Legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away at the age of 80 on November 8th, 2020 after a long-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Executive producer Mike Richards shared a warming tribute on the television show’s following episode, which you can view here.
“This is an enormous loss, for our staff, crew for his family, for his millions of fans,” said Richards. “[Trebek] 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.”
Richards announced that the final 35 episodes of Jeopardy! will be aired as scheduled, as Trebek would have intended.
In the wake of Trebek’s passing, The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has reported a 450% rise in the cancer nonprofit organization’s web traffic. Additionally, over $55,000 in donations have been contributed after November 8. You can contribute here and find other ways to give here.
Outpourings of support and comforting words followed the announcement of Trebek’s passing, and lighthearted moments were quick to be shared on social media platforms like Twitter.
Once such instance of this is a contestant speaking of her love of “nerdcore hip-hop,” to which Trebek replied, “Doesn’t sound like fun.” Susan defended the genre of music: “It’s people who identify as nerdy rapping about the things they love: video games, science fiction, having a hard time meeting romantic partners.” Immediately, Trebek jokingly replied, “Losers, in other words.”
One of the winningest contestants, James Holzhauer, shared he saw Trebek as “an impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needed exactly that,” and called Trebek “an underrated rapper” with this video of Trebek reciting rhymes as proof.
Saturday Night Live also had a sketch, “Celebrity Jeopardy!” that starred Will Ferrell as Trebek, which can be watched here. Trebek himself made an appearance at the end of the skit, which also starred Sean Connery, who passed on October 31st, 2020.
Another Jeopardy! moment that went viral was champion Burt Thakur sharing with Trebek, “You know, here’s a true story, man. I grew up, I learned English because of you.” Follow this link to see the full interaction.
Shortly after the host announced Trebek would be resuming chemotherapy, a contestant wrote “We ❤ you, Alex!” as his final Jeopardy! answer. An emotional Trebek replied, “That’s very kind, thank you.”
Trebek himself wrote, “One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral as part of the eulogy is, ‘He was taken from us too soon… I’ve lived a good, full life, and I’m nearing the end of it. I know that.”
On the topic of his legacy, Trebek shared, “I’d like to be remembered first of all as a good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help perform at their best. If that’s the way I’m remembered, I’m perfectly happy with that.”