It got worse (and there's still eight weeks to go.)

From TVLine: "Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek Dead at 80"

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I saw this earlier, and man that sucks. Jeopardy! is my all-time favorite game show. I loved the fast-paced action it had, and Alex Trebek was just wonderful. Back in the day of VCRs I had mine set-up to record Jeopardy| every afternoon all through junior high and most of senior high, When I had a DVR, it was always one of the first shows I programmed into it.

Plus, I always loved his appearance of Cheers.

When Alex Trebek became the host of the revived Jeopardy! in 1984, I resented the fact that he was replacing Art Fleming, whom, to me, was only man who should have hosted the show.  (In the same way that, in my eyes, Bud Collyer was the only host of To Tell the Truth; or Garry Moore, of I've Got a Secret; or John Daly, of What's My Line?)  Because of that, I refused to watch the show for the first couple of years of Trebek's reign.  (In the same way, again, that I've never seen The Tonight Show since Johnny Carson left.)

It was only after seeing Trebek host The National Geographic Bee that I became to soften my stance, and I began to watch Jeopardy!  I grew impressed with his dedication to the integrity of the series and how seriously he took his stewardship of it.  Yeah, he won me over.  I still feel Art Fleming was the better host, but I cannot think of anyone who could have replaced him better than Trebek.

Trebek understood the duties of the master of ceremonies of a game show---to provide a stabilising control of the game, encouraging excitement, albeit kept in check; to enforce the rules of the game and arbitrate contestant missteps; and, most important, to keep the game moving.  He must be genial but authoritative.

I was reminded just last week of how important a man with Trebek's composure and ability is when I happened to catch the revived game show Card Sharks.  It's basically the same show that ran in the 1970's and 80's, though with some improvements, I think, in the game structure.  However, the host acted like a college kid on spring break.  The two "dealers" weren't any better.  And this, of course, led to the contestants acting like teen-agers, even though they were in their thirties or better.  You'd see the same kind of behaviour at a frat house on Saturday night.

Alex Trebek was a worthy talent, indeed, and there aren't many left like him.

Jeopardy! isn't must-watch television in my household, but I do watch it from time to time and shout the answers -- er, questions -- that I know.

I watched an episode last week and, as is usual after the first commercial break, Alex Trebek introduced the contestants and chatted with them a bit. To the first gentleman, Trebek said he's received lots of fan mail and messages over the years from people who state they and their parents and grandparents watch the show together. The gentleman, an immigrant from the Middle East, said this is true of his family, and not only that, he learned to speak English from watching Trebek.

It's hard to think of a better model to emulate. Trebek had a deep, clear broadcaster's voice, with precise phrasing and impeccable diction. And when contestants mispronounced parts of their answers, which happened often, Trebek would correct them, always gently. 

I've seen some journalist friends grumble that ABC News made Trebek's passing the lead story on tonight's broadcast, but I don't think the attention was misplaced.

I listened to an NPR interview with him today from after he was diagnosed.

Very classy guy.

Jeopardy! will air the remaining 35 episodes Alex Trebek taped up to Christmas Day

Tonight's episode opened with a message from executive producer Mike Richards.

ClarkKent_DC said:

I watched an episode last week and, as is usual after the first commercial break, Alex Trebek introduced the contestants and chatted with them a bit. To the first gentleman, Trebek said he's received lots of fan mail and messages over the years from people who state they and their parents and grandparents watch the show together. The gentleman, an immigrant from the Middle East, said this is true of his family, and not only that, he learned to speak English from watching Trebek.

Here's the clip: https://twitter.com/Jeopardy/status/1324562151718051840

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