Alex Trebek Honored by First Lady Jill Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Daytime Emmy Awards
Alex Trebek died in November at the age of 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer
Alex Trebek was remembered by some famous faces at Friday's Daytime Emmy Awards.
The late Jeopardy! host — who died in November at the age of 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer — was honored in a special segment during the 48th annual awards show, which was hosted by The Talk's Sheryl Underwood.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off the tribute, with Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, comedian Ken Jeong, and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden all participating.
Said Trudeau: "Alex Trebek entertained millions of people with his quick wit and bright sense of humor — and he never missed an opportunity to stump contestants with questions about Canada. Like so many Canadians, he cared deeply about conservation and protecting our lands. He donated 62 acres of land in Nichols Canyon because he understood that the environment is so important, in the same way that laugher, compassion, and kindness are to our health and our well-being. We will all miss gathering around the TV to watch Alex, but his legacy of giving and caring will live on."
"When I got to talk with him a few years ago, he expressed to me how proud he was to be a Canadian," Trudeau remembered. "I had to tell him that all Canadians are incredibly proud he's one of us as well."
Roberts, who had her own battle with cancer, remembered the strength Trebek showed when they spoke.
"It was wonderful getting to know Alex over the years," she said. "I remember the last time I interviewed him, he was in the midst of treatment and I know first hand the told that takes. But you know what? Alex walked in with such grace, putting everyone around him at easy. He was so open talking about what he was going through at the time and he did it in hopes of helping others. That was Alex."
"He actually told me despite his dire diagnosis that he was 'an extremely fortunate individual' — those were his words — for being able to experience so much love and support from so many people," Roberts recalled. "Once again, that was Alex. Finding and sharing the good in every situation."
Jeong thought back to guest starring with Trebek on Hot in Cleveland. "He stole the whole show and we hit it off from that moment on," Jeong said. "I was struck how comedically skilled he was. Every time I'd run into him, we'd always joke around. I don't know that people know how incredibly funny he is. Rest In Peace, Alex. I miss you and I love you."
As for Dr. Biden, she recalled meeting Trebek during a Jeopardy! episode honoring educators.
"He was warm and funny and so, so kind," the first lady said. "But what stood out most was that, even though he never worked in a classroom, he too was an educator. Alex made us feel like learning was for everyone. He made it fun, exciting, and competitive. Who could have guessed that the simple melody of 'Final Jeopardy' would come to make our heart's race?"
She continued: "He inspired us to be more curious about the world around us, and he brought families together every evening, laughing and guessing and racking our brains to keep up with the smartest contestants. Thank you for teaching us, inspiring us, and bringing us together, Alex. We miss you."
Kathie Lee Gifford, Philbin's longtime Live co-host, read his tribute.
"For 15 years it was my absolute joy and delight and honor and privilege to sit next to somebody that you might remember: His name was Regis Philbin," she began, in her speech. "There was nobody like him. He was one of a kind, he was unique, he was original, he was the most fun you could ever have with human being, and I got to sit next to him and play verbal ping pong with him. For all those years, I got to learn from the master, and he was a great personal friend to me until the day he died."
"We all miss Regis, don't we?" Gifford said. "All he wanted to do was make people laugh; make them happy, make them believe in themselves, make them believe big dreams like he had; make them come true. I know we all miss him. I do. I'll never be the same."
She then joked about Philbin, saying, "I know he's slaying them in heaven right now. He's up there with all the greats. He and Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, they're having a scream fest up there. … That's where Regis is, and I couldn't be happier for him. And I couldn't miss him more."
Meanwhile, Martha Stewart honored King — whom she said she met when he was a young radio host in Washington, D.C.
"I'd venture down to Washington on my book tours and always would end a very, very busy day of interviews and demonstrations with a one-hour interview by Larry King," Stewart remembered. "He was a great interviewer way back then, and as he built his career, finally on CNN — making a very important impression on the audiences watching CNN for live news — Larry continued to be a penultimate interviewer."
The mogul celebrated King's interview style. "He was always fair, always interesting, the questions were always invigorating to the interviewee, and I always enjoyed being interviewed by him," she said. "Larry was always there for me and I think he was there for pretty much anybody he interviewed.
"Thank you Larry, for a life of interest, of depth, of personality, of real caring," she concluded. "Thank you."
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Both King and Trebek won posthumous awards at Friday's award show, King for outstanding informative talk show host and Trebek for outstanding game show host. Their awards were accepted by their kids.
In addition to winning for outstanding game show host for his work on Jeopardy!, the show itself won in the outstanding game show and outstanding daytime special event categories.
"This means so much to us, especially given the year we all had. I want to dedicate this award to Alex Trebek. We've heard from so many of you since he passed, and we know how much he meant to you. He meant the world to us as well," executive producer Mike Richards said in his pre-recorded acceptance speech.
"He was more than just a game show host, he was a legend, a towering figure," Richards continued. "And he believed that Jeopardy! was more than just a game show. He loved it because it stood for facts, competition and celebration of intelligence. I felt so lucky to be able to work with him and to see firsthand how seriously he took his job, and how rigorously he prepared for each show, even after 37 years. He was so committed to Jeopardy!'s excellence and he truly led by example. But the most incredible part of Alex was his love for his family. They shared him with the world but they were always his first priority. Once again, he led by example."
Richards concluded his speech, saying: "This is for Alex."
The 48th Daytime Emmy Awards aired Friday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+.