'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Remembered By Friend Of 60 Years

By Hayden Brooks

November 12, 2020

Tributes are pouring in for the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who died on Sunday (November 8), but one of the more in-depth accounts of the beloved TV icon comes from Canadian entertainer Alan Hamel.

With over 60 years of friendship under his belt, Hamel spoke to Page Six about his late friend, admitting that he even gave him his first big break. "I did a pilot for an American Bandstand-type dance show in Canada [called Music Hop in 1963]. The network didn’t pick it up, so I moved on and started doing a late-night show," Hamel told the celebrity gossip outlet, adding that he referred Trebek to producers when Music Hop made its way on-air.

"On Sunday mornings, we would go to this old-fashioned Russian steam bath," Hame recalled of their early friendship, which included a number of "naked hairy Russian guys yelling at each other in Russian, and beating each other up."

Both Trebek and Hamel ended up scoring success and moved to the States, where they partook in plenty of double dates with their wives in Malibu, California. Fast forward to his close friend’s passing, Hamel only seems to have pleasant memories of his loyalty. "If you wanted a friend for life, Alex was it … he was always there for you, and very loyal, wry, sardonic … very bright," he explained. "He sure knew a whole lot about stuff … he had this brain that was filled with millions of questions from Jeopardy!"

Photo: Getty Images

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