Entertainment

Update: Why Alex Trebek doesn't seem to be rooting for latest Jeopardy winner

The host clearly doesn’t enjoy humouring Austin Rogers, a rogue class clown who won’t play his serioso game.

Jeopardy champion Austin Rogers' on-screen antics are winning him a cult following.

Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Jeopardy champion Austin Rogers' on-screen antics are winning him a cult following.

The Update: Alex Trebek was travelling in the Galapagos Islands for the show when he read Schneller’s column.

"Because you are a fellow Canadian I will respond politely…you are totally off base. Austin was fun to be with, and slightly irreverent,” he said in a statement. 

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The Show: Jeopardy, Oct. 6, 2017 (Yes TV)

The Moment: The ninth win

Alex Trebek does not like nine-time winner Austin Rogers, a New York City bartender who, as of Friday, had racked up $332,400 US. Austin, 38, sports unbrushed, bushy hair and natty jacket/shirt/tie combos. He mugs during his intros. He waves his hands. He bets eccentric amounts that he plucks out of the air.

When Trebek tries to josh about Rogers — “He’s got hair, he’s got chutzpah, and he’s got broad-based knowledge” — he sounds defeated.

When he says, “Austin has a bit of the showman in him,” what he means is, “Austin, go away.”

Mostly Trebek hates how Rogers brushes off his (temporary) losses: When Rogers bets his whole wad ($4,600) on a Daily Double, loses, then shrugs and says, “All right, whatever,” the irk in Trebek’s voice is palpable.

Are you onto this guy? I happened to catch Rogers by accident on Friday, and saw immediately that he’s a thing: He comments on #austinonjeopardy, a Twitter hashtag fans created for him.Strangers gather at the Gaf Bar in Hell’s Kitchen, where he still works (the shows were taped in April), to watch. Many loathe him.

But no one so much as Trebek. Until 2003, Jeopardy limited contestants to five wins. Then they figured out that streaks lead to ratings. Trebek has always run the show like a manager of a restaurant that’s trying hard to be classy — “Hey, I’ll joke with you, but show me proper respect.”

He clearly doesn’t enjoy humouring this rogue class clown who won’t play his serioso game.

Editor's note: In an earlier version of this column, the hashtag #austinonjeopardy was misidentified as a Twitter account.

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