Watch 'Jeopardy's Tribute to Alex Trebek on His Final Episode (Video)

Watch 'Jeopardy's Tribute to Alex Trebek on His Final Episode (Video)

01/08/2021

A montage of classic Trebek clips plays after the credits

Alex Trebek’s final episode as host of “Jeopardy!” aired on Friday night, and the game show said goodbye to the late great host with a touching tribute to his 36 years on the show.

The episode went just like any other with regular-season gameplay. But after the final credits rolled, the show featured a mashup of vintage clips of Trebek over the years, accompanied by the heartwrenching Peter Allen tune, “Once Before I Go.”

At the end, a simple message appeared: “Dedicated to Alex Trebek. Forever in our hearts. Always our inspiration.”

Watch the video above.

At the time his final episode filmed in late October, neither Trebek nor production staff knew it was the end. He died days later on Nov. 8, having lost a long battle to stage four pancreatic cancer.

Last year in January 2020, Trebek and his wife Jean sat down with ABC’s Michael Strahan to talk about his life, the game show, and his battle with cancer.

At the time, Trebek said that he had his final goodbye planned out.

“What I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want,’” Trebek told Strahan.

“I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever,’” he continued, reciting his planned exit speech. “‘But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.’”

However, it seems that Trebek’s passing was so sudden that he never had a chance to say what he had prepared.

But on Monday’s episode, he did give a message stressing the importance of kindness and taking care of one another.

“You’ll recall that about a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives,” he said. “Now, today, a different kind of message. This is the season of giving. I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones.”

He continued: “But today, I’d like you to go one step further. I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your hearts to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19. People who are suffering through no fault of their own. We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society, and if we all pitch in — just a little bit — we’re gonna get there.”

Rest in peace, Alex.

9 Heartwarming Things We'll Miss About Alex Trebek (Photos)

  • Beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek sadly passed away at age 80 on Nov. 8, 2020, following his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. His final episode of the show airs on January 7, 2021. Here are nine things we’ll miss about Alex, courtesy of a biography of the host written by Lisa Rogak called “Who Is Alex Trebek?” out now from Macmillan Publishers.

    Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

  • To so many viewers, he felt like a member of the family — “I’ve been on the air for fifty years, so I’m like a member of the family,” Trebek once said, according to Rogak. Added Jonah Engel Bromwich, a domestic correspondent with The New York Times: “When you arrive in a hotel room where you have no real sense of where you are, turning Jeopardy! on is always kind of a grounding experience.”

    Getty Images

  • His “everyman” attitude– Most days he drove a half-­ton Dodge Ram 1500 pickup to the studio, and loved to do his own handiwork around the house — his garage was so full to the brim with tools that it didn’t leave room for a car, according to Rogak. 

    Getty Images

  • His presence in pop culture — In 1988 he guest-starred opposite Vicki Lawrence, whom he was dating at the time, in an episode of “Mama’s Family” — a spinoff from “The Carol Burnett Show.” Trebek also played himself on “Cheers,” “The Golden Girls,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” and in movies like “Rain Man” and “White Men Can’t Jump.” He even appeared on “Saturday Night Live.”

    Trebek on "Cheers" courtesy of NBC

  • His curiosity and appreciation for the arts — Although he had no training in classical music, he loved opera and orchestral music. He was known to narrate concert pieces like Saint-­Saens’s Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, and once participated in the Austin Lyric Opera’s 1989 production of “La Cenerentola.”

    YouTube

  • His zingers — Known as a very witty host, Trebek was not afraid to joke with contestants. In 2016, he threw a sick burn at a woman who described people who listen to “nerdcore hip-hop.” “Losers, in other words,” Trebek joked.

    Sony Pictures Television

  • His attempts at rapping — Trebek and “Jeopardy!’ were always game to roll with the times, and that included his hilarious attempts at rapping lyrics by Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and other contemporary rap artists as part of the show’s rap category.

    Sony Pictures Television

  • His mustache — Fans have always been very passionate about Trebek’s facial hair, particularly his iconic stache. In 2018, “Jeopardy!” did a Twitter poll asking fans whether he should grow them out or shave, and although the overwhelming answer was to keep them, he ended up going clean-shaven.

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  • His big heart — Trebek and his wife Jean were known to make many charitable donations, and in 2011, they launched the Trebek Family Foundation.

    Who Is Alex Trebek? A Biography / Lisa Rogak

  • His inspiration for others to keep going despite having a terminal disease — In 2019, he revealed to the world that he was battling Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer — but he remained positive until the end, filming regular updates for fans about his health and remaining in good spirits. Rest in peace, Alex — your memory will live on forever.

     

    Getty Images

From his iconic mustache to his adorable attempts at rapping

Beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek sadly passed away at age 80 on Nov. 8, 2020, following his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. His final episode of the show airs on January 7, 2021. Here are nine things we’ll miss about Alex, courtesy of a biography of the host written by Lisa Rogak called “Who Is Alex Trebek?” out now from Macmillan Publishers.

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