Who is the GHOST — Greatest Host Of Syndicated TV?

Alex Trebek — the host of Jeopardy!, who passed away in November. The last episode he hosted airs today.

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Image Source: Photo by Ben Heider|Getty Images

The penultimate episode of Jeopardy! hosted by Alex Trebek originally scheduled to air on December 24, aired yesterday. As usual, Alex begins with a monologue, this time stating that today is Christmas eve, and then makes a wisecrack about online shopping. The contestants were three smart women who responded to almost all clues, except one clue about the NFL.

I will watch the final episode at 7:30 P.M. tonight with a heavy heart and a sense of grief, knowing fully well that my favorite person on TV for the last 35 years is no longer with us. Unlike many fans of Alex Trebek, I did not grow up with him. I came to the U.S. as a graduate student from India when I was much older. After dinner, I will watch with my family, the evening news with Dan Rather on CBS, immediately followed by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! My son and daughter were in elementary school at the time to understand any of the clues or responses. Later in life, they appreciated the value of good television. It was a novelty to watch a quiz show where instead of answering a question, one has to phrase the response in the form of a question.

TV shows are useful educational tools to learn about a new culture, people’s interests, politics, and the government. I learned quite a bit about my adopted country and western culture by watching TV, especially Jeopardy! I don’t think I will learn baseball, or understand much about pop culture, or will be able to answer clues on paintings and who painted them, or about famous operas. The half an hour program provoked curiosity and was intellectually challenging. Now when I come across a clue or an unfamiliar answer, I google and learn more about it. I consider watching Jeopardy as an exercise to stimulate my aging brain cells. There are people with expertise and passion in the production team who will continue to uphold the high standards that Alex Trebek espoused. Future episodes of the show with a different host would be equally good or even better.

Alex Trebek, the beloved host of Jeopardy!, died on November 8, 2020, at age 80, after valiantly fighting pancreatic cancer for almost 20 months. The last taping of the show with Alex as the host was on October 29, 2020. Clips of previous episodes began appearing on YouTube since his passing. Many of them are clips of remarkable moments from a particular episode, and some are collections of several memorable clips. I have collected a few that I really liked. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Thank You For Everything, Alex | JEOPARDY! This segment aired at the beginning of the November 9, 2020 show. Mike Richards, the executive producer, pays a tearful tribute to the beloved host.
  • In this YouTube video from Inside Edition, Mike Richards, the executive producer, recounts how Alex spent the last moments of his life. He wanted to be sitting on a swing next to his wife Jean, watching the horizon. There are also clips from other episodes of Jeopardy!
  • One Of Trebek’s Last Jeopardy! Moments Will Bring You To Tears is the title of this video from The List. There are several video clips from different episodes.
  • We ❤️ you, Alex is one episode in which Alex becomes emotional when Dhruv Gaur, the winner of the College Championship, wrote We ❤️ you, Alex as his response on Final Jeopardy!
  • Who is the GHOST — Greatest Host Of Syndicate TV? and the title of this story. That was James Holzhauer’s response on Night 3 of the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament, to the Final Jeopardy question. Jeopardy James pays tribute to host Alex Trebek in the best way possible.
  • I learned English because of you, Alex. To me, this is one episode I can relate to as an Indian American. Burt Thakur tears up talking about the influence Alex had growing up in India.
  • Interview with Burt Thakur Jimmy McGuire interviews Thakur after his first win on Jeopardy! He shares his experience growing up as an immigrant and watching Alex on Jeopardy! Thakur’s oldest memories are watching the show with his grandfather.

My grandson occasionally stays with me for a short time watching Jeopardy! When he grows older, I hope he will enjoy Jeopardy! as much as I did. It is exciting, it is fun, and it is educational. There are already clues on dinosaurs and Legos. Perhaps sometime in the future, there will be clues on Beyblades. Logan, you have a wealth of information on these spinning top toys from Japan. You can describe them in the minutest detail and will not have any difficulty giving the correct response when there is a clue on Beyblades.

Ph.D. with an M.B.A. | Writes on science | economy | public interest topics | American politics | Indian-Americans | COVID-19

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