For the first time in decades, “Jeopardy” was without its beloved host Alex Trebek. On Monday, the game show moved forward without Trebek.
Former contestant Ken Jennings, who joined the show last summer as a producer after winning the “Greatest of All Time” event last year, was at the dais on Monday, and like in most previous episodes of Jeopardy, welcomed the returning champion and two challengers. Jennings is the first of a series of guest hosts for the game show.
No one faced off against Trebek more than Jennings. Jennings won 74 games in a row, and has participated in a number of major tournaments since. For fans of the show, having Jennings host the first show after Trebek eased the transition. The moment brought out emotions from Jennings.
“You know, sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said at the opening of Monday’s episode. “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 is 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 totally clear; no one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor by playing the game he loved.”
Following Trebek’s passing in November, Jeopardy continued airing weeks of episodes filmed before Trebek’s death. The final new episode featuring Trebek aired on Friday. Trebek taped his final episode of Jeopardy on October 29. Jeopardy generally tapes a single week of episodes on one day.