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It’s difficult to imagine Jeopardy! without its iconic host, Alex Trebek, but can you imagine him with a beard? The classy host can rock a suit like nobody’s business and manages to maintain equanimity in such a high-stakes game. It’s difficult to think that Alex will ever have a replacement because he is pretty much a perfect gameshow host. As far as I’m concerned, he deserves every penny of his net worth.

Or maybe he’s the ideal gameshow host because he’s Alex Trebek? Maybe our idea of the man as our patron saint of trivia-knowledge TV is something that he invented and established in our collective social consciousnesses?

Because he’s such a fixture in our minds, it’s kind of difficult for fans to fully grasp whenever he switches up his look, which he doesn’t do often. And that’s exactly what happened when the TV staple up and grew a beard.

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That’s Alex’s around the time he first started hosting Jeopardy! in 1984. Look at the wonderful ‘stache, the carefully, almost-tamed hair. He’d keep the ‘stache for a while.

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But his hair got a little trim-a-rooni. You could probably guess someone’s age more or less based on their earliest memory of Alex’s look. Was it cop-hair and mustache? Curly hair and mustache?

Or was it clean-shaven Alex, which caused quite a stir when it first debuted on air, let me tell you. It’s right up there in my lifetime’s most memorable moments: 

1. First date with my now wife. 

2. Birth of my children. 

3. That amazing Christmas dinner with my best friend, Chris Conroy.  

4. Alex Trebek shaving his ‘stache.

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But when Jeopardy!‘s official Twitter account debuted Alex’s beard online, people were immediately smitten. Because hot damn, it looks good. Now I know this isn’t hard-hitting journalism, I get it. But let’s just take a second to appreciate the follicular glory that’s been bestowed upon us.

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Want a better look at the beard? Of course you do. You know you do. Even if you didn’t, well you’re too deep in now not to look at it. Look at him complimenting those whiskers with a purple tie that matches the purple background. OK, like that was a mistake. Alex, you sly fox, you.

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People are nerding out over the host’s new look on Twitter. In fact, I haven’t seen anybody say that they’re not into Alex’s beard. Which is kinda crazy, given how strong people’s opinions are whenever a celebrity decides to get a haircut or try out a new color of mascara.

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Some people are even going so far as to call Alex’s look “squee-” inducing. I’m not sure about that because I only ever really squee for babies and marmosets, but I get how jazzed our good friend and Jeopardy! fan, Corinne, is for the man’s new look.

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Some pointed out the obvious, which has needed to be said for a long time: Alex’s got some darn good genetics. I mean, the man does appear to be aging better with time. Personally, I’m a huge fan of High Rollers-Alex but that’s me.

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The official Jeopardy! account got in on the action, tagging Stephen Colbert and calling 2018 “The Year of the Beard.” Which started a larger conversation on what 2018’s defining facial style really is.

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And Colbert responded with this telling poll and, using the power of online democracy, decided to get to the bottom of whether or not this year does indeed belong to facial hair on men.

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Unsurprisingly, people currently seem to be divided as to whether or not 2018 is indeed, “The Year of the Beard.” I’m going to say that even if you don’t concede it’s the year of the full-beard, it is at least the year of some facial hair.

What kind of beard do you prefer? Are you more of a little scruff-scraggle, a la James Franco? What about a slight upgrade to the obviously combed and primped look of Post Malone?

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Or are you a perpetual 5-o’clock shadow dude? Maybe you prefer a tight and cropped beard closer to Alex Trebek’s? Does Drake’s beard do wonders for you? Or is it “too clean”?

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I’m in favor of 2018 being the “Year of the Beard” just because it means I don’t have to clean-shave. Because no year is the year of razor bumps and looking like a washed pig. My skin does not respond well to clean-shaving.


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