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Alex Trebek was a national treasure; he carried grace, authority, and also understated humor to the distinct job of hosting Jeopardy! CBS’ an overwhelming trivia quiz display could have been off-putting to viewers, however instead ended up being a half-hour of common excitement that’s lasted because that decades. V 37 seasons of daily syndication, and counting, Jeopardy! stays an educational American tradition.

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When Trebek pass away from pancreatic cancer top top November 8, 2020, the human being mourned his loss. I understand I spent plenty of nights v my university roommates, competitively the town hall the ring released on Netflix: a memory (and efficient drinking game) that is now dear to me. Yet amidst the touching tributes, a brand-new conversation arose. Who can step increase to host the influential video game show? Who might possibly fill Trebek’s well-worn shoes? (For now, Ken Jennings is pour it until it is full in.) It appears that most have actually forgotten Trebek himself began as a replacement for the original organize of Jeopardy: arts Fleming.

The begin of ‘Jeopardy!’ and the “Quiz display Scandals”

Art Fleming was the very first host the Jeopardy! that led the show’s original run on NBC native 1964 come 1975, once the conceit ? contestants comment in the form of inquiries ? still seemed preposterous. The brain child that TV mastermind Merv Griffin, Jeopardy! to be designed to revive the quiz display genre, which had fallen out of fashion ~ a series of quiz present scandals during the 1950s. The exposure that rampant cheating ~ above shows prefer The $64,000 Question, Twenty-One, and also Dotto tarnished the reputation of seemingly scholastic programs. The yes, really Jeopardy! is now synonymous with the return the integrity come TV game shows. But in order for the formula to work, Griffin needed a trusted host. Get in the art Fleming.

Quiz Show

Art Fleming had operated as one actor and also radio announcer before he was found by Merv Griffin v a commercial because that Trans civilization Airlines. Griffin found Fleming “authoritative, however warm and interesting.” Soon, Fleming was hosting “the world’s greatest quiz show” ? and also having a good time. A trivia buff himself, Fleming never ever missed a taping the Jeopardy! and also appeared in 2,858 episodes. Jeopardy! to be canceled in 1974, but revived for a single season in 1978, i beg your pardon Fleming again hosted. The young Canadian newscaster Alex Trebek to be not brought on come Jeopardy! till the 3rd iteration the the program showed up on CBS in 1984.

Arthur Fleming Fazzin to be born and also raised in new York City, the kid of William and also Marie Fazzin, 2 dancers who had emigrated native Austria. In ~ just 4 years old, the starred in a Broadway play and also is career in entertainment was born. Fleming walk on to attend Colgate University and also Cornell University, wherein he played sports and earned many degrees; the pundit background would certainly eventually assist Fleming create his authority as a confident television host. Art Fleming was also a people War II veteran, having actually served in the United says Navy for almost four years as a patrol bomber pilot.

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Following his time in the service, Fleming collection off to pursue a job in entertainment. He to be a stunt dual for Ralph Bellamy in Man versus Crime. In 1959, that starred together detective Ken Franklin in the ABC collection International Detective and also as lawyer Jeremy Pitt in The Californians. He likewise appeared in countless TV commercials, which is whereby his talent was discovered by Merv Griffin.

Art Fleming ~ above Later through Bob Costas

Following arts Fleming’s decade-plus on Jeopardy!, Merv Griffin decided to move the show to Los Angeles. A brand-new Yorker in ~ heart, Fleming neglected to proceed move west and his power as host. However that go not prevent him indigenous making numerous cameos in American media. He appeared in the Gregory Peck movie MacArthur, and as himself in Airplane II: The Sequel. Fleming has likewise popped increase in various episodes that Starsky and Hutch and also Kingston: Confidential. And he even ongoing his love because that hosting with the CBS Radio program, College Bowl, and also two St. Louis radio talk reflects of his own, At her Service and also Trivia Spectacular. Watch him here in ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s music video clip for the song, “I shed on Jeopardy.”

Like his eventual successor, Art Fleming additionally died that pancreatic cancer. He passed away in 1995 in crystal River, Florida at the age of 70. And along with Trebek, we have Fleming’s illustrious career to thank for the enduring legacy of the fan-favorite Jeopardy!

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About the author: Emily Mack, employee Writer
Emily Mack is a employee writer because that priziv.org. She at this time lives in Chicago and also has very strong opinions around where to uncover the ideal hot dog. She learned nonfiction creating at Columbia university in new York City, and recently graduated through the Ellis Avery prize for an imaginative writing. Her favourite topics space Cher, rapid fashion, Chicago urban legends, and also Jack Nicholson movies.