Kelsey Grammer is poised, quick witted, has a good sense of humor, and carries an aura of intellectual authority. He should be the next Jeopardy! host.
We all hoped it wasn't going to happen, although we secretly knew it probably would. Earlier this week, long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. The reason is because by the time the disease shows any symptoms -- loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain -- the cancer is already advanced. Even cancers that haven't yet metastasized (i.e., spread to other organs) can be difficult to treat. The pancreatic cancer that took the life of my good friend Sam Chi, who died in September 2017, was wrapped around blood vessels, making it inoperable.
There are different kinds of pancreatic cancer. Sam died from the most common type, called adenocarcinoma, which develops in the ducts of the organ. Mr. Trebek died from the same, and he was diagnosed with stage 4 (meaning the cancer had spread beyond his pancreas) in March 2019. According to Johns Hopkins, the average person diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer survives about one year, so Mr. Trebek lived slightly longer than expected.
Why Kelsey Grammer Should Replace Alex Trebek
Though "Jeopardy!" is synonymous with "Alex Trebek," the truth is the show has been around for quite some time. It began in 1964 -- in black and white! -- and was pretty awful, at least by modern standards. The giant digital screen that players use to choose answers didn't exist; instead, the board looked like some cheap cardboard that somebody behind the scenes had to manipulate to reveal the clues. Mr. Trebek took over in 1984, which is why Jeopardy! will never feel the same without him.
But the show must go on, and the conversation has turned to who his replacement might be. The buzz is that Ken Jennings -- the guy who roasted his competition for 74 episodes -- is the favored candidate. He certainly would be a worthy successor, but allow me humbly to provide my own suggestion: Kelsey Grammer.
The ideal Jeopardy! host is poised, quick witted, has a good sense of humor, and carries an aura of intellectual authority, either real or imagined. I have no idea if Alex Trebek was indeed a genius; everyone just assumed he was because he had all the answers (err, questions) and stated them with ease and confidence.
Kelsey Grammer checks all the boxes. He carries himself well in TV interviews. And, most importantly (to me, anyway), his long-time portrayal of pretentious Seattle radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane gives him that oh-so-special aura of intellectual authority. He looks and sounds smart, even if he isn't. So I cast my vote for Dr. Crane.
Whoever ends up replacing Mr. Trebek, one thing will remain true: He or she will have impossibly large shoes to fill.