The Best X-Files Episode Stars The World’s Most Beloved Game Show Host

By Michileen Martin | Updated

Between Fall 1995 and the following summer, Season 3 of The X-Files unfolded and delivered some of the best stories in the series. This included what remains not just the best episode, but one of the best hours of television ever broadcast. Part of what makes “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” the best episode of The X-Files is the appearance of the late Alex Trebek as himself–himself, that is, if Alex Trebek had been one of the Men in Black.

Lord Kimbote & Co.

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“Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” tells the story of just about the strangest alien abduction you could imagine. Giving you plot details seems almost futile, because the whole point of the story is that there isn’t a single character you meet who has any idea what happened. That’s precisely why The X-Files recruits Alex Trebek for the tale.

Let’s try with some details, regardless.

Teenagers Harold and Sarah are abducted by aliens–aliens we soon learn are actually US Air Force officers in rubber suits made to look like aliens. But before the faux aliens can get the unconscious teens on their ship, they and their captive teens are all abducted by a new alien–Lord Kimbote, a one-eyed man-monster who looks like he was kicked out of a Ray Harryhausen flick.

No One Lives The Same Story

No one in “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” lives the same story. Harold remembers being stuck in a cage with electrified bars while a chain-smoking alien repeated “This is not happening” while rocking back and forth. Sarah remembers gray aliens experimenting on her, and then Air Force officers messing with her head.

Roky Crikenson–who witnesses the double abduction from his car–remembers the monstrous Lord Kimbote speaking to him in lofty Shakespearean language while inviting him to a tour of the Earth’s molten core.

Roky is the first The X-Files character visited by Alex Trebek’s and Jesse Ventura’s Men in Black duo, though we don’t know yet the game show host is there. It’s the former pro wrestler and future Minnesota governor who does all the talking.

Blaine The Constantly Threatened

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The next The X-Files character to be visited by Alex Trebek and Jesse Ventura (who is not, like Trebek, playing himself) is the UFO superfan Blaine Faulkner. Like everyone else in the episode, Blaine has his own version of the events which include Mulder and Scully walking around like robots and warning him that if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut, he’s “a dead man.”

The Jeopardy! Host Revealed

x-files alex trebek

The third and final The X-Files character to meet Alex Trebek is David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder himself. He finds the Men in Black going through Scully’s hotel room, while Scully herself appears to be in some kind of trance. When Mulder gets nose-to-nose with Ventura, a hand rests on his shoulder and he turns to find Trebek looking at him.

“You are getting very sleepy,” Trebek says. “Very relaxed.”

Mulder wakes up the next morning.

The Truth May Be Out There, But Whose Truth?

The X-Files episode that features this surprise Alex Trebek cameo is the best of the series in part because it distills what is so intriguing about the show’s subject matter into one dizzying, hilarious, and perfectly human story.

The story tells us that whether or not UFOs, aliens, conspiracies, or any of the other wild and fantastical things on the series have any truth behind them depends wholly on exactly one thing–the individual perception of whoever you’re unlucky enough to be asking.