R.I.P. Alex Trebek

Host and television icon.

Jim Rome
November 09, 2020 - 10:45 am
Alex Trebek

USA Today

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If Things That Suck was a category on the big blue board and This Is The Undisputed Worst Year Ever was a clue…

What is 2020? Would be the answer. And the answer would, fittingly, be in the form of a question.

Because yesterday, the devil that is pancreatic cancer took Jeopardy! Host and television icon, Alex Trebek at the age of 80 years old.

Trebek is as household as they come. Because this man was literally a staple in millions of households five nights a week for 37 years. Aaron Rodgers was one of the many, many people who wrote about Trebek yesterday saying, “6 pm weeknights will never be the same. So many great memories and I’m thankful to have met him.”

Over nearly four decades, George Alexander Trebek hosted America’s most popular game show and never missed an episode. Except that one time on April Fool’s Day in ’97 when he switched roles with Pat Sajak and did Wheel Fortune while Sajak did Jeopardy!

Sure, at times, he did come off as smarter than the rest of us, which I found amusing given that he was the one person who was given all the answers ahead of time: but he was a pro’s pro: and did provide comedy at times with his harsh reactions to contestants who buzzed-in with the incorrect answers. And I’ll reset some of the best ones in a minute.

First I want to go back to March of 2019—when Trebek first revealed his stage four diagnosis. It was then that Trebek vowed to fight the low survival rate and continue working as long as he could.

And he did just that. For nearly two years, Trebek hosted the show while undergoing debilitating treatments that he openly admitted put him in a state of depression. He also raised a lot of money as the new face of pancreatic cancer and became one of the top fundraisers for Purple Stride LA.

8 months after his diagnosis, during an episode in November, a contestant used Final Jeopardy as an opportunity to reveal a note to Trebek on his podium screen that nearly brought the game show host to tears.

You can hear Trebek getting choked up as he reads the note that said, “We love you, Alex.” And that moment will go down as one of the most iconic in Jeopardy! History.

In addition to the outpouring of support, Trebek also got to host the incomparable run of James Holzhauer who made national news during his unprecedented run in the final 18 months of Trebek’s life. That run from Jeopardy James spawned the GOAT Tournament— a four-night primetime event that Trebek also hosted while undergoing treatment.  

Now—part of the appeal of the man and the show is the unintentional comedy that it spawned. . You put three nerds—err!—bookworms—on TV every night and ask them 61 questions, you’re gonna get some moments. And most of the very best moments revolved around sports. Like this question about which NFC team has never played in the Super Bowl.

In fairness to that lady, I’m pretty sure the Jacksonville Panthers haven’t played in the Super Bowl, either.

Here’s another awesome fail.

That might be my favorite one ever. Do A 180 is such a bad and stupid and funny guess that you couldn’t dream it up if you were given the rest of your life.

All those are made so much better by the trademark disdain of George Alexander Trebek.

Again, a pro’s pro: a TV legend:  

Gone but never forgotten. Just like this answer on Celebrity Jeopardy! From Kareem.

Rest in Peace, A.T.  . Thanks for the memories. May the next host be as gracious as you were--and may they hate wrong answers as much as you did?  And much respect for going at the devil and fighting as hard you did until the very end. 

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