Final ‘Jeopardy!’ Episode Hosted by Alex Trebek Airs with Posthumous Tribute [Videos]
For fans of the game show "Jeopardy!", Friday was the day that was unfortunately an inevitable reality. The final Alex Trebek-hosted episode aired across the United States.
Trebek passed away at the age of 80, on November 8, 2020, after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year. The final Trebek-hosted shows were originally scheduled to air in late December, before producers pushed back their airing to this week.
Friday's Jeopardy! episode featured a 90-second tribute to the man who turned the show into a cultural and pop-culture icon in the 37 seasons he hosted over 8,200 episodes.
Jeopardy! will continue with guest hosts for the remainder of the 2020-21 television season, and a new full-time host is expected to be hired before the 2021-22 television season.
One of the most prolific Jeopardy! players in history, Ken Jennings (pictured above with Trebek), will be in the group of guest hosts starting next week. The New York Post has also reported that former Today show host Katie Couric will guest host a week's worth of shows.
The Alex Trebek-hosted Jeopardy! episodes will not just live forever in reruns, but Trebek's Jeopardy! persona will live on in movies and television too.
Clips from Jeopardy! episodes have been used in movies to show people "doing something normal at home," like watching TV. Trebek has also made guest appearances in a number of television shows over the years.
Occasionally, Jeopardy! had been used as a plot device, like in the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, or for a joke in the FOX comedy, Family Guy.
After the Family Guy episode aired, a contestant tried the same trick during an actual game:
Jeopardy! will never be the same without Trebek hosting, but it's a unique American institution, and I think it can survive if the next host shows the same attention to detail and dedication to hosting as Trebek did.