Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Moment From Alex Trebek's Final Jeopardy! Episodes You Won't See On TV

On November 8, 2020, Jeopardy! fans everywhere received heartbreaking news. Following a lengthy battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away at the age of 80. His tenure on the iconic quiz show spanned over three decades and a staggering 37 seasons, cementing his legacy as one of television's most prolific — and beloved — personalities. As a result, his death leaves behind a massive hole in pop culture, a void that continues to expand as his final batch of pre-recorded episodes come to a close.

At the time of Trebek's passing, a good portion of Jeopardy! installments remained in the vault for posthumous release. Given that, as of this writing, we're approaching two full months since his death, it should come as no surprise that Trebek's appearances on the program are winding down. Fans will undoubtedly want to keep an eye on these coming episodes, if for no other reason than to say goodbye to Trebek, his monologues, and his hosting duties as a whole. Although, there is one special moment that happened away from the cameras that viewers sadly won't be able to see.

Alex Trebek's reassuring words led to breaking Jeopardy! protocol

On January 4, 2021, Jeopardy!'s executive producer Mike Richards stopped by the Today show (via Entertainment Tonight) and shared a delightful behind-the-scenes anecdote from the taping of one of Alex Trebek's last episodes

"What he did on tonight's show is just a great testament to him," Richards said. "He usually said something about what was happening in the news or about what game play had been happening. In this very special, unbelievable, final week, he comes out and gives a talk about the importance of togetherness and sticking together, and that the world is struggling, but we have to get through it together."

Richards continued, recalling that the moment gave both himself and the rest of the Jeopardy! crew chills — and understandably so. He explained that despite the show directing the audiences when to applaud and when to stay silent, the former Cheers guest star's words warranted throwing the rule book out the window. 

"Usually in his monologue, he would come out, give a statement, and they would go to the categories. Well, there's not many people in the studio because of COVID. And we all burst into applause. You don't see it on camera, but as he's going to the categories, he sees us start to applaud and he kind of looks at us like, 'What are you guys doing?'" Richards said, confessing that the moment was so touching that they simply had to clap. 

During such a difficult time as the one we're all living through right now, Trebek's statement couldn't be more welcome, even if the response to it caught him somewhat off-guard. He very much deserved this recognition from his peers, but it's a shame that audiences won't get the chance to witness this scene on a future Jeopardy! episode from the comfort of their own homes.