More than 24 hours following the devastating news of Alex Trebek’s passing, another episode of Jeopardy! aired across syndication. It was the first regular installment since his death, and even just watching it proved to be difficult.
Leading into the episode tonight, we saw a video message from show executive producer Mike Richards, one where he explained that Alex taped his final episodes in the weeks leading up to his death. He shared his deepest sympathies for those who loved him, and also explained his global impact. It was a powerful introduction to what was, mostly otherwise, a normal episode of the series. You had clues and Final Jeopardy! and everything else that you’ve seen from the series over the years.
Then, at the conclusion of the episode, there was a title card memorial where the series professed that Alex will always be in their hearts … as he will be ours. His presence, wit, and wry sense of humor made every episode of the show memorable. He was always in command, and always understood why viewers loved this show so much. He also never lost his spirit, even amidst the battle with pancreatic cancer that eventually cost him his life. He always said he wanted to host the show as long as he was able; it was his joy, and you could see in the final years especially how in awe many of the contestants were of him. Even being told that you mispronounced someone’s name or buzzed in too late was worthy of some recognition.
As reported yesterday, new episodes of Jeopardy! will continue airing moving through Christmas Day, which will be the final one featuring Alex. There are no announced plans as to the future of the show, but we’re fine to take our time now and remember the legend who made this series what it is. There will be plenty of time to talk about the future in the months to come.
Our thoughts and condolences continue to go out to Trebek’s family and all who loved him. Thank you to the producers for honoring the legend that is Alex. (Photo: Jeopardy!.)