Alex Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020. The longtime Jeopardy! host had already taped a number of episodes prior to his passing.
Those episodes have been airing while the Jeopardy! team tries to figure out who while be the show’s new host. In the meantime, past champion Ken Jennings has stepped up to serve as interim host.
Originally, Trebek’s final Jeopardy! episodes were supposed to air Christmas week, but show runners decided to push them back. Those final episodes started airing on Monday (January 4) instead.
At the start of Monday’s episode, Trebek delivered a message about kindness and generosity in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He said:
“You’ll recall that a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives. Now today, a different kind of message: This is a season of giving.”
He went on to say…
“I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones. But today I’d like you to go one step further, I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19, people who are suffering through no fault of their own.”
Trebek ended his message on a hopeful tone, saying, “If we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.”
According to a press release cited by USA Today, Trebek filmed this message in October, just weeks before his passing. Even though Trebek must have been suffering due to his health, his focus was not on himself, but rather, on others.
You can watch Trebek’s full message in the video below. Don’t be surprised if it brings tears to your eyes.
Trebek’s final episode of Jeopardy! will air on Friday (January 8).