How Jeopardy! Paid Tribute to 'Beloved Host' Alex Trebek 1 Day After His Death
"He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family," executive producer Mike Richards said in a tribute Monday
Before Monday's episode, executive producer Mike Richards shared a brief tribute to Trebek, who hosted the treasured game show for more than 30 years.
"Over the weekend we lost our beloved host Alex Trebek. This is an enormous loss for our staff and crew, for his family and for his millions of fans," Richards said. "He loved this show and everything it stood for."
"He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family," Richards continued.
Richards said that Trebek had filmed his final episodes less than two weeks before his death, and that they would air the 35 episodes because "that's what he wanted." Trebek's final episode is set to air on Christmas Day.
"On behalf of everyone, thank you for everything Alex," said Richards. "This is Jeopardy!"
The tribute concluded with a shot of the empty stage and a moment of silence.
Trebek died on Sunday at age 80 after suffering from stage four pancreatic cancer.
The TV host previously said that he had already "rehearsed" what his final days on Jeopardy! would be like.
"I've kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That's all I want,'" he said in January during ABC's What Is Jeopardy? special.
"And 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. 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.'"
Calling his sign-off a "significant moment," Trebek added of his final words: "'And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'"
After going on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, production on Jeopardy! resumed production over the summer, and Trebek was back as host when the game show returned for its 37th season in September.
"Oddly enough, when we started taping I suddenly started to regain my strength," Trebek told The New York Times shortly after returning to work. "It's the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir."
Above all, Trebek hoped to be remembered "as a good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best," he wrote in his memoir.
"I’ll be perfectly content if that’s how my story ends: sitting on the swing with the woman I love, my soul mate, and our two wonderful children nearby," he wrote. "I’ll sit there for a while and then maybe the four of us will go for a walk, each day trying to walk a little farther than the last."