As Alex Trebek's last "Jeopardy!" episodes aired last week, friends and fans shared their memorable experiences with the late game show host--including that one time he "came out with no pants on."
Brad Rutter, now known as a US TV host, producer and actor, was actually a former 'Jeopardy!' champion himself. He is also one of the trivia show's highest-earning contestants, ending his streak with more than $4.6 million in winnings. In an interview with 98.1 WOGL, a radio station based in Philadelphia, Rutter shared his memorable encounter with Trebek during the 2005 "Ultimate Tournament of Champions," together with previous "Jeopardy!" champs Ken Jennings and Jerome Vered.
"Alex [Trebek] came out with no pants on"
"We were so nervous, we were just all pale as a ghost," Rutter told WOGL. To help them relax, the three champs joked about playing against each other without pants, explaining that the trivia show's podiums would keep their naughty little game covered.
Rutter recalled that they didn't know their microphones were going live, and that Trebek himself heard them. As show announcer Johnny Gilbert announced the host's iconic entrance spiel, Rutter added: "Alex came out with no pants on."
Brad Rutter, the 42-year-old Pennsylvania native, hosted 'InQuizitive," a locally-broadcast quiz show for high school students until 2009. He has also been tagged to host ABC's newest game show, "The Chase," together with Jennings and James Holzhauer, also a "Jeopardy!" champion. Also, in the WOGL interview, Rutter shared that he has "a couple pilot concepts for sitcoms that I'd like to start taking out there."
Who is the Next 'Jeopardy!' Host?
When asked about the possibility of hosting "Jeopardy!" Rutter eagerly expressed interest in being Trebek's successor, counting himself lucky to personally experience the late host's unique sense of humor.
In a report from Deadline, executive producer Mike Richards said that while the search for the next host is already underway, they aren't rushing the decision.
"The search is going very well, there are a lot of people very interested in hosting Jeopardy!, which is gratifying, and also appropriately reverent of the shoes they will be stepping into," Richards told the online news portal.
For now, the American quiz show will be led by guest hosts, starting with Ken Jennings. Richards also told Deadline that the permanent new host "won't be named before spring."
Jeopardy! -- One of the World's Longest-Running Game Shows
"Jeopardy!" was created by TV host and media tycoon Merv Griffin, with its original daytime series debuting on NBC on March 30, 1964. It has been syndicated and revived, with the latest incarnation being produced by Sony Pictures Television.
In the game show, contestants are presented with clues in the form of answers, and in turn must respond in the form of questions. Airing more than 9,200 episodes, "Jeopardy!" has grown to be one of the longest-running game shows not just in the US, but around the world, having regional adaptations in other countries.
See the now-iconic sans pants scene on "Jeopardy!" and other memorable moments from the late host below: