Like many of us, I invite Alex Trebek into my home a couple of times a week. And while I know him as the host of Jeopardy and the guy who had a laugh-out-loud perfect cameo in an episode of The X-Files, I can’t say I really know much about Mr. Trebek.
So, I was intrigued to read his reflections on his file in The Answer Is…. And while Trebek doesn’t give us every single detail of his life, he pulls back the curtain a bit so we can get to know him a bit better.
The first thing I look for in a celebrity non-fiction book is, does that voice on the page sound enough like the voice of the person I’ve seen in whatever media outlet he or she is part of. In the case of Trebek, the answer is a definitive yes. For a bit of the book, I was tempted to seek out the audiobook to hear Trebek tell his story in his own voice, but then I found out Trebek only performed the introduction.
Trebek gives is glimpses into his world growing up (I was delighted to hear him mention my favorite old radio show, The Great Gildersleeve), his personal journey and his professional journey to become the host of Jeopardy. His reasoning for referring to himself as the host of the show instead of the star is a nice one. Trebek is also willing to share some of his faults with us as well as his strengths. There are a few rallying cries for action and giving back to the community that could be considered to skew political, but they are limited to a few chapters and done in such a way so as to not necessarily call out one side or viewpoint.
In short, the book reads like if you sat down for coffee with Alex Trebek. And that’s a good thing.
Sure, I wished he’d delved a bit more into what it was like playing himself of The X-Files and Cheers, but that’s probably just me.