A video montage closed the episode, which was the final one Alex taped before pancreatic cancer took his life at the age of 80 on November 8, 2020. He had taped several weeks of episodes in October of that year, prior to his death. CBS News reported that Alex kept working for nearly two years after his diagnosis.
The clip, which according to CBS News was 90 seconds long, showed the host throughout his 36 years at the helm of the quiz show.
He was the longest-running host of a single game show, according to Guinness World Records. At the time of his award in 2014, reported ABC News, Alex had helmed Jeopardy! 6,829 times. That number grew to over 8,200 with the addition of this final episode.
The montage was set to Hugh Jackman singing the Peter Allen song “Once Before I Go” and was shared by Jeopardy!‘s Instagram page in a post seen below.
The lighthearted remembrance not only showed Alex’s ever-changing looks, but it also highlighted some of his most memorable moments on television. These included arm-wrestling with one contestant and engaging in some banter with a younger player, to whom he said, “You really make me feel inadequate.”
She responded, “Sorry about that.”
Alex danced in segments throughout the clip and showed off his lighthearted side.
It also featured flashback moments of the times he brought his two children Emily and Matthew, whom he shared with his wife Jean, to the set.
Also seen in the tribute was Alex in various costumes throughout his career. Some of his most memorable get-ups included a black top hat and tails, the Statue of Liberty, Gene Simmons of KISS, a gladiator, clown, and Elvis Presley.
Perhaps the most hilarious moment was when Alex entered the studio wearing no pants as a way to break the ice during the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, which gathered three of the show’s most successful contestants at the time: Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and Jerome Vered.
Viewers added their own sentiments regarding the end of this era of Jeopardy!.
“I miss him, I can’t imagine how his family must feel,” wrote one fan.
“I knew this would make me cry. I just didn’t think I would actually sob. Such a treasure. He was pure class,” penned a second follower.
“Rest in peace Alex, a true legend. 7/730pm time slot will never feel the same,” claimed a third Instagram user.