Arbiter of truth. Oracle of knowledge. Lover of … briefs. Years before Alex Trebek summoned the GOATs for their very own Jeopardy! prime-time battle (coincidentally, the last good thing before the coronavirus), you may recall that the show hosted an Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, which gathered three of the show’s most successful contestants at the time: Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and Jerome Vered. Rutter may have been the one to buzz himself to victory, but as he told radio station WOGL in a new interview, Trebek’s bare thighs and chiseled Canadian knees were the actual winners, as the host decided to relieve the trio’s tension by going pantless at the start of the show. “We were so nervous. We were just all pale as a ghost,” Rutter explained. “I can’t remember who it was, but one of us suggested, Hey, let’s play without pants. There’s these podiums in front of us that will cut the tension. What we didn’t realize was that our mics were live, and Alex heard us.”
Trebek, who reveled in the refined silliness of the situation, proceeded to strut out half dressed and persuade Jeopardy!’s camera crew to “make sure they have done the same as I” with their trousers, providing us with what might be the show’s first aerial view of the lecterns (very mid-century modern with a lot of knobs). Nothing goes further than a loose zipper, but still: We may need to kick back a few Potent Potables after watching.