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Nerdist Podcast: Alex Trebek
Episode 521: Nerdist Podcast
Alex Trebek
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Alex Trebek

The legendary Alex Trebek sits down with Chris to talk about starting out his career as a news reporter in Canada, how he has seen Jeopardy! over the years, the importance of not letting ego get in the way of happiness, and the time Chris was on Celebrity Jeopardy and won!

Watch the final Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades tonight, May 16th!

Photo credit: CBS Television Distribution

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  1. I think Trebek’s comedy voice is the best thing ever “Oh yeah those berries are fine” haha

    • Mike Paice says:

      His “comedy voice” is very Johnathan Winters like.  But hard to fault a guy for imitating a legend.

  2. Stephen says:

    A petit… never mind. Let’s move to animal sounds for 400.

  3. Stacy says:

    Chris’s “nerd” party line is that a “nerd” is just some one who gets overly excited about any certain topic…. generally stuff like graphic novels, or video games or D & D or science or music  (or DMB for Matt) or comedians.   Whatever your “thing” is – right?  However Alex made at least 4 NBA references (Clippers 2x, Donald Sterling & Dr. J) on this podcast & Chris didn’t pick up on it at all!  Clearly, basketball is Trebek’s nerd thing & even though it is not a topic Chris is as familiar with I wish he would have taken note.  That said, keep up the good work boys (& Katie) – love the variety of people your have on & you have opened my sports nerd eyes to a lot of new & cool topics.p.s. as you can see by my “aol” email I am clearly NOT a tech nerd!

  4. brandon says:

    am sorry but I hate that smug  sob

    • James says:

      OMG yes, yes, a million times yes! I am such a huge Jeopardy fan, but have always found him irritatingly pompous and his banter with contestants often seems to me to be laced with a mild air of superiority or contempt. Perhaps I just buy into the “tall poppy syndrome” but the “humble wisdom” with which he’s branded himself comes across as completely undeserved since he’s never the one responding under a buzzer and always has the right answers in front of him on a bunch of cue cards.

      I was hoping this interview would enlighten me, since he’s given so few over the years, but all it did was reinforce my distaste for Trebek and his snobbery masked as demure erudition.

  5. Anatole says:

    Anyone else hear Bryan Cranston when you forgot who the guest was?

  6. bsg says:

    Alex hosting the one game show that is possibly nerdier than Jeopardy… Starcade!

  7. PoddSocks says:

    i really enjoyed this episode. One of the best lately!

  8. stagamancer says:

    Chris, I’ve noticed that you’ve brought up the whole 54% of English words are derived from Latin before. The % of vocab derived from a particular language family does not determine which family that language belongs in. English is a Germanic language because of it syntax and grammatical structures. Plus, very basic words, like pronouns, articles, and basic verbs like to be are Germanic in origin, not Latin. 

    • LinguistPrima says:

      You really don’t know what you are talking about. English has a Proto-Germanic core in middle/old English, that is it. no one speaks that anymore, and for good reason, it was incoherent and the grammatical structure of it is stupid. It has most of it’s influence from Latin. Chris is right, any linguistic major knows that. Why don’t you? Even more so than the Germanic influence. & It’s not 54% it is higher. It’s 58% of English deriving from the Romance languages of Latin and French combined. Even French has a larger influence on English than the Germanic languages do…..  Germanic influence on english is a far minority.

    • Justin says:

      Could you be any more wrong? wow.
      syntax and sentence structure is far different. Do you think people that speak english structure sentences like that. There is a reason why english doesn’t compound words together stupidly, because it’s stupid in use to group verb+verb and noun+noun compounds. or even numbers. there is a reason why it’s written one-hundred thousand, instead of onehundredthousand. It is a Latin system of speaking arabic numbers. Not Germanic. Not much of English is Germanic anymore…. Read a book

  9. Doug says:

    Great episode, but one quick Latin correction:Only nouns and adjectives are declined.  Verbs are conjugated.

  10. Tyler says:

    Before I say anything else, I want to state that I actually did enjoy the Harrison Ford episode quite a bit.
    Now that that’s out of the way, Alex reminds me a lot of Harrison, in terms of tone, general manliness, lives his own life outside of show business, etc. Alex is really elegant, but I kept imagining this as what the Ford episode would’ve been if he hadn’t been so tight-lipped. It felt… redemptive. In any case, it was a great episode!

  11. marie says:

    what is “older men i have a boner for”? <3

  12. Bondo says:

    What is “a show well done”

  13. Pete says:

    I’m really enjoying getting to hear who Trebec is, after seeing his face and hearing his voice for decades, but never really knowing anything about who he is.
    But yea, cohosts are good.

  14. Elysa says:

    This is one of the best episodes ever. Please, please, please figure out a way to make the Trebek reality show happen, even if it’s a web-only special.

  15. Rebecca says:

    There are some episodes that are really pleasant to listen to and this was one of them. It wasn’t outrageously funny and didn’t head into really surprising territory but Alex Trebek is that kind of guy you could just listen to and enjoy because he has an easiness to him (plus his voice and diction is great).

  16. Sazzmo says:

    (Accidentally sent this in as a quemment first).
    This episode was fantastic.  I love Trebek’s voice, and it was awesome to just listen to him Chat with Chris about life.  Good job!

  17. The ice DOES melt in Edmonton just like everywhere else, and the summers are crazy hot.  Don’t believe Trebeks lies and slander people.

  18. MOAK says:

    This ep was friggen great. Alex’s dry ass humor had me rolling. I wish Chris had asked him about SNL Celebrity Jeopardy.

  19. Being a Jeopardy junkie I squealed when I saw Trebek was going to be on. I always thought he seemed like a pretty cool guy, but DUDE!!!! They guy is truly fascinating! Fixing stuff, all the charitable work, just seems like a really swell guy!
    Also, I was like Chris, thinking no one could ever replace Trebek. But he does make a valid point in pointing out Hardwick would be a great new host for Jeopardy whenever they’re on the market for one. 

  20. Luke M. says:

    I seriously didn’t expect much from this one, but actually really enjoyed it. 

  21. DD says:

    Great episode. Good to learn Alex Trebek seems like a good guy, humble, cracking jokes. Sounds like a sports fan, so would have been nice to have Matt on this one, but the inside baseball about hosting was awesome. The ability to showcase other people, good stuff. 

  22. Chris says:

    Are Matt and Jonah ever coming back? I can’t listen to Chris only episodes. 

    • Chris Hardwick says:

      It’s not me only! Alex Friggin Trebek is on!!! You’re a fool not to listen to him. He’sawesome! I know whining takes up a lot of time but if you can squeeze this one in I highly recommend it!

      • Andrew says:

        The only thing that bugs me about Chris is when he goes off on a tangent about stand-up or gets started on one of his ‘you know, because, in comedy…”  We get it!  Talk more about the guest, you’re hilarious, work your craft into your banter.

        • Glenn says:

          The only thing about Andrew that bugs me is that when he replies an actual person he refers to them in third person.
          And I kinda agree, but you can’t really blame a workaholic comedian to almost only have frames of reference that revolve around… comedy. 

      • Eric says:

        Chris, I have no idea why these other jerks are giving you crap, but ignore them. I absolutely loved this episode, I look forward to every episode, and you are a fantastic host. I hope you do the fix-it-man show with Alex! I would watch that.

      • Chris says:

        Didn’t mean to shit on you with that. I just think you guys balance each other out very well. 

        • My plan is to potentially add a 4th ep each week that’s a dedicated hostful. Our guests are pretty pitched to us these days and it’s hard for me to say no to people I want to chat with but I also don’t want the show to lose its original vibe. We’re working on making that happen!

    • What happened to the Quemments? says:

      Jonah was just on a few episodes, though this does further Matt’s serious streak. I see where you’re coming from, though, the Chris only episodes feel more like interviews rather than a group of friends chatting. For certain guests this format isn’t a terrible thing, Trebek and Saget are good examples.

  23. I’ll take “Things Only I Know” for $400, Alex.