EW writers mark Alex Trebek's final Jeopardy! episodes by remembering what made him so special

Tyler Aquilina
·2 min read

EW Writers Mark Alex Trebek’s Final ‘Jeopardy!’ Episodes by Sharing What Made His Hosting Style So Personal to Them

'What to Watch' host Gerrad Hall looks back at Alex Trebek's final powerful 'Jeopardy!' speech, and EW staffers discuss what made the legendary host so special and what he and the show meant to them.

"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for spending the time with us. We'll see you again next week."

Those words marked the end of an era for Jeopardy! as late host Alex Trebek wrapped up his final episode, which aired on Friday. Trebek died at 80 on Nov. 8 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, leaving behind a 36-year legacy as the stalwart host of the beloved game show.

To mark the occasion of his final episodes, EW writers Tyler Aquilina and Rosy Cordero, TV critic Kristen Baldwin, and senior TV editor Gerrad Hall reflected on what made Trebek such a great host and what he brought to Jeopardy! on the latest installment of EW's What to Watch.

"A hallmark of a good host is, it looks like they're not doing any work; they make it look easy," Baldwin said. "It's so hard to do that well. And as [EW critic] Darren Franich wrote in his appreciation, the other thing that's so great about Alex, and his legacy I think, is how clearly he loved the knowledge that Jeopardy! was based on, and he loved giving people that new information."

Aquilina pointed to Trebek's principle that the true stars of Jeopardy! were the game and the contestants, rather than the host. "That was a big part that made him so great of what he did," he said. "He was always focused on making sure the game ran smoothly and making sure the contestants really felt like the true stars of the show."

Cordero, meanwhile, noted the impact Jeopardy! had on immigrant families and children. "When you come from an immigrant family where you're the first one born in this country, you sit down with your parents, who are not that great at English, you sit and you watch shows like Jeopardy! and that's kind of the moment that brings family together," she said.

Check out the What to Watch clip above for more.

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