Gene Simmons recalls the time Alex Trebek put on KISS make-up

The bassist said that the late 'Jeopardy!' host "was a funny guy, and very kind and brave"

Gene Simmons has recalled the time that the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek agreed to dress up in a Kiss costume and wear make-up in the style made famous by the rock band.

The Canadian-born game show host, who became a popular and much-loved figure in the US while presenting Jeopardy! from 1984 to 2020, passed away in November following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Speaking to Consequence of Sound in a new interview, Simmons recalled meeting Trebek backstage in October 2018 during a taping of Jeopardy!.


The pair then filmed an online clip together with Trebek in full Kiss make-up and costume – you can see his transformation below.

“People only knew Trebek from television, but when the cameras weren’t rolling, the guy had a potty mouth,” Simmons recalled. “We traded lots of, as they used to say in the 1800s, off-colour jokes. He was a funny guy, and very kind and brave. I said: ‘You’re going to be putting on KISS makeup.’ [He said:] ‘Okay, let’s go.’”

The bassist added: “And we’re both immigrants. He was from Canada, I’m from Israel. And it was this kind of [joint feeling of]: ‘What an amazing country, where there are no limits to the heights you can achieve in America.’ And you can’t do that in Canada or Israel, no matter how ambitious and hardworking you are, there’s a ceiling. You can only go so far.

“Who else has got a history like Trebek? I haven’t heard anybody say a bad thing about him,” Simmons added in tribute to the late presenter. “Lovely guy.”


Earlier this month, Ryan Reynolds detailed his “heartbreaking” experience of recording a segment for Alex Trebek’s posthumous final episode of Jeopardy!.