Monday’s episode of the syndicated game show began with an on-air message from executive producer Mike Richards acknowledging the death of Trebek, who passed away this weekend at the age of 80 of pancreatic cancer. Richards is clearly holding back tears as he talks about the impact Trebek had: “This is an enormous loss for our staff and crew, for his family, and for his millions of fans.” Trebek loved the show so much, Richards says, that “he taped his final episodes less than two weeks ago.” (Episodes featuring Trebek will continue to air through Dec. 25.)
“He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and his love of his family,” Richards says, adding that Trebek’s final 35 episodes will air as they were shot: “That’s what he wanted.” Richards speaks on behalf of the entire Jeopardy! family when he says, “Thank you for everything, Alex,” before speaking those three familiar words with a newly somber tone: “This… is Jeopardy.“
Press PLAY on the video above to watch Jeopardy!‘s tribute to Trebek, and then hit the comments and share your favorite memories of the man himself.