The feeling on the first pretaped episode of “Jeopardy!” since the announcement of host Alex Trebek’s death.
What is sadness?
“Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards delivered a heartwarming special message Monday to honor the beloved host, who died Sunday at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Over the weekend, we lost our beloved host, Alex Trebek,” he said. “This is an enormous loss for our staff and crew, for his family and for his millions of fans. He loved this show and everything it stood for. In fact, he taped his final episodes less than two weeks ago. He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family.”
“We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot. That’s what he wanted,” he added, fighting off tears. “On behalf of everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!’, thank you for everything, Alex. This is ‘Jeopardy!’ ”
The show then showed lights dimming on the infamous stage that Trebek has graced for nearly four decades — since 1984.
“ABC World News Tonight” host David Muir also honored Trebek during his show’s sign-off, just before the “Jeopardy!” episode aired.
“We all feel like we’ve lost a friend,” he said in a somber tone. “What a gentleman and what a brave fight.”
Trebek’s last day in the studio was Oct. 29, but pretaped episodes will air through December, with the last one featuring him slated for Christmas Day.
“Alex taped shows through December 25th, 2020. They will air as he intended, in his honor,” the show wrote on Instagram.
The show has not announced candidates to replace Trebek, but speculation from fans has mounted as to who will take over hosting duties for the top-rated game show.
Trebek adamantly insisted on carrying out his hosting duties until he no longer could, vowing to quit only if cancer impacted his performance.
He also teased about his eventual sign-off from the show during an interview in January, claiming it would take but a mere 30 seconds for the host of 37 years to say goodbye.
“I will say my goodbyes, and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me, because I have no say whatsoever. But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success, and the show will continue being a success,’ ” he said.
“And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”