Who is one of the most beloved television hosts of all-time?
The Answer Is . . . Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek is the long-time host of one of the best television shows ever. Jeopardy has become a cultural phenomenon over the past 37 years that he has hosted the program. The theme music is iconic, as is, “phrase your answer in the form of a question.”
People have been asking for a memoir from him for quite some time, but he didn’t feel the need to write the book until now. The outpouring of love and support following his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer has been inspiring. I’m always glad to see when we can show appreciation for celebrities while they are still with us.
Alex is a welcomed guest in my house every night. My toddler loves when he shows up on our television every night. There is something magical about Jeopardy with him at the helm.
I knew that I wanted to read this book, but when I saw that the audio book was narrated by him and Ken Jennings, I knew I had to listen to it instead.
Alex starts the book off but quickly hands over the reigns to Jennings. That’s understandable as they recorded this book while he was undergoing treatment and continuing to record the television program.
Fortunately, Alex pops back in throughout the narration to deliver chapters that are personal to him.
Here are a few of the passages of this book that spoke to me. I subtitled these sections myself but transcribed them from the audio. Hopefully, I wrote and punctuated them the way they are in the book. If not, I apologize.
Doubt is Good
“Most of the great accomplishments of the world have not been made by people who were certain. The accomplishments have come about as a result of people who had doubts. ‘I don’t know if this is gonna work. I don’t know how to solve this problem.’ And then they work on it as opposed to Well, this is the way to solve the problem.’”
Let Your Guard Down
“I used to think not crying meant you’re tough. Now I think crying means you’re tough. It means, you’re strong enough to be honest and vulnerable. It means you’re not pretending. And not pretending, being willing to let your guard down and show people how you truly feel, and admit that you’re a wuss, is one of the toughest things a person can do. It’s also one of the most helpful things a person can do, because sharing your feelings with others brings people close together.”
A Good Education and a Kind Heart
“A good education and a kind heart will serve you well throughout your entire life. The more you know, the more knowledge you acquire, the better off you are in dealing with other people, the more you develop an understanding for other people.”
Put the Focus on Others
“I’d like to be remembered . . . as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best because that was my job. That’s what a host is supposed to do. You’re there to make the contestants relaxed enough that they can demonstrate their skills. They are the stars of the show. . . If you do that, if you put the focus on the players rather than yourself, the viewers will look on you as a good guy.”
I want to rewrite that last quote for teachers. It really says a lot. Alex is more than a television host. He is a teacher, a leader, and friend in our living room every night. This book has a lot to say on how we can all live a rich and fulfilled life. Thank you, Alex!
My List of 2020 Reads – my annual reading (b)log