Alex Trebek is a true legend. The long-serving host of Jeopardy! had other jobs besides hosting the nightly game show, but he’ll forever be remembered for his tenure there. For more than 36 years, Trebek delighted audiences with his wit and candor. He made everyone feel smarter — or at least want to be.
There’s no denying that the Jeopardy! host was a brilliant person. However, his intellect didn’t stop him from embracing his inner child and coloring with Crayola crayons on set. It turns out there was a very logical reason for him opting for colorful writing implements rather than something more conventional.
Alex Trebek kept hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ following his cancer diagnosis
No one would have faulted Trebek for stepping back and taking a break from work after finding out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. But instead, the longtime Jeopardy! host vowed to continue working until he was no longer able.
And even though some days were hard, he was happy to keep doing what he loved during the time he had left. “I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die,” Trebek told Good Morning America. “Because of the cancer diagnosis, it’s no longer an open-ended life, it’s a closed-ended life because of the terrible…survival rates of pancreatic cancer.”
In the end, Trebek lived longer than doctors predicted, surviving almost two years after his diagnosis. He died on Nov. 8, 2020.
His memoir revealed how he used Crayola crayons on ‘Jeopardy!’
Before his death, Trebek penned a memoir as a way to preserve his legacy. The Answer Is … Reflections on My Life included personal anecdotes plus behind the scenes information about his career with Jeopardy!. That’s where the host discussed using Crayola products at work.
The book says Trebek used crayons to mark off selected clues during the show, The Morning Call reported. He did this to keep from reading a clue more than one time.
And the reason he used Crayola crayons wasn’t just for fun. Apparently, the wax crayons were silent when he drew with them and the sound didn’t get picked up by the microphone.
“Initially, I used to use a Sharpie, and people would say, ‘We’re picking it up on the microphone. Shhhh- shhh! Shhh-shhhh!’” Trebek said in the interview with The Dan Patrick Show in 2014. “So they came up with Crayola.”
From then on, Trebek used crayons, including Twistables specifically.
Crayola was also featured as a ‘Jeopardy!’ category
A Jeopardy! spokesperson confirmed that Trebek colored with Crayola crayons on set. And that’s not all. Crayola also debuted on the show under the categories “Crayola Colors” and “Crayola Colors in Other Forms.”
A Crayola spokesperson told The Morning Call that producers filmed clues on location and that they worked with producers to validate answers. However, Trebek never visited the Pennsylvania-based company personally.
At least they know the Jeopardy! host loved their crayons. And it’s a good thing their colorful products brought joy and happiness to Trebek on set.