The Touching Moment From ‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek’s Final Episodes That You Won’t See On TV
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek showed up for work even after being hospitalized and filmed the final episodes just 10 days befor he died.
The final “Jeopardy!” episodes that were hosted by legend Alex Trebek are set to air this week just two months after he tragically died following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
In the lead-up to these episodes, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards reveals the touching, behind-the-scenes moment that fans won’t see on the show.
Richards Reveals Touching Trebek Moment
“What he did on tonight’s show is just a great testament to him,” Richards told Entertainment Tonight. “… He usually said something about what was happening in the news or about what game play had been happening. In this very special, unbelievable, final week, he comes out and gives a talk about the importance of togetherness and sticking together and that the world is struggling, but we have to get through it together.”
Richards adds that the moment gave him and the rest of the crew “chills.”
“There are specific moments in Jeopardy! when you clap and then there are moments when you’re quiet. Usually in his monologue, he would come out, give a statement and they would go to the categories,” he explained. “Well, there’s not many people in the studio because of COVID. And we all burst into applause.”
“You don’t see it on camera, but as he’s going to the categories, he sees us start to applaud and he kind of looks at us like, ‘What are you guys doing?'” Richards continued. “We were so moved that we had to applaud.”
He Filmed These Episodes Ten Days Before He Died
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The episodes that will be airing this week were filmed in between Trebek having been hospitalized and just 10 days before Trebek died.
“The week before we taped those episodes he was in the hospital. This man was unbelievable,” Richards said.
“He calls me and says, ‘Mike, I’m going to be fine. I’ll be in to tape. I was able to eat Jell-O today.’ And I went, ‘Alex, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be ready to host five episodes of a game show, which is an enormous amount of effort.’ He said, ‘Do not cancel. I will be there.'”
Not only did Trebek show up, he gave the episodes everything he had.
“He was an absolute warrior,” Richards said of the 80-year-old host. “What he was able to do by getting himself back to the set… it was herculean. He was in enormous pain. He was 10 days away from passing away. You will not sense that in any of these episodes. He is strong. He sounds great. He’s funny. He’s amazing.”
Trebek Kept Showing Up For Work Despite Cancer Battle
While showing up for work in the midst of a grueling cancer battle is impressive, it was business as usual for Trebek.
“I think a normal person would have said, ‘I’m not going to show up’ a year and a half before those final episodes. I mean, he was getting chemotherapy once a week, so I think there was a level of professionalism,” Richards said. “I think he really understood the importance of the show and what it meant to people.”
Rest in peace, Alex Trebek.