plans to say goodbye to Jeopardy anytime soon, he can already guess what his final day on the job will look like.
"Well, it’ll take me a while to get home after taping because I leave the studio at rush hour. Then I’ll come into the house and, probably, have a glass of wine with my wife. Then we’ll look at each other and say, 'What next? What now?'"
"The gaps in people’s knowledge never cease to amaze me."
Trebek also shared some behind-the-scenes tricks of the trade with Jeopardy fans in his new interview.
To start things off, no, he does not know all the answers.
"People think because I’m the host of a fairly serious, intelligence-based quiz show that I must know all the answers. I do - because they’re written on a sheet of paper in front of me," Trebek joked.
The host even clarified that he was not "a nerdy person who spends all his time researching information that might come in handy on Jeopardy."
But even if he's not a quiz whiz, Trebek has seen more games of Jeopardy than anyone, and has noticed a few bad mistakes that players routinely make.
"I have been disappointed when contestants made conservative wagers [on Daily Doubles] because they don’t realize the obvious. And that is, if a clue is in the second box from the top, it’s going to be easier than a clue at the bottom of the category."
But Trebek's best piece of "advice" for anyone hoping to win big on the show is dead simple.
"Know the material."
The host even commented on some of the most popular viral moments from the show, including when he shamed three contestants for knowing nothing about football.
"The gaps in people’s knowledge never cease to amaze me. And on occasion, all three players have the same gap. But football? America’s game?"