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Remembering 'Jeopardy!' legend Alex Trebek


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Judy Woodruff: Finally tonight, we mark the passing of a TV legend.

Alex Trebek was known to millions the world over for hosting the game show "Jeopardy."

Jeffrey Brown has our remembrance.

Announcer: Here is the host of "Jeopardy," Alex Trebek!


Jeffrey Brown: In an age that questions facts, "Jeopardy" celebrates them.

Alex Trebek: Before this word was common, some folks used radio with pictures.


Justin: What is television?

Alex Trebek: Yes.

Jeffrey Brown: In an era of loud, fractious voices, Alex Trebek's was calm and measured.

Alex Trebek: They're dealing with famous phrases, and this clue.

Jeffrey Brown: And, somehow, it worked and went on working for 37 years, more than 8,000 episodes, both records for a game show.

Alex Trebek: So long, everybody

Jeffrey Brown: Trebek was like a caring professor, encouraging, but ready to show disappointment.

Alex Trebek: Dallas Cowboys? Do you think we should go to commercial?


Alex Trebek: We want to entertain you. We want to inform you.

Jeffrey Brown: Trebek, then in bushy hair and mustache, took over "Jeopardy" in 1984. Born in Canada, he would later become a U.S. citizen.

And humanities lovers rejoice. He was a philosophy major in college. The style and substance and maybe the utter defiance of contemporary norms helped turn Trebek himself into a pop culture icon.

Alex Trebek: Aren't we forgetting something, Marge? You were down $5,200.

Jeffrey Brown: Including a turn "The Simpsons."

Yeardley Smith: Run, mom!

Will Ferrell: Welcome back to "Celebrity Jeopardy."

Jeffrey Brown: And played by Will Ferrell on "Saturday Night Live."

Alex Trebek: Hi, everyone. I have some news to share with all of you.

Jeffrey Brown: In March of 2019, Trebek announced he'd been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. His millions of fans, many who'd followed him for decades, watched him carry on with the same demeanor and dignity they'd come to expect.

Alex Trebek: What you see on air really is what I am. And I'm a reasonably nice guy. And I'd like you to view me that way.

I don't go out of my way to malign anybody. I want to be considered as helpful and generous and kind.

Jeffrey Brown: Alex Trebek died Sunday. He was 80 years old.

For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Jeffrey Brown.

Judy Woodruff: Proof again that nice guys can finish on top.

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