Jeopardy: Champions share their fondest Alex Trebek reminiscences

CNN requested some current Jeopardy! champions to share their reminiscences of with Alex Trebek throughout his closing season of the present, and their responses reveal simply how a lot Trebek’s spirit and affect prolonged past the rostrum.

“My favourite reminiscence from my time on Jeopardy! was Alex’s opening message through the Thanksgiving day present, which embodied the entire values that he was about: optimism, compassion and unity. It was an honor to be on the stage as he delivered that assertion, and shall be a kind of issues that sticks with me for the remainder of my life.

In that sport the right response to Last Jeopardy! was Om, and after the present was over, Alex came visiting to myself and my fellow contestants (Zack and Aaron) and led us by a chant of Om, which was a very cool and particular second as properly.

General, although Alex was positively visibly struggling a bit along with his sickness, the factor that stood out to me essentially the most was that he clearly genuinely loved internet hosting the present and wished to maintain doing so so long as he was capable of. He was in nice spirits throughout all of my tapings with him, and I contemplate myself extraordinarily fortunate to have gotten the prospect to share the stage with such a tremendous man.”

Carmela Chan
Three-time champion

Memorable 'Jeopardy!' moments

“Alex Trebek was like a member of my household. One of many earliest tv exhibits I ever keep in mind watching was Jeopardy! It doesn’t matter what else was occurring on the earth, he was the one fixed that will present up each night at 7:30.

In each present, it was abundantly clear simply how a lot he cared for data and trivia, and as a viewer, one may immediately inform how a lot enjoyable he was having on the present. In particular person, that feeling was magnified a thousandfold.

Within the 4 exhibits I bought to tape with him, I by no means as soon as bought an inkling of the discomfort or ache that he will need to have been going by. He all the time wished to make every episode the most effective, most enjoyable present, and was extremely sort and beneficiant all through, not simply to the contestants, however to his workers, who all clearly cherished working for him.

He took the time to present us all phrases of encouragement, and even generally a mock ‘stern’ pep discuss if we hadn’t guess sufficient. He cherished joking round with us, and on the finish of my first present, he turned to us and mentioned, ‘Gosh, I had enjoyable! I hope you all did too.’

As a contestant and a viewer, I feel I can communicate for all of us once I say that we’ve got had a lot enjoyable watching him over the a long time and I can not thank him sufficient for all the enjoyment that he is dropped at our lives.”

Kevin Walsh
5-time champion

“I have been a fan of the present for the whole lot of his run and Alex is the primary cause I got here to treat it as a heat and welcoming establishment. He struck the right tone – erudite, however accessible; winking and wry; and all the time clearly rooting for the contestants to play boldly and win huge. He made it cool to be good.

Lastly showing on the present was a dream come true, however interacting with Alex despatched all of it into the stratosphere. He carried himself and managed the video games so easily that you just’d by no means have recognized he was in poor health. A consummate skilled, but additionally heat and inspiring. Even when he’d specific his disappointment at contestants lacking a clue on Canadian geography – as I did – it was with the air of a supportive mother or father or instructor, admonishing you to do higher.

They learned English -- and how to be American -- from watching Alex Trebek

The 2 particular moments I nonetheless carry with me are very small, however significant to me. Throughout one interview section, I used to be capable of elicit a chuckle from him and making Alex Trebek snicker felt like profitable a sport in itself. Second, a couple of video games into my run, I used to be admonished to rewrite a wager as a consequence of poor (nervous) penmanship. With out even wanting up from his lectern, Alex provided a wry ‘Come on, Kevin, you’ve got been right here earlier than.’

I do know it is goofy, however that light ribbing made me really feel extra part of Jeopardy! than really taking part in the sport.”

Andy Wooden
Four-time champion

“Alex Trebek impressed me most along with his professionalism once I was taping my episodes. Jeopardy! tapes 5 episodes a day, which is a fairly grueling schedule, and I am fairly certain there was just one time in all 5 of the video games I performed when Alex needed to re-read a single clue, and I feel that was solely as a result of he did not love the wording and was making an edit on the fly.

Through the tapings he gave no indication that he wasn’t 100% wholesome. If I hadn’t recognized upfront that he was in poor health, I would not have guessed it from his efficiency on the set. Throughout business breaks the contestants may overhear a producer speaking with Alex and mainly saying, ‘You already know, you do not have to do that…’ and letting him know that they might cease at any time if he wanted to. However he shrugged that off and insisted that the manufacturing proceed, solely making a lighthearted joke about wishing they might simply tape one episode a day.

“Looking back I am actually impressed with how deftly he dealt with the post-game chats with all three contestants. 5 instances a day, he must average what needs to be a really uncomfortable dialog between one extraordinarily completely happy particular person and two people who find themselves most likely not too excited to have simply misplaced to that particular person, and the grace he confirmed in doing that for many years is de facto unbelievable — it is one thing akin to a physician having good bedside method.”

Kristin Hucek
Three-time champion

“I had been watching Jeopardy! since I used to be younger, so showing on the present whereas Alex was nonetheless the host was actually a dream come true. If pressed, I’d have a tough time selecting which occasion was extra memorable: My wedding ceremony, which was scheduled for a similar week, or my Jeopardy! look.

And naturally, essentially the most thrilling a part of the complete expertise was undoubtedly assembly Alex. He’s such a cultural icon and an integral a part of the present. It was very humbling to see when the cameras began rolling that I used to be showing on the 8259th episode of the present, in its 37th season with Alex because the host.

He was simply as sort, partaking, and considerate in particular person as he seems on TV. On condition that they tape 5 exhibits per day, I used to be struck by how shortly Alex was capable of join with every group of latest contestants that was introduced in particularly given what we now know concerning the superior stage of his sickness.

I used to be additionally struck by how a lot of a perfectionist he’s — he evaluations the solutions and questions for every sport as in the event that they had been a script, making notes for himself about pronunciation of every of the phrases to make sure that he mentioned every of them correctly.

His dedication and clear ardour for his work had been inspiring to witness. And although I’m unhappy about his passing and unhappy for the numerous contestants and the viewers who is not going to get to expertise him internet hosting anymore, I’m glad that he was capable of do what he cherished proper up till the very finish. That all of us may very well be so fortunate!”

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