After hosting ‘Jeopardy’ for 36 years, the late Alex Trebek had some truly iconic interactions with contestants. We have his most incredible moments as his final episodes count down.
There will never be another game show host and quizmaster as quick on his feet, whip-smart and beloved as Jeopardy‘s Alex Trebek. The 80-year-old succumbed to his 20 month battle with stage four pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, 2020, but had taped enough episodes of Jeopardy to last into early 2021. His final shows are appearing through Jan. 8, and in memory of the G.O.A.T., we’re looking back at his most iconic moments. From rapping questions to college contestants, to owning folks with one line zingers, Alex was the man. A true pop culture icon who transcended TV, and helped educate generations with his quick witted quizmaster skills. Here’s five of his most memorable moments.
A Contestant’s Answer Nearly Makes Ailing Alex Cry
On Nov. 11, 2019’s show — eight months after Trebek revealed he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, contestant Dhruv Gaur made viewers at home and Alex himself misty with his final Jeopardy answer. Since he didn’t know the correct answer, he wrote out a special message to the longtime host. “Did you come up with the right one? No?” Alex asked before reading “What is, ‘We love you, Alex!’” It made Alex get choked up, with his voice wavering, “Oh, that’s very kind.” Yet he still gathered himself to tell Gaur that the answer cost him $1,995, leaving him with $5. Such a pro.
Alex Gets Caught Off Guard By Ken Jennings’ Saucy ‘Hoe’ Answer
Jeopardy‘s most winning contestant (and interim host after Alex’s passing) Ken Jennings showed his quick witted yet naughty side with a spicy answer during an Oct. 8, 2004 show. The question was, “This term for long handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker.” Ken was quick on the buzzer to answer “hoe.” Alex shot back a couple of shocked “whoa’s” in response, before joking “Did they teach you that in school in Utah, Ken?” about the Brigham Young University alum. For the record, the correct answer was “rake.”
Alex Calls A Contest A Loser…In The Best Way
Alex had one of his most memorable zingers when a contestant during an Oct. 12, 2016 show told him that her favorite type of music was “Nerdcore Hip Hop.” He said he’d never heard of the genre, but “it didn’t sound like fun.” The contestant named Susan explained that it was “people who identify as nerdy rap about the things they love: video games, science fiction, having a hard time meeting romantic partners. You know…it’s really catchy and fun.” Alex looked directly at her and said “Losers in other words.” ZING!
Alex GoesWithout Pants In Solidarity With Contestants, Then Gets Owned
Alex went pantless during the Apr. 1, 2016 Tournament of Champions episode in fellowship with the three contestants, who wanted to do the same. He walked out onstage in his shirt, tie, jacket and black socks with no pants. “I was informed backstage a few minutes ago that our three contestants Ken, Brad and Jerome wanted to relieve some of the tension, and they said ‘We must do the program without trousers.'” Alex then asked “Now can we get a camera behind to make sure they have done the same as I?” Of course all three of the men had their pants on, and Alex turned around and walked offstage without saying a word, clearly disappointed that they didn’t follow through (and then returned wearing pants).
Alex Trebek’s Rap Skills During Questions Are Iconic
Alex showed off his mad rapping skills several times on the show when the music category came up, and every time the video would go viral. During the Apr. 2017 Jeopardy College Championship, he spit bars through the category of “Let’s Rap, Kids.” Alex read the lyrics with serious rap flair, and the contestants had to name the artist. Alex killed it by spitting bars from Drake‘s “Started From The Bottom,” Kendrick Lamar‘s “mAAd city,” Lil Wayne‘s “6 Foot 7 Foot,” and Kanye West‘s “Famous,” along with beats provided underneath. On other episodes, Alex had rapped through Migos‘ “Bad and Boujee,” as well as the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Bow dow to this man, the greatest game show host and quizmaster ever.