This Is What Alex Trebek Wanted for His Last "Jeopardy!" Episode

The game-show legend, who died on Sunday, had planned his final farewell from Jeopardy! in 2018.

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Generations of TV viewers this week lost a huge part of their shared history when Alex Trebek died at the age of 80, following a year-and-a-half long battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. From 1984 until his death, he was the host of the hugely popular syndicated show Jeopardy!, hosting more than 8,200 episodes, the most by a presenter of any single game-show and an achievement that secured him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Throughout his illness, Trebek continued filming Jeopardy!, working until two weeks before his death. Shortly before he made his diagnosis public in early 2019, Trebek revealed what he wanted for his last episode of Jeopardy! in a 2018 interview with Vulture. Read on to find out what he envisioned, and for more on the future of the show, find out Who Alex Trebek Wanted to Replace Him as the Next Jeopardy! Host.

In the 2018 interview, Trebek first detailed what he believed to be the secret of the show's success and the art of hosting: "You have to set your ego aside," he said. "The stars of the show are the contestants and the game itself. That's why I've always insisted that I be introduced as the host and not the star. And if you want to be a good host, you have to figure a way to get the contestants to—as in the old television commercial about the military—'be all you can be.' Because if they do well, the show does well. And if the show does well, by association I do well."

The conversation moved on to how Trebek, whose contract was up in 2022, saw his eventual retirement playing out, with Vulture asking him, "Do you have a vision for your last show?" He responded: "If I do, it's that I will tell the director, 'Time the show so that I have 30 seconds at the end.' Because when Ken Jennings lost after 74 wins in a row, I had a tear in my eye and no time for a good-bye. So all I want on my last show is 30 seconds, and I'll do what Johnny Carson did: 'Hey, folks, thank you. Been a good run and all good things must come to an end.' Then I'll move on."

Then, the interviewer asked what Trebek will do right after wrapping on Jeopardy! "Well, it'll take me a while to get home after taping because I leave the studio at rush hour," he said practically. "Then I'll come into the house and, probably, have a glass of wine with my wife. Then we'll look at each other and say, 'What next? What now?'"

At the start of the Nov. 9 episode of Jeopardy!, the first to air since news broke of Trebek's death, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said they will air Trebek's final 35 episodes "as they were shot" through Christmas Day because "that's what he wanted."

Time will tell if the final episode sees Trebek live out what he'd long planned.

Read on for some happier times on Jeopardy! and for more of the show's moments that will make you laugh, check out The Funniest Wrong Jeopardy! Answers of All Time.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
When Trebek mocked a non-sports aficionado

Alex Trebek in the press room at The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Kodak Theatre on April 28, 2006 in Hollywood, CA.
s_bukley / Shutterstock

Not every Jeopardy! contestant is great at sports trivia. Given the clue, "100+ assists in an NHL season has been accomplished only 13 times, 11 times by this player," one contestant chose a player from an entirely different sport. "Who is Magic Johnson?" they guessed.

"We're talking about hockey, not the NBA," quipped Trebek. (The correct response was, "Who is Wayne Gretzky?") And if you want to test your game-show knowledge, find out if you can Answer These Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Questions?

2
When Ken Jennings delivered his worst wrong answer

Alex Trebek award show
AB Forces News Collection/Alamy Stock Photo

Ken Jennings had the longest-running winning streak in Jeopardy! history—and he also had one of the all-time classic wrong answers. The clue was, "This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker," and the correct answer was, "What is a rake?"

Jennings' answer? "What is a hoe?" The response elicited a startled "whoa!" from Trebek and another question for Jennings: "They teach you that in school in Utah, huh?" And if you can't get enough fun facts, here are 40 Random Obscure Facts That Will Make Everyone Think You're a Genius.

3
When some historical fan fiction made Trebek chuckle

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek arriving at a fundraiser circa 1990
Vicki L. Miller / Shutterstock

In the category "16th Century Names," the Final Jeopardy clue was: "Paul III roared at him, 'I have waited 30 years for your services. Now I'm Pope, can't I satisfy my desire?'"

The answer was "Who is Michelangelo?" But one stumped contestant guessed, "Who is Lady Godiva?" The response made Trebek laugh, which is almost as good as winning the game. "I'd give you a 'yes' just for the humor," Trebek said through his chuckles. And for more iconic shows that lost their leads for less tragic reasons, here are 13 TV Shows That Lost Their Stars.

4
And when a risqué response made him blush

Alex Trebek the host of the TV game show "Jeopardy" arrives at the annual White Correspondents Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel in 2006
Mark Reinstein / Shutterstock

In response to the clue, "If Andy yearns for Brenda and Brenda cares about Charlene who pines for Andy, the three of them form one of these," Jeopardy! contestant Kara Spak sputtered out "What is a threesome?" It was clear she immediately regretted the guess. Another contestant got the correct answer—"What is a love triangle?"—and then Trebek retorted, "Kara has obviously had more experience than I." And for more memorable contestants for the wrong reasons, here's The One Type of Jeopardy! Contestant Alex Trebek Hated the Most.

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John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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