Alex Trebek reveals the ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants that irk him

If you want to stay on Alex Trebek’s good side, try not to do this on “Jeopardy!”

The game-show host gave an interview to Vulture and touched on what he doesn’t love.

“What bothers me is when contestants jump all over the board even after the Daily Doubles have been dealt with,” Trebek said. “Why are they doing that? They’re doing themselves a disservice.”

He also had some insight as to how to play the game.

“When the show’s writers construct categories, they do it so that there’s a flow in terms of difficulty, and if you jump to the bottom of the category you may get a clue that would be easier to understand if you’d begun at the top of the category and saw how the clues worked,” Trebek said. “I like there to be order on the show, but as the impartial host I accept disorder.”

Trebek sounds as if he would also like some contestants to think bigger.

“I have been disappointed when contestants made conservative wagers because they don’t realize the obvious,” he said. “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. So if you’ve landed on what should be an easier Daily Double clue, why not take a chance?”

Not that he tries to influence players, he said, but he will make a joke about it.

“You’ll hear me say things like, ‘You made it a true Daily Double in the first round when you only had a $1,000. Now that you’ve got $13,000, I’m sure you’ll want to make it another true Daily Double,’ ” the host said. “But I’m not seriously suggesting they make that wager.”

There was a bit of a panic among fans not too long ago when Trebek’s comments during an interview made it sound like he may be retiring.

He said the uproar was overblown.

“I don’t understand the publicity around it. The same thing happened when I shaved my mustache off in 2001,” said Trebek, who reportedly renewed his contract with the show through 2022. “It got so much play. Folks, get a life. There are more important things.”

Trebek said he knows his purpose on the show and tries to stick with it.

“The stars of the show are the contestants and the game itself,” he said. “That’s why I’ve always insisted that I be introduced as the host and not the star. 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.’

“Because if they do well, the show does well,” Trebek added. “And if the show does well, by association I do well.”

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