30 Years of Stache

The Evolution of Alex Trebek's Mustache (PHOTOS)

As ‘Jeopardy!’ launches its 30th season, an homage to the real star of the show: Alex Trebek’s facial hair.

Everett; AP; Getty

Everett; AP; Getty

How’s this for the ultimate revenge of the nerds? Monday kicks off Jeopardy!’s 30th anniversary season. As all of us are most certainly aware, Jeopardy! is much more than just a fun way to swallow feelings of shame and intellectual inadequacy with your TV dinner. It’s also the site of an epic love affair between a game show host, Alex Trebek, and his facial hair. His mustache has confounded and intrigued viewers 22 minutes a day for three decades now. This is its story.

Everett; AP; Getty

How’s this for the ultimate revenge of the nerds? Monday kicks off Jeopardy!s 30th anniversary season. As all of us are most certainly aware, Jeopardy! is much more than just a fun way to swallow feelings of shame and intellectual inadequacy with your TV dinner. It’s also the site of an epic love affair between a game show host, Alex Trebek, and his facial hair. His mustache has confounded and intrigued viewers 22 minutes a day for three decades now. This is its story.

Courtesy Everett Collection

In the early ’70s, Trebek paired his junior porn stache with a tasteful mini-fro. With his luscious poof of curls and artfully manicured, precocious facial hair, the TV host looks like the first kid in your Hebrew school class to go through puberty.

Courtesy Everett Collection

This hapless woman on the left is the first of many to fall victim to the seductive charms of Alex Trebek’s mammoth mustache. We hear even the IBM Watson computer has made a pass. Here, the star poses with the sly smile of a man who knows that bigger really is better.

Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Part handlebar, part chocolate smudge you forgot to wipe off your face, this is a bold stache that doesn’t apologize, even though it probably should. We don’t know if Trebek’s confident pout is the result of supreme mustache pride, or the unintentional side effect of a very tight suit.

Rocking a kooky floral tie and clashing pinstripe jacket, Trebek appears to be daring viewers to tear their eyes away from his facial hair. Challenge not accepted.

Courtesy Everett Collection

Did a bitter ex pay a stylist to persuade the TV host to don this all-white, cowboy-inspired 1975 getup? Did Trebek mistake a small family of furry rodents for a toupee? Jeopardy! scholars can only wonder. 

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Despite showing up a couple of decades late to his high school yearbook picture, Trebek nailed it. With his exotic blue tie, rugged stache, and a dreamy faraway look in his eyes, he’s the hottest super senior in school. 

Alan Greth/AP

Swoon or cringe? Swoon, duh! Just gaze at Trebek's salt-and-pepper in all its uber-’80s glory in this 1988 photo, taken at Trebek's Los Angeles home.

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Trebek’s proud “Look! No hands!” expression in this picture is the mark of a man who has truly arrived. Trebek looks confident, handsome, and at one with his fierce facial hair.

Getty Images

Trebek poses with Ken Jennings in 2004. Notice the grimace. Without his mustache, Trebek appears vulnerable, naked, and alone. Haunting stuff.

Amanda Edwards/Getty

It’s 2010. After a period of mourning, we’ve all come to terms with a mustache-less Alex Trebek. We’ll never know if the famed TV host is sad without his mustache or even slightly colder. But we’ll always be grateful for the many decades he shared his stunning stache with the world. Rest in peace, mustache, and long live Alex Trebek’s bracelet.