- Ken Jennings guest hosted the first episode of “Jeopardy!” without Alex Trebek.
- Trebek died died in November 2020 at age 80 after a battle with cancer.
- Jennings opened Monday’s show with a short tribute to Trebek.
- “No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honour him by playing the game he loved,” Jennings said.
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“Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex very much,” said Jennings, getting a bit choked up.
Jennings, a former “Jeopardy!” champion, is the first in a rotating cast of guest hosts that are continuing the show. He joined the show in September as a consulting producer.
“No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honour him by playing the game he loved,” Jennings said.
Shortly after the East coast broadcast, the short video was shared on the show’s official Twitter account.
Ken Jennings steps up to the lectern today as our first guest host – but not before honoring Alex. pic.twitter.com/uOzQ3UfqmN
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) January 12, 2021
Here’s Jennings’ full speech below:
“Welcome to ‘Jeopardy!’ You know, sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honours of my life. Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close.
We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace, really, there’s no other word for it. Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much, and I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honour him by playing the game he loved.”
Trebek’s final episode of the game show aired Friday with a tribute to the Emmy winner.
Trebek had filmed new episodes up through the end of October 2020.
After Jennings’ run on the game show, The Los Angeles Times reports that journalist Katie Couric will be the show’s next interim host.