Alex Trebek urged Jeopardy! fans to “open up your hearts” for a “gentler, kinder society” amid the COVID-19 pandemic in one of his final taped episodes.
The late host opened Monday’s episode of the long-running game show with a heartfelt message to viewers, calling for communities to come together amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The episode, originally scheduled to air before Christmas, was filmed in October, 10 days before Trebek died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
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“You’ll recall that a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives,” Trebek said during Monday’s opening. “Now today, a different kind of message: This is a season of giving. I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones. But today, I’d like you to go one step further.”
Trebek continued that he’d like people to “open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19, people who are suffering through no fault of their own.”
“If we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.” pic.twitter.com/Ip6HZJi43Y
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) January 5, 2021
The episode also featured Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, who was promoting his upcoming film Free Guy, which features an Alex Trebek cameo.
Reynolds read out one of the clues to Monday’s show and shared a clip of his appearance on Twitter, admitting it was an “honor” and “a little heartbreaking” to be with Trebek one last time on the trivia game show.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 5, 2021
Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings is the first of a series of guest hosts who will fill in for Trebek before a full-time replacement host is announced. Jennings’ episodes of Jeopardy! will begin airing on Monday, January 11.