First ‘Jeopardy!’ episode since Alex Trebek’s death opens with emotional tribute

Hannah Yasharoff
 
| USA TODAY

play
Show Caption
Hide Caption

‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek dies at 80

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has died. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019. A previous version of this video misstated how many Emmys Trebek won.

The day after Alex Trebek’s death at the age of 80, “Jeopardy!” aired a pretaped episode that featured the iconic host and opened with a tribute to him.

“Over the weekend, we lost our beloved host, Alex Trebek,” “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards said while holding back tears. “This is an enormous loss, for our staff, crew, for his family, for his millions of fans. He loved this show, and everything it stood for. In fact, he taped his final episodes less than two weeks ago. He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family.”

[embedded content]

Richards went on to explain that “Jeopardy!” will air new episodes, featuring Trebek, through Christmas.

“We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot. That’s what he wanted. On behalf of everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!’, thank you for everything, Alex. This is ‘Jeopardy!’ ”

Trebek’s final day taping in the studio was Oct. 29, “Jeopardy!” confirmed to USA TODAY on Sunday. The show has not announced plans for a new host.

Obituary: Alex Trebek of ‘Jeopardy!’ dies at 80 after pancreatic cancer battle

ABC on Sunday night aired an hour-long tribute hosted by ABC News correspondent Chris Connelly that featured rare footage of Trebek’s early days on TV, some of his more recent interviews about what he had learned from living with cancer and his appreciation for fans who sent him well-wishes. “Alex Trebek, Remembered: A ’20/20′ Special” also featured clips from “Good Morning America” co-anchor Michael Strahan’s interview with Trebek’s wife of 30 years, Jean Trebek, and tributes from the host’s “Jeopardy!” co-workers. 

The beloved “Jeopardy!” host showed dignity and perseverance in dealing with a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019.

” ‘Jeopardy!’ is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” read a statement from the show Sunday morning. 

‘Courage, grace and strength’: Ken Jennings, Pat Sajak, others mourn ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek

Trebek was synonymous with longtime top-rated “Jeopardy!,” the brainiest of TV quiz shows, which he hosted since its syndicated revival premiered in 1984.(Art Fleming hosted an earlier NBC version from 1964 to 1975.)

When Trebek received the staggering cancer news, he shared it with the public in an online video that didn’t sugarcoat its serious nature but still conveyed hope and determination: “Just like 50,000 people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working.”

He was back at work less than a week later.

Trebek is survived by wife Jean, and children Matthew, Emily and Nicky. The family has announced no plans for a service, but gifts in Trebek’s memory could go to World Vision.

Contributing: Bill Keveney, Gary Levin, Carly Mallenbaum

Tribute: Memorable ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant remembers the late Alex Trebek

More: Why pancreatic cancer is so deadly

Source

Leave a Reply