Television legend Alex Trebek passed away at the age of 80 in November 2020, but Jeopardy filmed far enough ahead of time despite the challenges of the year that there were still a number of episodes featuring Trebek that had yet to air. Sadly, his final week of episodes has now begun, and his time on the air is nearly at an end. That said, the episode that started out his final week on January 4 opened with a powerful message for fans that is a fitting way to begin a farewell.
At the beginning of the January 4 episode of Jeopardy, Alex Trebek took a few moments to directly address the camera with a message for viewers at home, saying:
You'll recall that about a month ago I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives. Now today, a different kind of message. This is the 'season of giving.' 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. I'd like you to open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19. People who are suffering through no fault of their own. We're trying to build a gentler, kinder society. And if we all pitch in just a little bit, we're gonna get there.
This episode of Jeopardy would have originally aired toward the end of 2020, possibly before Christmas Day, but I think this can still qualify as the "season of giving." Alex Trebek, who passed away after a long and public battle with pancreatic cancer, returned to Jeopardy with the pandemic still impacting the entertainment business as a whole, bringing at least a little bit of normalcy back to television.
Alex Trebek's request for all to pitch in "just a little bit" would have been poignant no matter when it aired; the message is especially powerful knowing that he died not too long after filming it. The message is a wonderful, if also sad, way to start his final week of episodes. It reflects a lot of what Trebek brought to television as much more than just a game show host. His humor, heart, and dedication are what made him into a TV legend, and guarantee that he won't be forgotten.
Take a look at Alex Trebek delivering the full message for yourself:
Alex Trebek filmed his final episodes of Jeopardy a mere ten days before he passed away, with the original plan for his final episode to air on Christmas Day. The show ultimately decided to air a series of Trebek's best episodes during the holiday week and save his final installments for early January. His final week of episodes began on Monday, January 4, and will come to an end on Friday, January 8.
Although it's not yet clear who will become the full-time host of Jeopardy to carry on for Alex Trebek, a series of interim hosts are on the way, beginning with Jeopardy record-holder Ken Jennings, who has made headlines for some more unpleasant reasons in recent days. For now, you can look forward to Trebek's farewell episodes of Jeopardy this week, and check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule for more viewing options.