November 8th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Alex Trebek

Clue: The 70-year-old Ontario native who has hosted “Jeopardy” for more than a quarter-century and who may set his sights on the Canadian governor-general’s office when his career in showbiz is over.

Answer: Who is Trebek?

More people are familiar with his career as clue handler on the long-running trivia game show than they are with his political ambitions, but that could change in coming years.

During an interview with The Globe and Mail in Toronto – in which he surprised the reporter with his knowledge of Canadian politicians - the once-mustachioed Trebek said he might seek political office five years from now.

“In five years, I will be ready to retire from showbiz,” Trebek told the paper. “And would I consider returning to Ottawa and being governor-general? Absolutely.”

Trebek was in Ottawa last week to receive a gold medal award from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his achievements in geography.

The society says that in addition to a busy television career, Trebek has hosted several student geography competitions, including the National Geographic Bee and the Geography Challenge.

Trebek’s familiarity with geography was doubtless augmented by his time as “Jeopardy” host and also by his philanthropic endeavors.

According to the game show, he has worked with World Vision to bring attention to the plights of children in impoverished countries, he adopted a village and helped build a school in Zambia, he traveled to Haiti to assist in relief efforts after the January earthquake and he supports The Smile Train, which provides cleft-palate surgery for poor children across the world. He also has done 12 USO tours since 1987.

“There are so many people who struggle on a daily basis just to get by. I feel extremely fortunate and have made it a priority in my life to help others who are in need,” Trebek has said.

Rebecca Rooney

Several relatives of dead soldiers have tried to stop Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church congregants from hoisting “God Hates Fags” signs at their loved ones’ funerals.

One has even sued him, and the Supreme Court is expected to deliver an opinion on whether the protests – as one fallen Marine’s father claims – are invasions of privacy and intentional inflictions of emotional distress. The church says it has a right to promote messages on matters such as war.

Rooney, of Weston, Missouri, didn’t feel like waiting on the high court to make sure that Sgt. 1st Class C.J. Sadell’s was carried out without disturbance.

According to WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Missouri, hundreds of people – some from as far away as Australia and Blue Springs, California – came armed with patriotic music and American flags.

They arrived early, took all the parking spots and formed a human shield at the funeral home “so that Mr. Phelps wouldn’t have a contingency that was really close,” Rooney told the CNN affiliate.

The Westboro members reportedly saw the anti-protest and left.

Sadell left behind a wife and two sons when his unit was ambushed in the Arif Kala region of Afghanistan last month.

“If you think about it, they've all gone to serve just so we could be able to do this,” Rooney told WDAF. “He didn't die in vain.”

Phelps, the leader of what has been called American’s most-hated family, has appeared at the funerals of American troops, gay men and AIDS victims, saying the deaths are God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Lisa Hoggard

The 37-year-old senior constable in Sydney, Australia, is telling the media she is no hero - but the media aren’t buying it.

When a speedboat was wedged under a ferry after a collision on the Parramatta River on Sunday, Hoggard swam under the hull of a catamaran ferry to help those trapped in the confined space.

“Three of them were trapped on the boat. They were underneath the ferry so at that point I have exited the boat and gone into the water to just make sure we knew all persons were accountable,” Hoggard told the Sydney Morning Herald.

She said it was “miraculous” there were no deaths. Six Koreans on the speedboat were injured, including one woman who suffered a fractured neck. The woman and two others remained in the hospital Monday.

The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales reported that Hoggard spent about 25 minutes under the boat helping the trapped victims.

Asked if she was a hero, Hoggard said no.

“Being under a ferry was pretty scary,” she told The Daily Telegraph, “but it's a day in the life of a NSW police officer.”

“Adrenalin just kicked in, I think,” she told the paper.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hoggard will be nominated for a bravery award.

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Filed under: Australia • Canada • Celebrity • Civil Rights • Courts • Gay and lesbian • Missouri • Most Intriguing People • Politics • Religion • Showbiz
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. kellen

    Sigh, I never make this list. I suppose if I get off the couch....

    November 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sagebrush Shorty

    He has all the answers and all the questions. Should fit right in with all the other celebrity self-styled geniuses.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dwighthuth

    Does America really need a game show host being involved with real world politics? No America does not. Stay on Jeopardy where you belong and leave politics to those who know what politics really is that does not come in the form of a Daily Double.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      He wouldn't be governor general in America. The article clearly states he is Canadian and may get involved in Canadian politics.

      November 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Peabo Pryson

    It would be worth it for the amount of sheer harassment Trebek would take...people submitting thing to him in the form of a question, using hackneyed terms like "double jeopardy" and humming the theme song to him. My only requirement is that he MUST grow the mustache back.

    "A leather glove" -Sean Connery, Celebrity Jeopardy

    November 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Hey, if Arnie can do it in California, why not Trebek in Cananda? At least Trebek has a brain!

    November 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steven Waldman

    The headline Alex Trebek for Governor was a cheap way to grab attention. There is a big difference between a Governor and Governor-General. It make Americans look unintelligent in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    November 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cesar

    Too bad they don't have a Jr. Jeopardy. This would be perfect for Tomcat. Just nothing above 10th grade please. That's where Tomcat starts having comprehension problems.

    November 9, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Preston

    Are we all so dim that we don't see the humor in Alex's comment about moving to Ottawa to become governor general? He's kidding, folks. It takes an appointment from the Queen, one doesn't run (or stand) for the office. Long-time Jeopardy! watchers will recognize the dry wit.

    November 9, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. ben macken

    best of luck trebek

    November 9, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
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