2020 has been a rough year for “Jeopardy!” fans. Sadly, Alex Trebekthe beloved host of the trivia game show since its syndication in 1984, passed away after a long battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer on November 8, 2020. He had hosted over 8,200 episodes during the span of more than 37 seasons and had continued to tape shows up until his passing. His final week of episodes will be posthumously released starting January 4, 2021,
In order to honor his long tenure on the show, the first episode following his passing featured a moment of silence as well as a written dedication at the end of every successive episode. Alongside the show’s Memoriam, fans, contestants, and celebrities alike have also paid their condolences to Alex Trebek. One of the many online tributes to Trebek came from Neil de Grasse Tyson, asking in the form of a “Jeopardy!” answer “he nurtured a Television safe-space for smart people,” question being “Who was Alex Trebek (1940-2020)?”
Having had only one host for the entirety of “Jeopardy!”s syndication, there have been many concerns over who would become Trebek’s successor. Although there hasn’t been a permanent host chosen yet, production resumed on November 30 with record-holding champion Ken Jennings filling in as interim host. Ken Jennings is a former champion who had a 74 game winning streak and amassed a grand total of $2,522,700 in prize money during his run on the show. He lost his 75th game on November 30, 2004, to Nancy Zerg, but nevertheless established himself as a legendary player with a total of 182 broadcasted days.
Ken Jennings has featured on the show recently, having filmed “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” in January 2020 alongside famous contestants Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. Jennings will be the first guest host following Alex Trebek’s passing, however, there will be others who will also fill in. So fear not “Jeopardy!” fans, the legacy of Alex Trebek will live on.
Information comes from CNN and NPR