Jeopardy! paid tribute to the late Alex Trebek with a special message before Monday’s broadcast, a day after the legendary host died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. The show inserted a special cold open into the broadcast that shared memories about Trebek and a message from show executive producer Mike Richards.
While Jeopardy! often airs in markets in the 7 o’clock hour locally, there are several US markets that air the show earlier in the day. That’s how word of James Holzhauer’s historic run coming to an end hit social media in advance of most people seeing it air “live” in syndication.
And so video of the cold open hit Twitter well before many were able to see the tribute air before Monday’s episode.
Just now – Touching introduction to the latest episode of @Jeopardy. pic.twitter.com/aUd9pWpXJi
— Brian Mastre WOWT (@brianmastrewowt) November 10, 2020
“Over the weekend we lost our beloved host, Alex Trebek. This is an enormous loss for our staff and crew, for his family and for his millions of fans. He loved this show, and everything it stood for,” Richards said. “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.”
Getting emotional, Richards confirmed that those episodes will air as expected, though there was no official word about what will happen to the show next.
“We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot. That’s what he wanted,” Richards said. “On behalf of everyone here at Jeopardy, thank you for everything Alex. This is Jeopardy!”
The official Jeopardy! account on Twitter posted a message about Trebek that linked to its website, also confirming that episodes with Trebek as host will run until December 25.
Today’s show features a special message on behalf of everyone in the Jeopardy! family.
Alex taped shows through December 25th, 2020. They will air as he intended, in his honor.
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 9, 2020
It’s an emotional message paying tribute to a man who meant so much to the people he worked with. Despite the fear many had about Trebek and his diagnosis, and the long battle had with pancreatic cancer, it’s still shocking that a central figure like Trebek is truly gone. Another fan-made video of great Trebek moments also circulated on Monday that got many people emotional.
this Alex Trebek tribute video has made me feel all the feelings. pic.twitter.com/1xfEjm49yv
— Claire McNear (@clairemcnear) November 10, 2020
Fans will get 35 more chances to see him at the helm of the show, but it will be an emotional next few weeks of watching to say the least.