Who is Alex Trebek? That’s the answer, in the form of a question, to who has been asked to be the moderator for a debate among hopefuls vying for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial nomination.
The longtime ‘‘Jeopardy’’ host will be questioning candidates at an Oct. 1 forum sponsored by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the organization announced. The game show star is certainly an unusual choice — his onstage queries are usually more focused on bits of trivia than policy proposals (and they’re accompanied by that jaunty ‘‘Jeopardy’’ tune, which we imagine won’t be part of the political debate). The Pennsylvania chamber’s last two such debates have been moderated by the kind of Wise Men of Broadcasting you’d expect: Tom Brokaw in 2014 and Ted Koppel in 2010.
Invitations to the October debate will be sent Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf, and the winner of a Republican primary, Philly.com reported. It’s unclear if Libertarian Party candidate Ken Krawchuk will be invited to participate.
But Trebek, a native of Canada and a naturalized US citizen, is apparently living out a dream. He told the Hill newspaper in 2013 that he’d be a tough and persistent questioner if he ever landed the gig of moderating a presidential debate.
‘‘Unlike some of the other moderators — I’m not going to disparage them — but I have a different approach,’’ he said. ‘‘I would not let the politicians get away with standard responses. I would try to pin them down, even though I might look bad doing it.’’
So how did he land this job? Sounds like a combo of inspired thinking and good timing. ‘‘We were trying to come up with ideas, and someone on staff suggested Alex Trebek,’’ a chamber spokeswoman told us. ‘‘And we looked into it and found out he was available.’’