Alex Trebek recorded powerful Thanksgiving message for ‘Jeopardy!’ ahead of his death

By Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News, Tribune Content Agency

Beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek offered an uplifting vision for the future of the world in a video he taped shortly before his death to be aired as part of the game show’s Thanksgiving episode.

“You know, in spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful,” said Trebek in the prerecorded clip, which was shared Thursday on the “Jeopardy!” Twitter page. “There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors,” Trebek continued, “and that’s a good thing.”

Trebek died Nov. 8 at age 80 following a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Trebek concluded his Thanksgiving address by encouraging viewers to “keep the faith.” He also shared his confidence that the world will “get through all of this.” “We will be a better society because of it,” Trebek said.


His powerful message comes amid a stretch in which coronavirus cases are surging throughout the United States and other parts of the world. U.S. health officials advised people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with those whom they share a household with in an effort to curb the spread.

Trebek announced his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019 and continued to tape episodes of “Jeopardy!” during his fight with the disease. The final episode of the question-and-answer trivia program with Trebek as the host is scheduled to air on Christmas Day.

In Thursday’s tweet, “Jeopardy!” said Trebek’s Thanksgiving message is “high on our list of things to be thankful for this year.” “We hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving,” the show’s tweet continued.

Trebek became the host of “Jeopardy!” in 1984. Earlier this week, “Jeopardy!” announced it would resume taping episodes, with Ken Jennings, a former champion on the game show, slated to be the first of the program’s interim hosts.

“Alex believed in the importance of ‘Jeopardy!’ and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” said the program’s executive producer, Mike Richards, in a statement. “We will honor his legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved.”

Jennings on Tuesday was nominated for a Grammy in the best spoken word album category for the audiobook for Trebek’s memoir, “Alex Trebek — The Answer Is … ” Both Jennings and Trebek narrated the memoir’s audiobook.

Jennings expressed confusion over why Trebek was not nominated, and asked who he needs to speak to about it.


“This should 100% be Alex’s Grammy nomination,” Jennings, 46, tweeted Tuesday. “He wrote the book and reads much of the audiobook!”

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