Ken Jennings honored Alex Trebek with a touching message on "Jeopardy!" The game show's all-time champ made his debut as guest host Monday and won over viewers with a sentimental tribute.
"Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life. Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, charm and grace," Jennings said, according to Yahoo! Entertainment.
"Like all 'Jeopardy!' fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us," he continued. "Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved."
Jennings, who has appeared as a contestant on "Jeopardy!" over 100 times, is the first of several celebrity guests to lead the show until a permanent replacement is found. Katie Couric will reportedly also be taking the reins for a week, sources revealed to the Los Angeles Times last week.
Viewers have called for several prominent figures, including Jennings, to take over as a permanent host following Trebek's death on Nov. 8 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer, but in an interview with USA Today, Jennings downplayed the idea.
"I don't want to have it because it means we don't get Alex," he said. "It's just sad for me to go out there, in a way, because I know that, like the audience, I wish it was Alex walking out at the top of the show."
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