Ken Jennings made his first appearance as a guest host on “Jeopardy!” and shared some heartfelt words about his late friend Alex Trebek.
As he remembered the legendary game show host, Jennings got a little choked up talking about Trebek.
“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said. “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.”
He continued: “Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us. 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.”
While recording the show, Jennings shared on Twitter that he kept a unique token in his pocket in remembrance of Trebek.
The guest host captioned the post, “A friend gave me this piece of quiz show history: an audience ticket to Alex’s very first Jeopardy! pilot from 1983. (“ALEX TREBEK! DOOR PRIZES!”) I kept it in my pocket while guest-hosting Jeopardy! this week, as a good luck charm.”
Despite Jennings currently holding the record for most wins in the show’s history, he has been vocal about his past mistakes.
Last month, Jennings apologized for old posts he wrote on Twitter that has been criticized as offensive, explaining why he chose not to delete them in the past.
Jennings tweeted that he “just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen.”
He continued, explaining that “in the past, I’d usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on,” sharing that he believed that doing so “could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake.”