In the touching segment, Executive Producer Mike Richards described Trebek’s death as an “enormous loss” to the show’s staff and crew, as well as to his family and “millions of fans.”
“He loved this show and everything it stood for,” Richards said. “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 for his family.”
Richards confirmed that the game show’s final 35 episodes featuring Trebek will air because “that’s what he wanted.”
In a tweet from the show’s official account, it was revealed that Trebek’s final episode will air on Christmas Day.
“Alex taped shows through December 25th, 2020. They will air as he intended, in his honor,” the tweet said.
“He was out on his swing that he loved with his wife and surrounded by family,” Richards said, referring to Trebek’s wife of 30 years, Jean. “It was a very peaceful day, there were laughs, and then he went to sleep.”
“If you know Alex, he did everything that perfectly and even his last day was done that perfectly,” Richards continued. “I just love that he had a nice, good last day. Ultimately, his family came back into town. He was surrounded by everyone and I think he knew that it was his time. He was very at peace with that.”
While his final day was peaceful and spent with family, the host’s loved ones remained “shocked” by the death, according to Richards.
“They’ve taken it very hard,” he said. “We all knew that he was sick, we all knew that this was a very deadly form of cancer, [but] he went so suddenly, even in spite of all of that. I think the family is shocked. They’re in mourning. It feels very sudden.”
“I think they have great comfort in that great last day,” he added. “I think that’s the best thing that could have happened given the circumstances.”
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