Friday marked the end of an era when the last episode of Jeopardy! hosted by Alex Trebek aired.
Though his last show was originally set to air on Christmas Day, the producers decided to delay the last five episodes to give his millions of fans a chance to see his final appearances.
With it came an emotional 90-second montage, set to Hugh Jackman singing the Peter Allen song “Once Before I Go,” and clips celebrating the funnier moments of the usually strait-laced Trebek while showing Trebek’s changing look through his 36 years hosting the popular game show.
“Simply the best. Thank you, Alex,” the show tweeted alongside the video package.
“So long,” Trebek said in a compilation of clips as the video concluded.
“Forever in our hearts always, our inspiration,” the show wrote.
The video was also shared on the official Jeopardy! Twitter account.
Simply the best.— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) January 8, 2021
Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/GgXbV4AWMt
On Monday, Jeopardy! kicked off the first of Trebek’s five final shows, when he shared an important and touching message with audiences.
“You will recall about a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment and give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives,” began Trebek, who taped his last episode in October, ten days before his death..
“Now, today a different kind of message. This is the season of giving. I know you want to be generous with your family, with your friends, your loved ones, but today I’d like you to go one step further,” he continued. “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. If we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re going to get there.”
Trebek, the host of the popular syndicated game show passed away from pancreatic cancer on November 8, 2020. He was 80 years old.
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” read a message from the official Jeopardy! Twitter account that broke the news.
Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, on July 22, 1940, the son of George Edward Trebek, a chef who had emigrated from Ukraine as a child, and Lucille Lagacé, a Franco-Ontarian.
He grew up in a bilingual French-English household and his first job was working as a bellhop at age 13 at the same hotel where his father worked. After graduating from the University of Ottawa with a degree in philosophy, he became interested in news reporting and broadcast journalism. From there he landed a job at CBC and began his career as a news reporter and sportscaster. In 1984, Trebek took over as the host of Jeopardy! and the rest, as they say, is history.
He leaves behind his wife, Jean Currivan, and their two children, Matthew and Emily.