Honoring Alex Trebek

Honoring Alex Trebek

On November 8th, 2020, the legendary Alex Trebek passed away peacefully in his home after a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The History of Jeopardy

For anyone who has been living under a rock for the last few decades: Alex Trebek is the iconic host of Jeopardy, a trivia game show that has been running for thirty-seven years. Trebek has been hosting the show for all of those years, and has become a prominent figure of weekday-night television for longer than many of us can remember. Appreciation for Jeopardy transcends generations, and the show has become an iconic part of pop culture for both older and younger audiences.

In each episode, there are three contestants. On a large electronic board, there is a panel with squares, and inside each square is an amount of money (ex. $200). Each column is labeled with a category, and each square with an amount represents one trivia question. Contestants call out a category and an amount, and a question is revealed. There are three rounds, the third being a Final Jeopardy in which one big question is presented; contestants are allowed to choose how much money to wager after viewing the category of the question. The winner is awarded a number of prizes and will appear again the next night, playing against two new contestants.

Trebek’s Legacy

The episodes filmed before Trebek’s passing will continue to air, with the final episode premiering on Christmas Day. In older interviews, Trebek discusses his ideal final episode; he states that he would merely ask the producers for an extra thirty seconds, and deliver a quick and heartfelt goodbye. It is unknown whether or not something along these lines will premiere in the episode.

Whether or not we are able to receive a goodbye directly from Trebek, his work and legacy speaks volumes on its own. Producer Mike Richards describes to CNN Trebek’s love for how Jeopardy “popularized intelligence,” often editing clues himself to provide fans with a dynamic and educational experience. The show’s crew continually expresses deep appreciation for Trebek and his deep love for his work.

Who’s Next?

The Internet has already begun speculation on who will replace Trebek as the next host of Jeopardy. Producers have a difficult job ahead of them, to keep America watching without the show’s beloved host. They have also stated that Trebek did not wish to appoint a successor.

One prominent fan theory revolves around Ken Jennings, the man who won 74 consecutive games in the year 2004. Trebek and Jennings have both expressed their deep respect for each other, in writing and in interaction. Some fans speculate that Jennings will become the next host of the show.


Andone, Dakln and Lowry, Brian. “Alex Trebek, long-running ‘Jeopardy!’ host, dead at 80.” CNN, 9 Nov. 2020. www.cnn.com/2020/11/08/entertainment/alex-trebek-jeopardy-host-death-trnd/index.html.

DeNinno, Nadine. “Who will replace Alex Trebek as ‘Jeopardy!’ host? Meet the top candidates.” New York Post. 9 Nov. 2020. www.nypost.com/2020/11/09/who-will-replace-alex-trebek-as-jeopardy-host-meet-the-top-candidates/

Gay, Verne. “Who might replace Alex Trebek as ‘Jeopardy!’ host?” Newsday, 9 Nov. 2020. www.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/alex-trebek-jeopardy-ken-jennings-1.50061487.