‘Jeopardy’s Ken Jennings Reveals Tragic Last Conversation With Alex Trebek

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Jeopardy host Ken Jennings

Credit : ABC

The long-running game show Jeopardy is currently (and solely) hosted by former champion Ken Jennings, but most fans can admit it hasn’t been the same since the sad passing of Alex Trebek. Now, Jennings has revealed that he spoke with the legendary host mere hours before he died.

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Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy for an astonishing 37 seasons before his passing due to pancreatic cancer, eventually becoming the elder statesman of game show television.

After his tragic death, Jeopardy was thrown into chaos before Ken Jennings eventually took up the mantle for Alex Trebek. A series of guest hosts (who were largely perceived to be auditioning for a permanent job) like Katie Couric, LeVar Burton, and Buzzy Cohen followed, only for producer Mike Richards to unexpectedly appoint himself host.

Related: ‘Jeopardy!’s Mayim Bialik Just Blew Up the Internet After Being Replaced as Host

Alex Trebek Jeopardy! host
Credit: ABC

Richards hosted the show only briefly before stepping down due to allegations of behind-the-scenes misbehavior and controversial past comments on podcasts.

Jeopardy hosting duties then passed to Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik, neither of whom has been wholly accepted by fans to replace Alex Trebek.

‘Jeopardy’ Legends Ken Jennings and Alex Trebek

Speaking on Last Podcast on the Left, Ken Jennings revealed that he had spoken with Alex Trebek the night before he died. Jennings said, “I actually ended up talking to him what turned out to be the night before the day he passed away about guest hosting for him.”

Alex Trebek (left) with Ken Jennings (right) holding 'Jeopardy!' trophy
Credit: ABC

Sadly, it seems that Ken Jennings did not expect to do anything but guest host, saying, “We actually didn’t know. We thought, ‘Oh, he’s going to get better, he’s gonna bounce back, he’ll be hosting again.’ I was just going to fill in.”

He continued, saying that the two Jeopardy legends had discussed the show, “[H]e gave me the impression he always did over the years, which was that he did not want to be the center of attention on Jeopardy…He was never announced as the star of Jeopardy — he was always the host of Jeopardy because he thought the game itself and the contestants should be the star.”

Praise for Trebek

Ken Jennings was full of nothing but praise and awe for Alex Trebek, saying, “During commercials, he would tell jokes, go into the crowd. He loved to warm up the crowd himself and do little impressions. He was a very light, funny guy…But he had to keep the show moving because that’s the job description. But things you think you know about him — that’s he’s smart, that he actually knew all those answers and wanted you to know that he knew them, was a very well-read and kind of a gentleman of the old school — all 100% true.”

Ken Jennings (L) and Mayim Bialik (R) on the 'Jeopardy!' set
Credit: NBC

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Enthralled in Controversy, Coming Down to Ken Jennings or Mayim Bialik

Jeopardy has become a surprisingly controversial show in recent years, with Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik both having partisan fans and detractors in the wake of Alex Trebek.

In particular, Mayim Bialik has a very vocal contingent of Jeopardy fans who have demanded she be removed from the show. However, the host has voluntarily stepped down from the position, leaving Jennings to handle sole hosting duties himself.

What are your fond memories of Alex Trebek? Let us know in the comments below!

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