Alex Trebek, the longtime host of the popular game show “Jeopardy!” sadly  passed away at the age of 80 this Sunday. 

After the news of Mr.Trebek’s demise broke, there was an outpouring of messages from fans, ex-contestants, and celebrities mourning the loss of the beloved game show host. 

“Jeopardy!” wrote on twitter: “Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex.”

“His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever,” Jeopardy’s executive producer, Mike Richards, said. 

His Battle With Cancer:

The game show host had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis he had opened up about last year. “I’m gonna fight this, and I’m gonna keep working,” Trebek said when he first broke the news of his diagnosis. “And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.” In August 2019, the Jeopardy!  host said that he was in near remission, but later announced that that update was “was a bit premature and certainly over-optimistic.”

Through it all, Trebek kept the show running and since first announcing the diagnosis, never failed to keep fans updated on the status of his health. He was transparent about what he was going through. He told CBS that sometimes his pain would shoot “from a three to an 11” during tapings. “I taped the show, and then I made it to the dressing room on one occasion, just barely, before I writhed in pain and cried in pain,” he said. He also gave a one- year update on his status, and took the opportunity to point out that only 18% of of people with pancreatic cancer make it to the one year mark. 

As A Host:

Trebek was a dependable, calming fixture for the many Americans that watched and still watch the show consistently. 

One of the major appeals of the show was how reliably familiar it was, and part of that is due to Trebek’s consistent, impeccable hosting. 

A good host, Trebek had said, could put his ego aside and let contestants be “all they could be”. And he did that. He was also no-nonsense, and would let contestants know when he thought they had missed easy answers. 

What’s Next For The Show?

“Jeopardy!” has announced that episodes  hosted by Trebek will air through December 25. The show has also announced that it has no immediate plans to replace the late host. Which is  good thing as many fans of the show can’t imagine “Jeopardy!” without Alex Trebek. Trebek had hosted the show for 36 years and hosted over  8,200 episodes before he died.  So for many viewers of the show under a certain age, there has never  been Jeopardy without Alex as the host. “Alex Trebek was ‘Jeopardy!’,” said Monica Thieu, a former contestant who won the college championship in 2012. “We have no idea what the show is going to be without him.” 

Ms. Thieu, 26, said she idolized Mr.Trebek as a child. “He made it cool to be smart,” she said.

Reactions:

Richard Cordray, a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion in the 1980s said that part of what made Jeopardy! such a source of comfort for so many Americans was Mr. Trebek’s consistency as host.

Ken Jennings, one of the ex-contestants that got the most screen time with Mr.Trebek with an impressive 74- game streak, wrote that Alex was a “deeply decent man”, and expressed gratitude for the time he got to spend with him.

Many celebrities also praised the late game show host and expressed their sadness over the news of his death. Steve Harvey, the host of  “Family Feud,” called Trebek  “the classiest game show host of all time.”

And Jimmy Kimmel also lamented Mr.Trebek’s  death, and joked that “we couldn’t have one nice weekend” in reference to the election results.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also mourned the loss of the Canadian-American game show host.

Truly,  Trebek was an icon, a staple of American pop culture and he will be sorely missed.