Alex Trebek Filmed Right Up to the End
They were slated to air on the week of Christmas, Pop Culture reports. But Trebek’s favorite episodes aired that week instead.
Producers said Trebek had continued to film episodes through Oct. 29, less than two weeks before his Nov. 8 death.
“For almost four decades, we’ve invited him into our homes,” the narrator begins the clip of final episodes. “And [we’ve] made him part of our lives. Alex Trebek’s last episodes.”
“What a game,” Trebek says in the clip. “I loved it. I hope you did too.”
Watch the clip here:
A Grueling Last Few Days of Jeopardy!
Trebek died of pancreatic cancer at age 80. He is survived by his wife Jean and children Matthew, Emily and Nicky.
The avuncular television personality had hosted “Jeopardy” since 1984, a tenure spanning more than 8,000 episodes.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published last week, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards talked about the process of shooting Trebek’s final episodes last year.
“He had been out with the surgery, and I wasn’t sure he would be back to tape those days,” Richards said. “So for the few of us that knew what exactly was going on, there was a heightened sense in the room. I had chills throughout the first taping on that Monday, because I was watching him, going, ‘How is he doing this?’ He came in at a higher level than normal, and his normal was excellent.”
“On that first episode, he walked out,” he went on. “And you’ll see it when it airs, he gives this amazing speech about the holidays and coming together and being strong and taking care of each other. And we didn’t know he was gonna do that; he just walked out and did it.”
It took two days to film the last five episodes. Trebek was exhausted, but he maintained his cool reserve through sheer force of will.
“On the second day of taping, what would end up being his final taping and the final time he was in the studio, I went to the door where [he exited] and said, ‘Hey, that was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.’ And he did not like to be complimented,” Richards explained. “But I had to say it, because it was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen… And he looks up and he goes, ‘Thank you.’ He knew what he had done and appreciated the fact that we all knew what he had done. So those last two days are very special, and I’ll never forget them.”