Ahead of tonight’s final episode of Jeopardy with Alex Trebek, the game show shared a sweet tribute to the late host and his time on the series over the past few decades. In a touching video titled “A Tribute to Alex Trebek,” Jeopardy looked back on some of his most memorable moments, from his start as host up until the very end.
Set to Peter Allen’s “Once Before I Go,” the video shows clips of Trebek bringing his children on to the Jeopardy set, joking with audience and contestants, and even getting a little goofy with memorable costumes, accents, and props. Following footage of Trebek traveling around the world for his show, Jeopardy closed out the tribute with a montage of Trebek signing off for the night, telling viewers with the close of each and every show, “so long.” The emotional tribute ended with the message, “Dedicated to Alex Trebek. Forever in our hearts. Always our inspiration.”
Trebek filmed his final Jeopardy episode on Oct. 29 and died just 10 days later after battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for more than a year. At the time, Trebek did not know it would be his last time on the Jeopardy stage, and even returned to film his last five episodes after a hospital stay. Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards told The Today Show that Trebek called him from the hospital to insist he come in to keep taping new episodes. “He calls me and says, ‘Mike, I’m gonna be fine, I’ll be in to tape. I was able to eat jello today,’” Richards recalled. “And I went, ‘Alex, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be ready to hist five episodes of a game show, which is an enormous amount of effort. And he said, ‘Do not cancel. I will be there.’”
When Trebek first revealed his cancer diagnosis in 2019, he sat down for an interview with Michael Strahan on ABC News, where he shared his wish for his final episode, asking for just 30 seconds to address the audience at the end of his last show.
“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 said. “‘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.’”
Trebek’s final Jeopardy episode premieres tonight at 7/6c on ABC. Watch the full tribute in the video above.