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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Gene Simmons remembers Alex Trebek: "The guy had a potty mouth"

Illustration for article titled Gene Simmons remembers Alex Trebek: "The guy had a potty mouth"
Screenshot: Jeopardy!

Gene Simmons, bassist, consummate shithead, and a man so scummy and increasingly irrelevant he’s even been banned by Fox News, once appeared on Jeopardy! to celebrate Halloween by helping the late Alex Trebek put on KISS make-up, stick out his tongue, and flash the devil horns (no word on whether he paid Simmons for the use of that gesture with cash or credit). Now, though we ordinarily find it nearly impossible to listen to anything Simmons says, we’re happy to report some of his remembrances of Trebek, which are actually pretty great.


While speaking to Simmons about his new line of Gibson guitars and basses, Consequence Of Sound brought up his appearance on Jeopardy! and thoughts on Trebek. The most important insight Simmons has is that Trebek apparently “had a potty mouth” when “the cameras weren’t rolling.”

“We traded lots of, as they used to say in the 1800s, off-color jokes,” Simmons continues, strangely relegating a common term to a prior century. “ He was a funny guy and very kind and brave. I said, ‘You’re going to be putting on KISS makeup.’ [He said,] ‘Okay, let’s go.’”

Simmons also brought his usual “self-made man” bullshit into the conversation, saying that he and Trebek—guys born in Israel and Canada, respectively—are “both immigrants” who must have felt appreciation for there being “no limits to the heights you can achieve in America.” This isn’t possible “in Canada or Israel,” Simmons says. “You can only go so far.”

If there’s any takeaway from this, it’s not that Trebek sweared and enjoyed blue jokes when the cameras weren’t on. It’s that everybody, whether a normal, upstanding person or an animate hair clog like Simmons, loves Trebek. As The Demon himself himself puts it: “I haven’t heard anybody say a bad thing about [Trebek]. Lovely guy.”

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.