The first “Jeopardy!” episode without host Alex Trebek aired on Monday.
Following the iconic game show host’s tragic death last year due to pancreatic cancer, “Jeopardy!” has elected to line up several guest hosts until a replacement is named, and frequent champ Ken Jennings is first on the list.
He took to the stage for Monday’s episode, and in Trebek fashion, offered a brief monologue in tribute to the late host before kicking off the game.
“You know, sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” he began. “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.”
Jennings continued: “We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace; really, there’s no other word for it.”
The star then appeared to temporarily get choked up.
“Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us,” Jennings concluded. “Let’s be totally clear, no one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game loved.”
Buy-and-large, fans were pleased to see Jennings and were fans of his emotional message.
“#jeopardy truly isn’t the same without Alex Trebek, but Ken Jennings provides *some* sense of normalcy,” one fan tweeted. “Except I started crying during his tribute to Alex at the beginning of the show.”
“Not me instantly sobbing during Ken Jennings’ monologue about Alex on Jeopardy,” said another.
He asked fans to “open up” their hands and hearts “to those who are still suffering” as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and “people who are suffering through no fault of their own.”
“We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society,” Trebek continued. “And if we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.”
Trebek served as the host of “Jeopardy!” since 1984.
‘Jeopardy!’ guest host Ken Jennings pays tribute to Alex Trebek, Twitter reacts The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Fox News.