On Sunday word broke that Alex Trebek — longtime host of brainiac game show Jeopardy! and who had been battling pancreatic cancer over the last year and change — had died. He was 80 years old. Trebek had continued filming the show even as he fought the illness that would eventually claim his life. That means there’s a backlog of as-yet-to-air episodes. According to Variety (in a tidbit teased out by Vox), his final episode as host will air on Christmas Day.
Mind you, there’s still tons of episodes left, and Trebek’s last day of filming is reported to have been October 29, i.e., about a week and a half ago. Those will continue to air over the next month and a half, leaving the final one for the big holiday — a bittersweet way for everyone to say goodbye to game show-dom’s most unflappable host.
The Canadian-born television personality began hosting Jeopardy! back in 1984. It was far from his first rodeo. He hosted his first game show, The Wizard of Odds, back in 1973, and he also lorded over High Rollers, the short-lived Double Dare (not to be confused with the kids game show), The $128,000 Question, Battlestars, Pitfall, Classic Concentration, among others. But it was as the suave and crisp host of Jeopardy! for which he will be forever remembered.