Alex Trebek’s final episode as host of “Jeopardy!” aired on Friday night, and the game show said goodbye to the late, great host with a touching tribute to his 36 years on the show.
The episode went just like any other with regular-season gameplay. But after the final credits rolled, the show featured a mashup of vintage clips of Trebek over the years, accompanied by the heartwrenching Peter Allen tune, “Once Before I Go.”
At the end, a simple message appeared: “Dedicated to Alex Trebek. Forever in our hearts. Always our inspiration.”
Watch the video above.
At the time his final episode taped in late October, neither Trebek nor production staff thought it would be his last. He died days later on Nov. 8, having lost a long battle to Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
In January 2020, Trebek and his wife Jean sat down with ABC’s Michael Strahan to talk about his life, the game show and his battle with cancer. Trebek said that he had his final goodbye planned out.
“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,'” Trebek told Strahan.
“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,'” he continued, reciting his planned exit speech. “‘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. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'”
However, Trebek’s passing was so sudden that he never had a chance to say what he had prepared.
But on Monday’s episode, he did give a message stressing the importance of kindness and taking care of one another.
“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,” he said. “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.”
He continued: “But today, I’d like you to go one step further. I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your hearts 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.”
Rest in peace, Alex.