When hearing the name Alex Trebek, we tend to think about him bantering with Jeopardy! contestants, or his impeccable pronunciation of French words, or consoling humanity after the computer Watson defeated our best and brightest, insuring eventual human conquest and enslavement.
But fisticuffs? Not so much.
The 71-year-old Jeopardy! host came out of the closet as a crimefighting badass on Wednesday when he arrived at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Cal. to host the National Geographic World Championship. Trebek limped in on crutches, which required an explanation. He told the audience that he had torn his Achilles tendon while chasing a hotel burglar, and injured his other leg when the Achilles injury caused him to fall.
As Trebek told the story, he and his wife were sleeping at 2:30 Wednesday morning in their San Francisco hotel, when he was awakened by noise in the room. Spotting the female intruder, he took off down the hall after her until his Achilles injury. He pulled himself together long enough to call hotel security and describe the intruder, and soon, a 56-year-old career criminal was apprehended. Police discovered some of Trebek’s stolen goods stashed near an ice machine in the hotel, but cash and a bracelet that had been a gift from his mother are still missing.
Trebek will undergo Achilles surgery on Friday and will be on crutches for several weeks afterwards. In the meantime, let this be a lesson to Jeopardy! players who might want to argue about whether a particular answer was wrong: that nice old guy asking the questions will hurt you. Don’t test him.