This postgame “Jeopardy!” conversation takes on a new meaning, in light of the passing of Alex Trebek and champion Brayden Smith.
The exchange came during one of Trebek’s final episodes and Smith’s brief championship run. The late champion won five consecutive games and a total of $115,000 in prize money during his time on the show. He earned the affectionate name “Billy Buzzsaw” from the host. Trebek was notably frailer from his battle with pancreatic cancer. But he was still his cordial self.
“You played well. But you ran into Billy Buzzsaw. And he came ready to defeat,” Trebek said.
A contestant, who lost the match to Smith, suggested the two go on a hike together. In a bit of eerie foreshadowing, Smith deadpanned, “I don’t think I’m coming back.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Mourn Brayden Smith
It’s been a rough couple of months for “Jeopardy!” fans. They’ve faced the passing of a gameshow titan when Trebek died from cancer late last year. Now, the game show community is mourning the loss of one of their most recent champions. Smith actually passed away on Feb. 5, but news of his death wasn’t made public until recently.
“The ‘Jeopardy!’ family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” the show said in a statement. “He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”
Smith reportedly died at Southern Nevada hospital after complications arose due to an undisclosed surgery. His sudden passing shocked the game show community. In the days since several fans have posted tributes to Smith and his reign on the show. Fans remember the champ for his warm and personable personality, not too different from Trebek’s actually. The gameshow may be known for its facts and trivia. But at the center, there was always a love for the game and knowledge in general.
On social media, Smith’s mother Debbie revealed that it was one of her son’s dreams to appear on the game show. Smith fortunately got to see that dream realize. And what’s more, he’ll always be a part of the show’s history. For a time, Smith was the champ, and he’ll always be known as such.