The iconic TV host passed away over the weekend after spending nearly four decades as the host of "Jeopardy!"
Over the weekend, as people across the country celebrated the long-delayed results of the presidential election, the entertainment world also faced the loss of Alex Trebek.
The long-running TV host, best known as the face of Jeopardy!, announced last year that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. After several rounds of chemotherapy over the course of 18 months, Trebek died in his Los Angeles home Sunday, November 8. He was 80 years old.
After taping his 6,829th episode of Jeopardy! on June 13, 2014, Trebek set the Guinness World Record for most game shows hosted by the same presenter, a title he still holds. His final episode will air posthumously this Christmas Day, bringing his 36-year tenure to a respectful close.
To honor the late television icon, we've gathered clips of some of our favorite moments in Alex Trebek's storied career.
Calling out the losers
As welcoming as Trebek may have been with all his guests, he never missed an opportunity to gently roast a contestant. One example was when he didn't shy away from sharing his true feelings about "nerdcore hip-hop," a niche genre of music beloved by a Jeopardy! contestant named Susan.
"It's people who identify as nerdy rapping about the things they love," Susan told Trebek on screen. "Video games, science fiction, having a hard time meeting romantic partners." Trebek's response: "Losers, in other words." We weren't going to be the ones to say it, but we're inclined to agree.
Reading, writing, and...rapping?
Once in a while, the writers behind Jeopardy! clues like to test their contestants' music knowledge with categories entirely dedicated to the genre of rap. Naturally, this lends itself to hilarious situations in which Trebek recites bars of Kanye West, Drake, and Lil Wayne in his charmingly geeky host voice.
Off the record
Though Trebek could always remain poised while on the air, his behavior was a little more casual behind the scenes. Such is the case with some vintage footage that spread in which the host is promoting Phone Jeopardy!, which allowed viewers from home to join in on the trivia fun.
As Trebek gets increasingly frustrated with filming the commercial, his family-friendly filter is rendered useless when he begins fitfully throwing around four-letter words. Still—nobody could make cuss words sound as eloquent as him.
A winning selfie
Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for eve… https://t.co/9dIrsu8RbV— Ken Jennings (@Ken Jennings)1604857667.0
Easily the most famed Jeopardy! contestant is Ken Jennings, whose run on the show set a number of world records and earned him over $4.5 million. He paid tribute to Trebek with a heartfelt post on Twitter, which included a photo of him and the host taking a selfie.
"Alex wasn't just the best ever at what he did," Jennings wrote. "He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I'm grateful for every minute I got to spend with him. Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us."
Live from New York, it’s Jeopardy!
Though it's hard to do Trebek justice with an impression, Will Ferrell made a pretty good dupe for the Jeopardy! host on his final episode as a Saturday Night Live cast member. In this 2002 "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketch, Ferrell's Trebek mediates a game between Dave Matthews (Jimmy Fallon), Bjork (Winona Ryder), and Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond). Things go a little berserk until, of course, the real Trebek shows up to offer his condolences.
“We <3 You, Alex”
Written-in Final Jeopardy! answers have made for some of the most entertaining moments in the show's lengthy history. Last year, after news broke of Trebek's pancreatic cancer diagnosis, one contestant forfeited his winnings to offer the host a bit of hope. "What is...we love you, Alex," Trebek read from the contestant's screen, instantly getting choked up. "That's very kind. Thank you." Watching this moment now a year later is even more emotional.