'Jeopardy!' GOAT Brad Rutter on Alex Trebek: "[He] Liked to Goof Around Off-Stage"

Gabrielle Bernardini - Author

Mar. 8 2021, Updated 10:25 a.m. ET

Brad Rutter / Alex Trebek
Source: Diana Ragland/ABC

These Jeopardy! GOAT competitors are no longer going head to head, but instead have teamed up for a new trivia series, The Chase. The ABC competition show follows three Jeopardy! champions — Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings, and James Holzhauer — as they face-off against three contestants in rapid-fire trivia.

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Distractify spoke exclusively with Brad, who is the all-time money winner in Jeopardy! history (netting over $5 million), about the late Alex Trebek, the category he is least confident in, and being a guest host of Jeopardy!.

brad rutter the chase
Source: Diana Ragland
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'Jeopardy!' GOAT Brad Rutter on Alex Trebek: "[He] liked to goof around off-stage."

Sadly, the iconic game show host Alex Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in November 2020. Brad opened up to Distractify about his fond memories of the late Jeopardy! host, revealing what Alex was like when the cameras weren't rolling on-set. 

"One thing that came across with him is he always had that little twinkle in his eye on the show and I think that’s a big reason why people felt so connected to him," the 43-year-old trivia competitor told us. 

He continued, "He was like that when the cameras were off too. He was always ready with a zinger and liked to goof around off-stage." 

Adding, "I think people have this image of him as a very serious guy. He did take the game very seriously, but at the same time he also had a lot of fun with it and I think that came through to the audience."

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brad rutter jeopardy alex trebek
Source: ABC

Following Alex's passing, Jeopardy! continues to tape with guest hosts filling the iconic role. Fellow GOAT and Chaser Ken Jennings previously hosted several Jeopardy! episodes. Is Brad next?

"If they want me, they know where to find me," he said. Though he told us that he doesn't really get anxious competing on the fast-paced trivia show, Brad would definitely be nervous hosting the long-running game show.

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"You’re stepping into some big shoes there and not that anybody could ever fill them … but I think I would be way more nervous trying to host the show," he told Distractify.

'The Chase': Brad Rutter reveals the category he's least confident in.

Going up against one of the GOATs of trivia is a very difficult task. But, competitors may have a leg up on Brad when it comes to this topic: pop music. 

The game show champion told Distractify that he had a feeling The Chase would throw in current pop culture topics more than Jeopardy! did. Therefore, he had to study up, telling us, "One thing that I definitely had to keep track of is the current pop charts and stuff like that."

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the chase brad rutter
Source: ABC

While some fans may think that the competitors get the topics beforehand, Brad claims that the contestants have "no idea what's going to come up," adding, "This is the first season and we didn’t really know where the writers were going to go with it." 

So, what's Brad's advice for contestants who go head to head against Chasers on the game show?

"Not being nervous is always an advantage," the trivia genius stated. "One technical thing that I’ve noticed throughout the run of the show, for the contestants there is really no downside to passing on a question, so if you don’t know something right away just pass and get another question."

The Chase airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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