If there's a question out there, Alex Trebek has probably heard it -- after all, he's heard about 300,000 of them in his career as the host of "Jeopardy!", one of television's most popular game shows.
Trebek began hosting the show when it first went into syndication in 1984 -- and a lot has changed since then. "Jeopardy! An Inside Look at America's Favorite Quiz Show" includes the premiere episode, when ties were wider, hairdos were bigger and sound effects harkened to the days of R2-D2.
Four other episodes are included as well: this year's three-part Ultimate Tournament of Champions and Ken Jennings's final game in 2004, when the trivia buff ended his 74-day run and left with more than $2.5 million.
Viewers also get a sneak peek of how the show is produced, from researching clues to finding contestants to hosting the show.
One perk of the new DVD is that viewers witness the evolution of the show, from the days when one staffer verified questions in a log book to today's dozens of staff researchers who keep a digital clue library.
The most intriguing aspect of the package is that it proves that a game show can actually be fun to watch in the DVD format.
"It's the era of the DVD, and DVDs are about leisure," Trebek said. "People don't want to be bound by TV schedules to watch their favorite shows. What I like about the extras is being able to see the show from five different camera angles, which is something that you would never get otherwise."
Quizzing Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek, who's used to hearing questions as host of "Jeopardy!", took a few from TV Week:
What other game show would you host?
"I hosted 'To Tell the Truth' in 1990, and I'd probably pick that one because I got to sit down. I'd appreciate it more now because I'm older and I want to rest more. If I was on a show, I think 'Wheel of Fortune' would be fun, but it's tough."
What's a typical day like for you?
"On a taping day, I leave home at 7 a.m. When I get to work, I open my mail. At 8, a writer brings the questions for that day's five shows. We meet at 9:30 to discuss them, then it's makeup and wardrobe until we start shooting at noon. We wrap up around 5 p.m., and I'm home by 6."
At your wedding, did you really say your vows in true "Jeopardy!" form?
"The preacher said 'Do you take this woman,' et cetera, et cetera, and it was a tense moment. My wife is beautiful and I was nervous, so I wanted to keep it light. So I said, 'The answer is . . . yes.'"