7 pop culture references by Alex Trebek that made 'Jeopardy!' 10 times cooler

Alex Trebek should have added 'part-time rapper' to his resume.
Published November 9, 2020 4:18 p.m. EST
Last Updated November 11, 2020 11:00 p.m. EST
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Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away on Nov. 8 at the age of 80—the official Twitter account for Jeopardy! shared the news shortly thereafter that the Canadian-born host was surrounded by friends and family as it happened. While the world continues to mourn the loss of Trebek, there are thousands of Jeopardy! clips available to re-watch and a catalogue of over 8,200 episodes that will continue to honour Trebek's legacy.Trebek has had a large impact on viewers and contestants of the show. In an episode that aired at the beginning of November, contestant Burt Thakur told the host he used to watch Jeopardy! with his grandfather. "I learned English because of you. My grandfather who raised me... I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day." Not only did Trebek inspire many people, but he also became a pop culture icon. He made guest appearances on shows including How I Met Your Mother, Hot in Cleveland, The Colbert Report, Orange is the New Black, The Simpsons and RuPaul's Drag Race. He even has his own collectible Funk Pop! Toy dressed up as the host and holding a Final Jeopardy! card in his hands.The beloved Jeopardy! legend, who holds the Guinness World Record for most episodes of a game show hosted as of June 2014, always kept his cool on-air but he had many fun moments we can look back on, including those viral little pop culture references that seem all the more clever when they come from a sharp dressing white-haired gameshow host.Here are some of Trebek's most memorable pop culture references during his 36-year reign on Jeopardy!.

Alex Meets Auto-Tune

Trebek tapped into his inner T-Pain and Travis Scott with his Alex Meets Auto-Tune category in 2010. Contestants had to identify the song he was performing "with technological help." Unfortunately, Trebek wasn't singing songs from the hit auto-tune musicians but he did sing songs like "The Farmer and the Dell," "Oh! Susanna" and "Go Down Moses." Contestants tried not to laugh as they rang in their answers to guess which songs he was performing.

Alex Trebek Making Fun of Contestant's Music Preference

During an interview portion of Jeopardy!, Trebek introduced contestant Susan's music preference as something "that doesn't sound like much fun." Susan replied, "I think it's very fun. It's called nerdcore hip-hop. It's for people who identify as nerdy, rapping about the things they love. Video games, science fiction, having a hard time meeting romantic partners. You know.""Losers, in other words," Trebek quipped. It's like when your grandpa roasts you at dinner.

Alex Trebek's Hip-Hop Feuds

Jeopardy!'s Hip-Hop Feuds category shines the spotlight on rappers and their beef within the industry. None of the contestants on this particular episode rang in to answer, "He has ended his feud with 50 Cent and also changed his physique, making his rap name less accurate." Trebek shared the answer with the contestants, saying, "That would be Fat Joe," and raised his eyebrows as contestant Sayeed laughed.

MC Trebek rapping on Jeopardy!

One of Trebek's most iconic categories on Jeopardy! goes to Let's Rap, Kids! The host rapped lyrics from Drake's "Started From the Bottom," Kendrick Lamar's "m.A.A.d. City," Lil Wayne's "6 Foot 7 Foot," Desiigner's "Panda" and Kanye West's "Famous." Trebek had a Shakespearean-like delivery of the hit songs but the most notable recitation goes to "Panda" where the host repeated the word seven times."They mad they ain't famous, they mad they still nameless... but we still hood famous. Yeah, we still hood famous," Trebek said as he rapped West's lyrics. A contestant rang in and said, "Who is Kanye West?" Trebek responded, "Yes, and I hope I don't get an email from him."

Alex Trebek invites Lin-Manuel Miranda to deliver Hamilton clues

Lin-Manuel Miranda joined Trebek to help deliver the video clues about Hamilton, which, like the show, also loves its history. Once the contestants selected all of the questions created for Hamilton, Trebek paused to thank "all of the marvelous cast of Hamilton for helping us with all of these clues," before adding, "If you're in New York go see the show, it's well worth it."

"& BEYONCÉ" Category

Trebek dedicated an entire category to Beyoncé in 2014. Each question was about Queen Bey's life including "Beyoncé's daughter sounds like a colourful plant with this first & middle name," and "Jay-Z is featured on this Beyoncé song that mentions 'that liquor get into me.'" One of the contestants answered, "what is drunk on love," which allowed another contestant to steal the answer by saying, "what is 'Drunk In Love.'"

Alex Trebek transforms into KISS rocker

Trebek went all out for Halloween 2018 by transforming into a KISS rocker with bassist and co-lead singer Gene Simmons. From the hair to the full face of makeup, Trebek really rocked this look. "If you go to the Jeopardy! website, you will see a certain game show host made up exactly like Gene Simmons. Tongue and all," Trebek tells the audience before sticking out his tongue like the KISS rocker.
Fans can continue to watch Trebek host his final episodes of Jeopardy, as the shows were pre-taped and his very last episode will air on Christmas Day.What is the best game show host ever!

[video_embed id='2073384']BEFORE YOU GO: A makeshift memorial grows at Alex Trebek's star on Canada's Walk of Fame[/video_embed]