Since starting his hosting duties on “Jeopardy!” Ken Jennings has earned the respect of many longtime fans of the show, thanks in part to his sign-off message after each episode: “Thank you, Alex.”
Before taking on the job following Alex Trebek’s death, Jennings had built up a fair amount of fame due to his record-setting 74-game win streak and, after taking home the top prize in the Greatest of All-Time Tournament.
Jennings recently revealed how the idea to pay respect to Trebek before the close of each episode came about.
“Thanks, Alex was suggested as a sign-off by executive producer Mike Richards, and I’m glad he did,” Jennings wrote on Twitter. “There wouldn’t be a show without Alex.”
The explanation comes after one user had tagged him in a post, confessing that she chokes up whenever she watches the heartfelt moment at the end of each episode.
Ken Jennings Remembers Trebek in More Ways Than One
However, Jennings’ sign-off is just one of the numerous ways he’s paid tribute to Trebek since starting his run as interim guest host.
On Twitter, Ken Jennings shared an image of the original ticket from Trebek’s debut “Jeopardy!” show. Jennings kept the photo in his coat pocket while filming episodes to remain close to the late host.
Jennings also delivered several heartbreaking opening statements during his first week. He not only thanked Trebek for the legacy he left but for all of the memories he shared with viewers.
Since Jennings’ time on the show, many fans have welcomed him with open arms. On social media, Jennings has also received high marks. Many are even calling for Jennings to be named the full-time host once the guest hosts finish and the network is ready to make the official announcement.
After Jennings finishes his duties, Richards will take on the role for two weeks of filming. This will allow the guest hosts to prepare more.
Following Richards, Katie Couric will step in, making her the first female to ever step behind the iconic lectern.
Other guest hosts will include Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker, and Mayim Bialik.