'Jeopardy!' Surprises Fans With A Pre-Recorded Message Of Hope From Alex Trebek

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
alex trebek thanksgiving message

The late host recorded the video weeks before his death

Beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek prerecorded a Thanksgiving message before his death and his message could not have come at a better time.

Trebek, who died earlier this month after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, pre-recorded at least one final video for all who adored him. The social media accounts of Jeopardy! released his message on Thanksgiving Day. Trebek, who hosted the quiz show since 1984, did so before he passed away peacefully at home at the age of 80.

“High on our list of things to be thankful for this year: Alex’s Thanksgiving message from today’s show. We hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!” the show’s Twitter account wrote.

The clip begins with Trebek thanking his 96-year-old announcer Johnny Gilbert, then delivering a message of hope for us all.

“In spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful,” Trebek said, his voice raspy. “There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors and that’s a good thing. Keep the faith. We’re gonna get through all of this, and we will be a better society because of it.”

Last week Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings was announced as the first “interim” host for the show once it begins recording new episodes on Nov. 30. Many are happy with the choice but there has been a grassroots effort to get LeVar Burton, the former Star Trek and Reading Rainbow star, to become the show’s permanent host.

“LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds. This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we’d all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!” the petition read in part.

Trebek announced that he had cancer during a broadcast in March 2019, saying, “Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week, I was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Now, normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rates statistics for this disease.”

Trebek’s Thanksgiving message surely resonated as many Americans observed a very different Thanksgiving this year, as record numbers of coronavirus infections rage on throughout the country and over a quarter of a million people have died from the virus.

If anyone can tell us it’s going to be OK, it’s Alex Trebek.

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