Alex Trebek has passed away, but he’ll still be on the air, hosting Jeopardy! until Christmas 2020.
Trebek, the smooth-as-silk game show host extraordinaire, who logged 37 years with Jeopardy, died on November 8 at the age of 80. His passing came after a long battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which he’d revealed publicly in March 2019. He actually waged that battle for so long that Trebek had time to pen an autobiography, regularly update fans on the highs and lows of his treatment, enjoy time with his family and, quite remarkably, despite the raging pandemic, return to his hosting duties on Jeopardy! And that is why, while Trebek has breathed his last breath, fans will still have another six weeks of fresh Jeopardy! episodes.
Where can you watch Jeopardy! going forward?
Right now, older Jeopardy! episodes can be viewed on ABC, ABC.com, the ABC app.
For those of us focused on streaming-only options, you’ve got Hulu and Netflix. But hurry if you’re watching it on Netflix, as the Hollywood Reporter revealed last month that six collections of Jeopardy! episodes will vanish on Nov. 27.
Jeopardy! has not yet announced a replacement, according to CNN, though there are rumors that all-time champ Ken Jennings, whom the show tapped as a consulting producer and brand ambassador in the fall, could step up to Trebek’s microphone. Further, Trebek himself once suggested that CNN legal analyst Laura Coates and L.A. Kings announcer Alex Faust might take over.
“This is an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew, and all of Alex’s millions of fans,” Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement in which he noted that Trebek filmed his final episode less than two weeks ago, on October 29. “He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor.”
Things you may not know about Alex Trebek
- Trebek, who was Canadian, hosted several other shows before he arrived at Jeopardy! in 1984, among them Music Hop, a Canadian program that resembled American Bandstand, The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers and Battlestars. Even while with Jeopardy!, he hosted the likes of Classic Concentration, The National Geographic Bee finals, and To Tell the Truth.
- He hosted every single episode of Jeopardy! from 1984 to 2020, with the exception of one. On April Fool’s Day in 1997, he and Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak swapped gigs, with Trebek spinning the wheel on Wheel of Fortune and Sajak putting contestants in Jeopardy!
- Trebek guest-starred as himself in dozens of television shows and movies over the years, including Mama’s Family, Rain Man, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Rugrats, The X-Files, Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Orange Is the New Black, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- He ultimately hosted more than 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy!
- Will Ferrell played Trebek numerous times on Saturday Night Live, often with Darrell Hammond as an exaggeratedly daft Sean Connery. Trebek appreciated SNL’s spoof, but actually admitted he preferred someone else’s imitation of him. A pre-Schitt’s Creek Eugene Levy played Trebek, though he was initially called Trebel, on Second City Television (SCTV) in sketches that also featured John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, and Rick Moranis.
- And just as Trebek will be seen on Jeopardy! through the holidays, he will return to the silver screen at some point in the future, likely in 2021. Trebek joined Ryan Reynolds, in the latter’s upcoming fantasy-comedy-adventure Free Guy, the release of which has been delayed by the coronavirus. Trebek plays… Trebek. Upon hearing of Trebek’s death, Reynolds tweeted: “Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring, and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will.”