Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!'s 30th Anniversary: "We're Always Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve"
Alex Trebeck | Photo Credits: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Jeopardy! turns the big 3-0 this year, and the show is pulling out all the stops for its anniversary celebration.
Beginning Monday, the game show juggernaut will be giving away 30 all-expense-paid excursions to places like Antarctica, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Greece through its "Explore the World Sweepstakes." Viewers can enter to win at www.jeopardy.com.
"There are so many fascinating places on earth," Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek said at an event last month. "If we don't know about other societies and how they developed, how are we going to be able to get along with them?"
Next spring, the show will also debut the "Battle of the Decades" tournament, bringing back fan-favorite contestants from each of its three decades to compete against each other.
"We brought back some of our teens as adults, and I didn't recognize anybody," Trebek told TVGuide.com. "But it was fun."
Jeopardy! doesn't have any major changes up its sleeve, but will continue to stick to the tried and true formula that's made it a cultural touchstone for the past 30 years.
"Any time a television program can celebrate 30 consecutive years on the air is something special, I believe," Trebek says. "And Jeopardy! takes its mission seriously. Our mission is to educate, to inform and entertain people of all ages, all backgrounds. ... We're always trying to stay just a little bit ahead of the curve."
So what's the secret to the show's success?
"Americans are very competitive, and they like to be challenged," Trebek says. "They especially like to be challenged intellectually, and Jeopardy! does that. You can't watch Jeopardy! just in passing. It demands your attention. You need to focus on it. And you get an opportunity in the safety and security of your own home to test yourself. ... We're a quality program. We don't demean or insult our contestants. We do not demean or insult the subjects of our clues. So, that helps. I like to think we're a class act."
Are you surprised Jeopardy! is still on the air after 30 years?