Even Alex Trebek is sorry for how terrible he was at debate moderating

"I offer my sincere apologies to the people of Pennsylvania, a state I dearly love,” Trebek said Thursday.
October 4, 2018, 4:26pm

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek moderated the gubernatorial debate in Pennsylvania on Monday, and everyone — even Alex Trebek — agrees that he did a terrible job.

As Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, faced off against his GOP opponent, Scott Wagner, Trebek frequently interrupted to scold the politicians and offer his own anecdotes and musings on policy. On Thursday, Trebek offered an apology for his performance which viewers and pundits alike lambasted. Trebek said in a statement that he “misunderstood” his role.

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"I thought that as moderator, I was to provide a certain light-hearted approach while still being able to challenge the candidates on their record or positions," he wrote. "I didn't realize I was to ask a simple question and then let the gentlemen go at each other."

Trebek immediately got off to a bad start Monday night: The debate began late because he took too long during a “fireside chat” portion of the event with the Chamber of Business and Industry.

Once the back-and-forth between the candidates started, Trebek offered his own opinions on policy. (For example, Republicans’ taxes on natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania aren’t enough.) When the crowd booed Trebek, he scolded them for breaking his no-booing rule.

Trebek also chided the gubernatorial candidates for going at each other during the race. "If all of the voters were to believe everything you've said about each other, we'd have trouble voting for either one of you," Trebek said.

Trebek even took a stroll down memory lane to talk about his own time in Catholic school.

"I offer my sincere apologies to the people of Pennsylvania, a state I dearly love,” Trebek said in his apology.

Cover image: Moderator Alex Trebek speaks during a gubernatorial debate between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican Scott Wagner in Hershey, Pa., Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)