‘Jeopardy!’ Followers Can’t Think about the Present With out Alex Trebek
For tv viewers below a sure age, there was by no means a “Jeopardy!” with out Alex Trebek.
Calm, regular and all the time with a twinkle in his eye, Mr. Trebek was a relentless on the tv screens of hundreds of thousands of individuals since he took over as host in 1984. After information broke that the sport present host died on Sunday after battling Stage 4 pancreatic most cancers, there was an outpouring of disappointment from followers, ex-contestants and celebrities.
“Alex Trebek was ‘Jeopardy!’,” stated Monica Thieu, a contestant who received the school championship in 2012. “We do not know what the present goes to be with out him.”
Mr. Trebek, who was 80 years outdated, had hosted greater than 8,200 episodes, and extra stay to be broadcast. The present stated that Mr. Trebek’s final day within the studio was Oct. 29 and that the ultimate new “Jeopardy!” episode with him as host will air on Dec. 25. The present has not divulged any plans that it has to nominate a brand new host.
Ms. Thieu, 26, who additionally appeared on the present in 2013 and 2019, stated that she revered Mr. Trebek as a baby, going as far as to attempt to compete within the Nationwide Geographic Bee when she was in fourth grade so she may meet Mr. Trebek, who for a few years hosted the annual contest (now the GeoBee) in Washington. “He made it cool to be good,” she stated.
Mr. Trebek was equally admired by an older technology of contestants and sport present lovers. For many years, the present has been a dependable staple in American popular culture, one thing viewers can activate on the identical time each weekday — and the silver-haired host was a key ingredient in that.
Richard Cordray, a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion within the Eighties who went on to develop into the primary director of the Client Monetary Safety Bureau, stated that a part of what made the sport present such a supply of consolation for thus many Individuals was Mr. Trebek’s consistency as host.
“In his elegant and gracious manner, he all the time had the reply to each query,” he stated.
Ever since Mr. Trebek went public together with his most cancers prognosis in March 2019, contestants have been vocal about their adoration and help for his or her host. In a present that aired in November of final 12 months, shortly after Mr. Trebek revealed that he had resumed chemotherapy to deal with the most cancers, Mr. Trebek obtained choked up when one contestant wrote “What’s ‘We love you, Alex!’” for his Remaining Jeopardy response.
And at one match of the “Best of All Time” (or G.O.A.T.) match earlier this 12 months, James Holzhauer, a record-setting “Jeopardy!” star, knew that he was too far behind to win, so he used his reply board to honor Trebek, calling him the “GHOST,” or “biggest host of syndicated TV.”
Among the many ex-contestants who’ve spent essentially the most time onstage with Mr. Trebek is Ken Jennings, who captivated “Jeopardy!” followers with a 74-game profitable streak in 2004 and went on to win the present’s “G.O.A.T” match. On Sunday, Mr. Jennings, who’s a consulting producer on the present season of the present, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Trebek was a “deeply first rate man” and stated he was grateful for each minute that he obtained to spend with him.
And in a rustic the place even popular culture icons typically entice ire from individuals with a sure political ideology, Mr. Trebek remained far exterior the political fray.
“In a time the place the nation feels deeply divided, Alex might be missed by everybody,” Mr. Holzhauer stated in a press release on Sunday.
On social media, there was a cascade of mourning from fellow tv hosts and celebrities. Ryan Seacrest wrote on Twitter that Mr. Trebek was “like a member of the family who I watched each night time.” Steve Harvey, who hosts “Household Feud,” called him “the classiest sport present host of all time.” Jimmy Kimmel, referencing yesterday’s election outcomes, quipped, “Couldn’t we’ve one good weekend?”
Mr. Trebek, who was born in Ontario and who began his profession on the Canadian Broadcasting Company, additionally obtained recognition from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who stated on Twitter that Mr. Trebek had been chargeable for instilling a love of trivia in lots of.
However Mr. Trebek’s movie star was by no means flashy or self-centered. He had turned down presents to jot down a guide till lately, when he printed his memoir, “The Reply Is …: Reflections on My Life.” He stated he deliberate to donate the cash he obtained for the guide.
On the present itself, previous contestants bear in mind him as a consummate skilled, treating all contestants with the identical curiosity and respect when interacting with them. (That consistency made it all of the extra surprising when Mr. Trebek diverged from his typical politeness, like when he poked enjoyable at a contestant’s love for a style of music known as “nerd-core hip-hop.”)“He was so dedicated to the present being concerning the contestants and never about him,” stated Emma Boettcher, a contestant who ended Mr. Holzhauer’s profitable streak final 12 months. “However for lots of us, what we bear in mind concerning the present is his presence.”
Jason Zuffranieri, who appeared as a contestant in 20 episodes of the present final 12 months, stated on Sunday that it was Mr. Trebek’s understated character on digital camera and his dedication to the principles of the sport that helped construct the present’s credibility.
“His capacity to remain out of the way in which and all the time be honest elevated the viewers’s impression of each the sport and himself,” he stated. “It takes a particular individual to try this.”
Marie Fazio contributed reporting.
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