The world is still mourning the loss of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who passed away on November 8, 2020, at age 80 after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Alex Trebek's final episodes as host of Jeopardy! are scheduled to air Monday, Jan. 4 through Friday, Jan. 8. But they were taped in November. The executive producer of the show, Mike Richards, recently revealed that the iconic host battled on at work until the very end of filming, despite being in enormous pain the whole time.
"He was an absolute warrior and what he was able to do by getting himself back to the set to tape those final episodes. We didn't know it was going to be his final episodes and neither did he, but it was herculean. He was in enormous pain. He was, you know, 10 days away from passing away and you will not sense any of that in these episodes. He is strong. He sounds great. He's funny and he's amazing."
Although he had hosted a number of game shows over several decades, it was as the host of Jeopardy! over 37 seasons that Trebek carved out an indelible place for himself in pop culture. After his cancer diagnosis in March of 2019, the television icon continued with his hosting duties and informed his fans of his medical condition through video message updates.
"Now I'd be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days. I joked with friends that the cancer won't kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on. But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal - a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts, of the value of living and hope, of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf."
The global lockdown of 2020 posed an even bigger threat to the filming of Jeopardy! than its host's failing health. Yet, Richards explained in another interview that Trebek insisted that the show must go on, and, In fact, he wanted theirs to be the first show to resume production after lockdown.
"The more frustrated he was that he wasn't in taping, the better he was feeling. He was forceful about it. He wanted back in. I talked to him seven days before what would end up being his final taping session, and I said, 'Alex, you're barely up and around. We have a long way to go before you're gonna be back in the studio taping. He got very firm, which I loved, and he goes, 'I'll be there. Don't you cancel anything.' And sure as heck, he was. He was a warrior."
This news arrives from Today.com.