As Jeopardy! fans are watching the final episodes that Alex Trebek ever hosted, the legendary presenter, who passed away in November after battling pancreatic cancer, has left behind a thoughtful and resonant final message for viewers. On Monday’s episode, which was taped 10 days before his death at age 80, Trebek spoke to the audience and delivered an emotional plea. In the address, he “asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives.” Trebek added, “Now, today, a different kind of message: This is the season of giving,” which is especially resonant since the final episodes were originally supposed to air during the holiday season and were recorded near Thanksgiving, CNN reports.
In October, Trebek recorded five additional episodes to be broadcast which began airing this Monday and will continue throughout the week. He taped the final games despite the fact that he had undergone intestinal surgery less than two weeks before taping, according to CBS Evening News. He continued his message, saying, “I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones. But today, I’d like you to go one step further.” Addressing the nation’s stress and grief amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, “I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19.”
He went on to say, “People who are suffering through no fault of their own,” and “We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society. And if we all pitch in, just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.” A fitting swan song for the man who became a mainstay on millions of families’ television screens for upwards of 30 years in his Jeopardy! tenure, a host whose presence became “synonymous with knowledge itself,” according to The New Yorker.
There will never be another. Trebek.