In the wake of Alex Trebek's passing on Sunday, fans are remembering him not only for Jeopardy!, but for his other TV appearances over the years. Trebek was a pop culture icon, with nearly five decades in the broadcast world behind him. In the age of streaming, it is possible to revisit all of the places he touched the world outside of his game show set.
Trebek passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by friends and family on Sunday morning, according to the official announcement from Jeopardy! He was 80 years old and had been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for about a year and a half. Trebek was open and frank about his illness, becoming a beacon of light to others fighting cancer. His status as a pop culture juggernaut was a factor in the comfort he brought to so many.
Over the years, Trebek appeared in several other popular TV shows outside of Jeopardy! He often played fictional versions of himself in narrative series, or a similar type of reserved, intellectual person. His stature in these fictional worlds grew as his tenure on Jeopardy! in the real world lengthened, so that his time on The Simpsons is much different from his time on How I Met Your Mother, for example.
Trebek also made appearances as himself on non-fiction shows over the years too — including interviews on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Good Morning America and The Colbert Report, among others. However, for most fans looking to revisit Trebek's career, the fictional appearances are more timeless and interesting. Here is a look at his time on TV besides Jeopardy! over the years.
Cheers naturally needed Trebek for Season 8, Episode 14, "What Is... Cliff Clavin?," in which Cliff (John Ratzenberger) competes on Jeopardy! This was a fan favorite when it aired in 1990, as it was one of the first times Trebek played a parody of himself. Jeopardy! itself only premiered in 1984, so the show had not yet been done in so many other forms.
You can watch "What Is... Cliff Clavin?" along with the rest of Cheers with a subscription to Peacock, CBS All Access or Hulu. It is also available to rent or purchase digitally on stores like Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, Vudu or Google Play.prevnext
'The Golden Girls'
Trebek next appeared on The Golden Girls in 1992, on Season 7, Episode 17: "Questions and Answers." Again, it featured a main cast member, Rose (Betty White) trying out for Jeopardy!, with Trebek playing himself as the host. This episode, along with the rest of the series, is streaming on Hulu. It can also be found through Sling TV's "Comedy Extra," an add-on that costs $5 per month. Otherwise, find it in the digital stores mentioned above.prevnext
'The Larry Sanders Show'
One of the first creative uses of Trebek as a pop culture icon on TV was in 1993 on The Larry Sanders Show Season 2, Episode 15, "Hank's Wedding." Since the sitcom was about a fictional late-night talk show, it made sense that the fictional co-host Hank (Jeffrey Tambor) would know Trebek, and ask him to officiate his wedding.
The Larry Sanders Show is streaming on HBO Max, HBO Now and HBO on demand for cable subscribers. It is available to rent or purchase on Amazon Video and iTunes.prevnext
Trebek lent his voice to Rugrats Season 2, Episode 24, "Game Show Didi," where the Pickles family matriarch appears on a TV game show. The whole series is streaming on Hulu and on CBS All Access. It can be rented or purchased in most digital stores as well.prevnext
'Beverly Hills, 90210'
Trebek next appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1995. Season 5, Episode 25 was titled "Double Jeopardy," and in it, both Brandon and Clare had nightmares where they competed against each other for a spot on the Jeopardy! college tournament.
90210 is streaming on The CW Seed app for free with ads, and on Hulu with a subscription. Otherwise, it is hard to find.prevnext
Trebek was on a beloved episode of The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 20, "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense." Here, instead of playing himself or a similar game show host, he actually played a mysterious figure who kidnapped Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson.) The series is streaming on Hulu, and is available to rent or purchase on Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes or Vudu.prevnext
Trebek makes a quick appearance in Seinfeld Season 8, Episode 9, "The Abstinence," in which George (Jason Alexander) believes he gains increased intellect from abstaining from sex. As proof, he answers all the questions on an episode of Jeopardy!
Seinfeld is streaming on Hulu and on the TBS app with a subscription. It is also available for rental or purchase.prevnext
'The Magic School Bus'
Trebek encouraged knowledge and trivia among younger TV fans on Season 3, Episode 6 of The Magic School Bus, "Shows and Tells." There, Trebek plays the host of a fictional game show for kids with a high-stakes version of the classroom classic show and tell. This beloved educational animated series is now streaming in full on Netflix, as the streaming giant is producing new episodes for the modern age.prevnext
The Simpsons Season 9, Episode 10 finds Marge competing on Jeopardy!, with Trebek's authentic voice playing himself. This episode aired in 1997, and at the time Trebek was already a TV icon, though he would go on to host the show for 23 more years. The Simpsons is streaming on Disney+.prevnext
Nine years later, Trebek would play himself again in another irreverent cartoon for adults: Family Guy Season 4, Episode 21, "I Take Thee Quagmire." In it, Peter plays as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, while Mayor West is on Jeopardy! West pronounces Trebek's name backwards, "Kebert Xela," somehow magically banishing him to an alternate dimension.
Family Guy is streaming on Hulu, with some seasons available elsewhere. Most digital stores also carry the cartoon.prevnext
'How I Met Your Mother'
Trebek appeared on How I Met Your Mother twice — once in 2010's Season 6, Episode 12, "False Positive," and again in Season 8, Episode 15, "P.S. I Love You." In both cases, Trebek played the same fictional version of himself. In the first appearance, he hosted a fictional game show called Million Dollar Heads or Tails, while in the second, he is one of several Canadian celebrities who comment on the fictional music career of "Robin Sparkles" in a parody of a VH1-style documentary.
How I Met Your Mother is streaming on Hulu, and can be rented or purchased on most digital stores.prevnext
'Hot in Cleveland'
Trebek appeared on Hot in Cleveland in Season 5, Episode 1, "Stayin' Alive." On this show, he narrates one full episode full of self-referential jokes, before then revealing that he works a weekend job as a Park Ranger. Hot in Cleveland is streaming on CBS All Access, and through the Comedy Central add-on for Amazon Prime Video. It is also available to rent or purchase on most digital stores.prevnext
'Orange Is the New Black'
Finally, Trebek's most recent appearance on a narrative TV show came in Season 6, Episode 1 of Orange Is the New Black: "Who Knows Better Than I." Trebek poked fun at himself once again in this appearance, proving that he always maintained a good sense of humor about his place in the pop cultural canon. OITNB is a Netflix original series and is streaming only there.prev