Jeopardy's GOAT Players Brad Rutter And Ken Jennings Reveal What Happened That Time Alex Trebek Hosted Pantsless

Ken Jennings Jeopardy!
(Image credit: Photo via ABC)

Due to their titles as two of the greatest Jeopardy! champions, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings have spent a solid chunk of time around host Alex Trebek. It's inevitable the two would have some entertaining stories about the host, though it feels few stories top the time he came out on the set of the trivia show pantsless. What events could lead to such a bizarre moment on an otherwise serious show?

The Jeopardy! The Greatest Of All Time champions have shared the story of the incident, which started with a conversation between Jennings, Rutter, and Jerome Vered during rehearsals for 2005's Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. The men were all stressed about the competition, and joked about ways to alleviate the tension. Rutter explained that someone joked about taking their pants off behind the podium, adding that no one in the audience would know. That's an odd way to relieve tension, but hey, these guys are smart so they probably know something the average person doesn't about the benefits of doing that.

At some point the joking subsided, and of course, none of the contestants actually removed their pants. So then imagine each man's surprise when Alex Trebek was called out to the stage during the rehearsal to do his typical introduction, and he just had his boxers on below the belt. As Ken Jennings explained to Mashable, this wasn't just some freaky coincidence.

He heard our mics and he thought it would be funny if he just took off his pants and walked out in his boxers, and it's the best thing I've ever seen. I didn't know I wanted to see it so much until I did.

Brad Rutter agreed with Ken Jennings' thoughts, and 15 years later it appears each man remembered the moment well enough. It's just another example of the kind of energy and fun Alex Trebek brings to Jeopardy! and why there seemingly weren't serious talks about replacing him until his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer last year. Most of that discussion is led by Trebek, who has expressed only wanting to stay provided he can perform his job to the best of his abilities. Will Rutter, Jennings, or even James Holzhauer replace him when his tenure is over?

No one has said what the plan is, though Ken Jennings hopes Alex Trebek is around for many more Jeopardy! episodes. Jennings talked about how the host is a major part of the trivia show:

I would love to see him hosting the show for years to come because he's irreplaceable. You can't imagine Jeopardy! with anybody else now. He's the best.

Ken Jennings said what many are thinking, and it is hard to imagine Jeopardy! without Alex Trebek. For now, it appears the host won't be leaving anytime soon, and still has to conclude Jeopardy! The Greatest Of All Time tournament. The playoff series between Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer has netted massive viewership for ABC, and has persuaded the network to request another special with the contestants. That may mean more Trebek in primetime soon, which should make many people happy.

Related: Following Jeopardy's GOAT Success, The Price Is Right Is Returning To Primetime

Jeopardy! The Greatest Of All Time continues on ABC Tuesday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET and will keep going until a contestant has reached three match wins. Continue to stay with CinemaBlend for more on the world of Jeopardy!, and for the latest news in television and movies.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.