Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was back taping episodes this week, just days after releasing a video announcing that he has stage IV pancreatic cancer. That’s a very serious type of cancer, and while Trebek says that he’s going to fight and continue to host the popular syndicated game show, I’m sure the producers are already thinking about who will take over for Trebek when he leaves the show (he has three years left on his contract and will probably leave at that time anyway, regardless of his health).
This is really sad. As Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings said in The New York Times this week, Trebek is sort of a national treasure. There aren’t many shows like Jeopardy! on the air, and there aren’t many people on the air like Trebek. He’s a throwback and a welcome presence in our living rooms every night. He has hosted the show for 35 years, and it’s hard to see it continuing without him.
It will continue, of course. I just dread that the producers will try to make Jeopardy! more “hip” by getting a younger host to replace Trebek. Yes, I know, you can say that Trebek was younger when he started the show, but 1984 young is different than 2019 young. I don’t want to see Ryan Seacrest or Billy Bush or Kelly Ripa hosting the greatest game show of all time.
If they want to have a smooth transition to a new host, that host has to have some years on them. They have to have some seriousness and gravitas, but also a silly side that makes jokes. That special combo of really smart but also rather out of touch. A lot of people may think that anyone can sit in a chair and read questions on a card, but it’s not that simple. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and it’s not going to be easy to replace Alex Trebek.
Previously on Fuller Jailhouse …
Rudyard Kipling once famously said, “If you want to go to college, don’t lie about wanting to be on their crew team.” Okay, he never actually said that, but still, you shouldn’t lie about wanting to be on a college crew team.
By now you’ve probably heard that the FBI busted a college entrance fraud racket this week. Among the 44 or so parents and coaches indicted were actresses Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Fuller House and those Hallmark Channel movies where she solves murders that involve … garage sales?). Huffman allegedly paid the ringleader of the years-long scam $15,000 to ensure her daughter got a good grade on a college entrance exam, while Loughlin is said to have paid $500,000 to get her two daughters designated as crew team recruits, even though the only crew they had any experience with was shopping at J. Crew. Huffman was taken into custody at her Los Angeles home. Loughlin was in Canada filming a movie and appeared in court later. Yesterday, Hallmark said they will no longer work with her, and Netflix dropped her from Fuller House.
Some crimes are dumb, some are embarrassing. This happens to be both.
If they ever make a Lifetime movie about this — maybe they can call it Making the Grade: The College Cheating Story — I know two actresses that would be just perfect for the roles.
Do You Like Daylight Saving Time?
Everyone always gets excited this time of year because the days grow longer. We set our clocks ahead an hour last weekend, which means there’s more sun, more hours in the day, and more time to do things. Before you know it, it’s going to be light until well past 8 p.m.!
I hate it.
I was reading this Slate piece about why people hate Daylight Saving Time, and it seems that people hate it because they don’t like losing an hour’s sleep. I’ve never really understood that. It’s only an hour and it’s only one morning that you have to get used to the time change, isn’t it? What’s the big deal? There are so many other perfectly legitimate reasons to hate this time of year (as regular readers of this column know). I think most people like the months from March until November more than the fall and winter months. Or at least they say they do. They’ll complain about losing an hour’s sleep, but they’ll take the warmer temps, the longer days, and the ability to wear flip-flops again.
I mentioned last week that I’m ready for spring and warmer weather. I only wish it would last just a month or so and then we could go right into the fall again.
But what about you? Do you like it when it’s daylight until past 8, or do you like the colder months when it gets dark early? Let me know below.
Indie Bookstores Are Thriving
We’ve talked about the whole Amazon vs. bookstores thing several times here, but it’s worth talking about again. While we can lament the passing of big chains like Borders and Book World and B. Dalton — and Barnes & Noble isn’t looking the healthiest these days — independent bookstores are actually doing fairly well. We’re even seeing new ones pop up all the time. Why do they seem to be doing okay when the big chains failed? The Boston Globe has some of the answers.
RIP Jan-Michael Vincent, Dan Jenkins, Hal Blaine, Jerry Merryman, and Jed Allan
Jan-Michael Vincent was best known for his role on the ’80s action series Airwolf. He also had roles in movies like The Mechanic, White Line Fever, and The World’s Greatest Athlete, as well as TV shows like The Survivors, The Winds of War, Gunsmoke, and The Banana Splits, where he costarred in the “Danger Island” segments. He died last month at the age of 73.
Dan Jenkins was a veteran sportswriter and author of several acclaimed books, including Semi-Tough, which was made into a 1977 movie starring Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson. He died last week at the age of 89.
Jenkins’ daughter Sally wrote a remembrance of her dad for the Washington Post.
Hal Blaine was a drummer for the Wrecking Crew, the band of talented studio musicians who played on hundreds of albums. That’s Blaine drumming on such classic songs as “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, “Return to Sender” by Elvis Presley, “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra, “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes, and “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand, as well as on the theme songs to The Partridge Family and Batman. He died Monday at the age of 90.
Jerry Merryman was one of the inventors of the pocket calculator. He died last month at the age of 86.
Jed Allan appeared on several soap operas, including Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara, as well as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lassie, and Beverly Hills, 90210. He also hosted the game show Celebrity Bowling in the ’70s. He died last weekend at the age of 84.
This Week in History
Coca-Cola Sold in Bottles for First Time (March 12, 1894)
The first glass bottles of the soft drink were sold in Joseph Biedenharn’s soda fountain in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
First Gold Record: Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star” (March 14, 1958)
Here’s a 1960 interview with Como by the Post’s Pete Martin.
Spring starts next Wednesday (at 5:58 p.m. ET, if you keep track of things that closely), and when that happens, our eating habits change. Oh, they probably don’t for everyone, but if you’re like me, when the warmer months start, your thoughts turn to lighter fare.
Let’s get a head start on the season with this recipe from Curtis Stone for Bruschetta with Spring Pea Pesto and this Strawberry Spring Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette. You can wash those down with some Grilled Pineapple Lemonade or a Lavender Sapphire Collins. And if you’re throwing a “welcome spring” party, why not welcome it like it’s 1943?
Of course, it is still March and there are plenty of cool days and nights ahead. Maybe there’s still some time to squeeze in a few more mugs of hot chocolate before we have to start thinking about flowers and baseball.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
March Madness Begins (March 19)
Its popularity is something I’ve never understood, but if you’re filling out a bracket, here’s a complete schedule of all the games.
Featured image credit: Ryan J. Thompson / Shutterstock.com
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