‘Jeopardy!’: Guest Host Mike Richards Opens Show Honoring Alex Trebek’s Legacy

by Halle Ames

The new Jeopardy! guest host Mike Richard opened up last night’s show with a special tribute to the late and beloved Alex Trebek. 

Executive producer Mike Richards is stepping out from behind the scenes to serve as the next two-week intern host of the hit game show, Jeopardy! 

Mike Richards Pays Tribute to a Legend

After his first night as host, fans felt as though the 45-year-old producer crushed it. To keep Alex Trebek’s legacy alive, Mike Richards opened the show with a short tribute to the former host. 

“So, as the producer, my job is to quite literally live the mantra ‘the show must go on,'” Richards said. “So let’s do what Alex Trebek did 8,244 times: Let’s play Jeopardy! and prove that nothing can stop this show.”

For last night’s episode of Jeopardy! Mike Richards began with another testimonial as to the best qualities of Alex Trebek and what it was like to work with him.

“Welcome to Jeopardy! I want to start this episode by thanking the staff and crew of Jeopardy! for their strength and hard work. As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult year here, but we’ve chosen to celebrate our hero, Alex Trebek. Working with Alex was even better than you could have imagined. His intensity for this show, his humor, his kindness, but most impressively, his love for his wife Jean and his kids. He was everything you could hope for and more. He was an idol of mine, and I will work every day to try and live up to the example he set. So, with that in mind, Sam, Aaron, and Frances, good luck. This is for you, Alex.”

“Thank you, Alex.”

Before Richards’ turn as guest host, legendary champion Ken Jennings held the gig. For his sign off at the end of each show, he would say, “Thank you, Alex.”

Fans appreciated the moving and emotional touch onto the show.  

“That’s a wrap on my six weeks of @Jeopardy guest hosting,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for watching, thanks for your patience with a tough learning curve…and, as always, thank you, Alex.”

Jennings revealed that the tag-out was actually the idea of Mike Richards after a fan commented how much she loves the shout-out. 

“‘Thanks, Alex’ was suggested as a sign-off by executive producer Mike Richards, and I’m glad he did. There wouldn’t be a show without Alex,” Jennings replied.

Interim host Mike Richards continued the heartfelt sign-off after his first episode. 

“I just want to say, as Alex said, we’re trying to build a kinder and gentler society,” Richards said. “And if we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re going to get there. See you next time.”

The Monday night episode of Jeopardy! also ended with a black screen that read, “Dedicated to Alex Trebek. Forever in our Hearts, Always our Inspiration,” in white writing. 

Alex Trebek died on November 8, 2020 after a battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was 80-years-old.

From all of us here at Outsider, we are also trying to continue Alex Trebek’s legacy at building a “kinder and gentler society.” Until that day comes where his dream is achieved, we would like to sign out of this story with a simple, “Thank you, Alex.” This one’s for you.