Ken Jennings guest hosts his first episode of ‘Jeopardy!’ with a short tribute to Alex Trebek

Image
Ken Jennings guest hosts the first new episode of ‘Jeopardy!’ without Alex Trebek on Monday, January 11, 2021. Sony Pictures Television
  • 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.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ken Jennings opened his week as “Jeopardy!” guest host with a brief message and tribute to fans of Alex Trebek.

“Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex very much,” said Jennings, getting a bit choked up.

After hosting the show for nearly 36 years, Trebek died in November died in November, at age 80, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed at Stage 4 in March 2019.

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.

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.

Alex trebek tribute
A montage of Alex Trebek’s looks over the years on the game show played during a tribute to the show’s host. ABC

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.