UPDATED with on-air tribute: Monday night’s episode of Jeopardy! featured executive producer Mike Richards speaking on behalf of the Jeopardy! family about the loss of beloved host Alex Trebek, who died Sunday at age 80.
“This is an enormous loss for our staff and our crew, for his family and for his millions of fans,” Richards said of Trebek. “He loved this show and everything it stood for.”
Richards told Jeopardy! viewers that Trebek’s love for the show did not come between the host’s illness and his desire to continue taping episodes, noting that the final taping occurred 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,” he added. “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,” Richards continued. “This is Jeopardy!“
After Richards concluded his short tribute and called the show, the camera panned from the executive producer to an overhead shot of the stage which Trebek had graced for more than 37 seasons. With the stage empty, and the show’s signature lights dimming to minimal brightness, Jeopardy! shared a moment of silence for its departed host.
Watch the tribute below.
Today we honor Alex Trebek. For over three decades he brought integrity, humor and intelligence to his duties as host of Jeopardy! He will be in our hearts forever.
Thank you, Alex. Love from us all. 💜 pic.twitter.com/w8abYY8SX5
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 10, 2020
PREVIOUSLY: Jeopardy! announced that it will honor its longtime host Alex Trebek with a special message during the Monday broadcast of the trivia show. Trebek, who was the face of the beloved competition series, died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday.
“Today’s show features a special message on behalf of everyone in the Jeopardy! family,” the show’s official Instagram captioned a photo of Trebek.
In addition to the announcement of the special message, Jeopardy! shared that the shows Trebek taped before his passing will continue to air as planned “in his honor.” The final episode featuring Trebek as Jeopardy! host will air December 25.
The announcement came after Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards appeared on Today and remembered the host. During the Monday morning broadcast, he recalled the final moments of Trebek’s life, which were spent surrounded by family, who Richards called “his greatest accomplishment.” The producer said that Trebek, before his passing, got to sit on his backyard swing with his wife one last time.
“He got to do that. He was coherent, he wasn’t in pain,” Richards added. “The fact that he had a nice final day makes every one of us in the Jeopardy! family feel much better.”
Trebek was diagnosed in March 2019 with stage-four pancreatic cancer. Throughout his experience, he kept fans and members of the Jeopardy! community in the loop with his battle. He often shared the positives and negatives of his treatment.
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