‘Jeopardy!’: When Will Alex Trebek’s Final Episode Air?
Television has lost one of its biggest icons. Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 8, according to a statement released by Jeopardy!‘s Twitter account. The 80-year-old had been battling pancreatic cancer since March 2019, and he kept his loyal Jeopardy! fans updated on his health throughout his treatments.
Before his death, the Canadian-born host expressed how he imagined his final episode of Jeopardy! panning out, but that was when he was considering retiring from the show. It’s not yet known if he was able to record a 30-second goodbye as he had intended. Jeopardy! did confirm, however, that he was able to continue filming the game show up until just one week before his death. Given that, when will his final episode air?
The newest season of ‘Jeopardy!’ started airing Sept. 14 with Alex Trebek hosting
According to a statement on Jeopardy.com, the eight-time Emmy winning host’s last day on the Jeopardy! set was Oct. 29. New episodes for the current season started airing on Sept. 14.
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the statement started off. “He was 80 years old.”
As the statement continued, “Alex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019, and he continued to host Jeopardy! for the next 18 months. Throughout that time, Alex was open and public about his battle with cancer.”
Trebek began hosting the beloved game show in 1984 and recorded over 8,200 episodes throughout his tenure. Through his warm demeanor and sharp wit, Trebek became a household name and a beloved figure in pop culture. (It was a special treat when he would be hilariously shady toward Jeopardy! contestants.)
Alex Trebek had a plan for his last ‘Jeopardy!’ appearance
In an interview with Vulture published Nov. 19, 2018, Trebek detailed how he imagined his final appearance on the staple game show would go. And in true Trebek fashion, he wanted to keep it short, sweet, and sentimental.
“I will tell the director, ‘Time the show so that I have 30 seconds at the end,'” Trebek said.
“Because when Ken Jennings lost after 74 wins in a row,” he continued, “I had a tear in my eye and no time for a good-bye. So all I want on my last show is 30 seconds, and I’ll do what Johnny Carson did: ‘Hey, folks, thank you. Been a good run and all good things must come to an end.’ Then I’ll move on.”
Fans were convinced Trebek would play a role in choosing his successor. Jeopardy! confirmed in its Nov. 8 statement that the show will not be announcing a successor anytime soon. But Trebek did have some ideas.
“All you need is a competent host to help keep things moving,” he told Vulture. “But we’re in the #MeToo movement now, it’s the year of the woman, so I suspect that the producers might give serious consideration to having a woman host. She’ll obviously be younger; she’ll have to be personable, bright, have a sense of humor.”
Alex Trebek’s final ‘Jeopardy!’ episode will air on Christmas
Based on Jeopardy!‘s statement announcing the host’s death, it’s not clear if Trebek was, indeed, able to record that 30-second goodbye. If he continued to film until just one week before his death, however, it’s possible he had the wherewithal to record his farewell in the event of his passing.
The series did confirm, however, that Jeopardy! will continue airing episodes as planned throughout this current season, with Trebek’s final episode airing on Christmas.
“Jeopardy! episodes hosted by Alex will air through December 25, 2020 (his last day in the studio was October 29),” the statement read. “The show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.”