Jeopardy! releases special tribute to Alex Trebek for late host's final episode

Tyler Aquilina
·2 min read

Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Thirty-six years. More than 8,000 episodes. Countless answers and questions.

Jeopardy! honored Alex Trebek's life and legacy with a special video tribute, released online ahead of the late host's final episode on Friday. Set to the song "Once Before I Go" (as performed by Hugh Jackman), the poignant video — which also aired at the end of the episode — presents a decades-spanning montage of touching moments and classic Trebek goofiness, ending with a clip of the host walking off the Jeopardy! set.

Trebek's final episode, taped just days before his death from pancreatic cancer in November, marks the end of an era for Jeopardy!, which he hosted since 1984. In an interview with EW in December, executive producer Mike Richards spoke at length about his final days working with the beloved host, who was just coming off of a surgical procedure.

"He had been out with the surgery, and I wasn't sure he would be back to tape those days. So for the few of us that knew what exactly was going on, there was a heightened sense in the room," Richards recalled. "I had chills throughout the first taping on that Monday, because I was watching him, going, 'How is he doing this?' He came in at a higher level than normal, and his normal was excellent."

At the end of the last day of taping, Richards added, "I went to [Trebek] and said, 'Hey, that was the most incredible thing I've ever seen.' And he did not like to be complimented. That was kind of staring down the mouth of a great white when you'd do that, because he really didn't like that. But I had to say it, because it was the most incredible thing I'd ever seen. And he was exhausted, obviously, and he looks up and he goes, 'Thank you.' He knew what he had done and appreciated the fact that we all knew what he had done."

A series of interim guest hosts will step in to host Jeopardy! after Trebek's final episode, beginning with former champion Ken Jennings on Jan. 11.

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