What is: a beautiful speech from an American icon?
Alex Trebek’s final five Jeopardy! episodes run this week, and on the one that airs Monday, Jan. 4, the late host began the trivia show with a heartfelt message about the importance of generosity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“You’ll recall that about a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all the blessings that you enjoy in your lives,” he said, referring to his Thanksgiving 2020 address. “Now today, a different kind of message. This is the ‘season of giving.’ I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones, but today I’d like you to go one step further.”
He continued, “I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19. People who are suffering through no fault of their own. We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society. And if we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.”
The show’s Instagram page posted the below video of the speech with the caption, “Extending the ‘season of giving’ into 2021.”
Earlier on Jan. 4, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards appeared on Today to discuss the “herculean” effort that Alex gave while filming these final episodes before his death on Nov. 8 at age 80 following a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
“He was in enormous pain,” the producer said. “He was, you know, 10 days away from passing away, and you will not sense any of that in these episodes. He is strong. He sounds great. He’s funny, and he’s amazing.”