The longtime Jeopardy! host made memorable appearances on Cheers, The Golden Girls, The Simpsons, SNL, The X-Files, Arthur, and many more.

By Tyler Aquilina
Updated November 09, 2020 at 12:49 PM EST
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Alex Trebek, longtime Jeopardy! host, died Sunday at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Over the years, the emcee made numerous appearances on other TV shows and movies, often as himself. In many instances, characters were contestants on Jeopardy! — such was the case with The Golden Girls, White Men Can’t Jump, Cheers, and more. Other times, he played a similarly-named host of a Jeopardy!-like show — like Arthur and Rugrats.

Credit: NBC; Fox; FOX via Getty Images

But Trebek’s talents extended beyond the set of his game show; he also played characters on Hot in Cleveland and The X-Files.

Below, see more of Trebek in action.

Cheers

Trebek frequently played himself in movies and shows where the characters competed (or dreamed they were competing) on Jeopardy! One of the most memorable of these was Cliff’s (John Ratzenberger) go-round on Cheers, which culminated in him losing everything with the immortal question: “Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?”

The Golden Girls

Trebek also showed up on The Golden Girls when Dorothy (Bea Arthur) dreams she has lost in Final Jeopardy! to Rose (Betty White). In addition, the episode featured an appearance by Jeopardy! creator Merv Griffin, and Charley’s (David Leisure) SNL "Celebrity Jeopardy!"-worthy response: “I didn’t know the answer so I drew a little man.”

Beverly Hills, 90210

Yet another entry in the “Jeopardy! dream” subgenre, Beverly Hills, 90210's Clare Arnold (Kathleen Robertson) fantasizes that she wins a Brandon Walsh-themed round of Jeopardy!, prompting Trebek and announcer Johnny Gilbert to present her with her own Brandon as a prize.

White Men Can’t Jump

Credit: 20th Century Fox

In the 1992 film, Gloria (Rosie Perez) realizes her lifelong dream of appearing on Jeopardy! and wins thanks in part to the category “Foods That Begin With the Letter Q.” That category appeared on the real show five years later.

Arthur

More than once, Trebek appeared as a similarly-named game show host on an animated series. On PBS' Arthur, he voiced Alex Lebek, host of the show RiddleQuest. Following news of Trebek's death, the beloved kids' show tweeted out a memory of the host.

Rugrats

He also provided the voice for Alan Quebec on Nickelodeon’s Rugrats. The character’s name here was presumably a reference to Trebek’s Canadian roots.

The X-Files

Trebek appeared in a 1996 episode of The X-Files as a Man in Black who happens to look a lot like a certain game show host.

Orange Is the New Black

Watch this clip for the hilarious experience of seeing Alex Trebek say, “I’m here, bitch!” on Orange Is the New Black.

The Simpsons

When Marge went $5,200 in the hole on Jeopardy!, Trebek voiced an animated version of himself to demand the money. Because as everyone knows, you have to pay back your total when you go in the red on Jeopardy! (That’s not true. But you won’t get the home version.)

Saturday Night Live

For Will Ferrell‘s final episode as a Saturday Night Live cast member, the real Trebek joined his longtime impersonator to bid a fond farewell to the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch (although it returned multiple times when Ferrell hosted SNL and on the show’s 40th anniversary special).

Hot in Cleveland

Trebek appeared in a live episode of the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland as yet another version of himself: Park Ranger Alex Trebek, who spends his weekends helping women in… jeopardy. (We didn’t write that one.)

The Larry Sanders Show

Trebek was one of many celebrities to appear as themselves on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, officiating Hank’s (Jeffrey Tambor) live-broadcast wedding. “Tell Vanna I said hi,” Larry (Garry Shandling) tells him.

Baywatch

Credit: NBC

In a 1998 episode of Baywatch, Alex (Mitzi Kapture) wants to be a Jeopardy! contestant, and serendipitously saves Trebek from drowning. But she comes to regret it — because you can’t be on Jeopardy! if you know anyone who works on the show.

How I Met Your Mother

In the HIMYM universe, Trebek also hosted “Million Dollar Heads or Tails,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Naturally, his trademark professionalism even extended to this absurd game show.

Short Cuts

Credit: Fine Line Features

One of Trebek’s more unusual cameos came in Robert Altman’s late-period, Los Angeles-set ensemble piece Short Cuts. In a typically L.A. moment, the characters spot Trebek and his mother attending a choir concert. You never know where you might run into a celebrity in this town!

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