“Forever in our hearts, always our inspiration.”

Last evening, Alex Trebek’s five, yet to be shown, final Jeopardy! episodes, taped mere days prior to his demise, began playing out. This transcendental episode (originally slated to air on December 21, 2020) began with his opening, impromptu, soul searching, holiday message:

“You’ll recall that about a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives. 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. I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your hearts 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.” [Watch Clip/Read More]

Alex Trebek • Air Date: January 4, 2021

If humanity is paying attention, such much needed wisdom will resonate and endure long after Alex’s final Final Jeopardy!, come Friday.

By next Monday, a series of select host candidates will begin auditioning to determine who, amongst the 7.8 billion of us, might come close to filling Trebek’s size infinity shoes.

Let’s hope that his successor will know, instinctively, that Alex is irreplaceable; may sense a momentary “blinding” by the aura / afterimage of his brilliance; perhaps even feel somewhat haunted by him while making each entrance onto the Jeopardy! stage.

Should the eventual new host be lacking such qualities, it’d be fair to suspect that (s)he has been miscast. And, so long as I’m hinting at this, anyway, let me add that the time is ripe for a game show, of this stature, to break the glass ceiling; namely, the Sony Pictures Television production company execs should select a savvy, suave woman to preside over the game.

Returning, now, to the rolling of last night’s closing credits…

For a fleeting moment, I had this wild notion; how great it’d be to rebroadcast the entire 36+ year run of Trebek’s Jeopardy!; perhaps, as an alternative to Pat Sajak’s / Vanna White’s Wheel of Fortune, which on most network schedules, precedes Jeopardy!

I’ve always found playing along with W of F’s contestants far less challenging and educational. Hey, don’t brand me an intellectual snob; my educational background, would rarely, if ever, crown me the Jeopardy! champion. Anyway, that’s not my point.

What is relevant, here, is that each episode of Jeopardy! serves as a teaching moment; can function as motivation for us to discover more about the world we don’t know. After all, we don’t stop learning until the day each of us takes our final breath. And for all we know, it may not end even then!

Of course, my aforementioned wish for that Trebek replay must remain just that. After all, the new host must be afforded the unencumbered opportunity to build upon Alex’s rock solid foundation. Most assuredly, he would’ve wanted it that way!

And that said, the show’s closing credits will sum up everything even better than I; namely, via their dedication to Alex Trebek:

“Forever in our hearts, always our inspiration.”

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Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Rejected Final Jeopardy! Clue

Final Jeopardy! Category:
White House High Tech

Inspired by the film Animal House’s hazing scene,
this current Artificial Intelligence, voice synthesizer
generated quip oft emanates from the Oval Office
gold-plated commode, once Trump’s rump is seated.

What is “Thank you, Sir, may I have another?”

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View Hazing Scene

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Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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What is Not Final Jeopardy!

This will be my third post following Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s 11/08/20 merger with the universe. I’ve been attempting to put such a preoccupation into some sort of perspective. Beyond obviously missing him, here goes.

For 30 minutes, each weekday evening, we’ve found solace in observing this game show legend both displaying and presiding over intellectualism, levelheadedness, even-handedness, decency and normalcy. Alas, such righteous attributes (as vital as love, sustenance, water, oxygen, hearth and home) tend to get upstaged by every negative “ism” found within our shattered, shallow, contemporary society.

Transcending that, on a more personal note, it was during this game show’s early days, that my folks and I would gather around our living room TV to welcome Alex as we would another family member; to play along with the contestants, too. Even now, decades after my folks passed away, whenever I’m playing Jeopardy! in that very room, I can still sense their presence.

But let’s not get too far off topic. Let’s check out the Entertainment Tonight YouTube Channel blurb, to set up our first clip; as presented both above and offsite.

“ET spoke with ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer Mike Richards on Sunday, following the death of the show’s long time host, Alex Trebek.”

Perhaps, the best tribute to Mr. Trebek is to mention how he would not let his iconic status go to his head. His good nature would prevail even when the inevitable, spare nothing, parodies of Jeopardy! surfaced. Whether he had directly participated in these comedy sketches, or not, he’d delight in, what in essence, was making light of himself. This gets amply showcased in our second clip featuring a Golden Girls episode. To set up this sendup, both below and offsite:

I’ve encoded this presentation to start at 6:01 (for further laughs, rewind to watch the show in it’s entirety). My apology re the technical anomalies. Believe it or not, this was the best of the three available uploads. Even so, our guffaws will rapidly make us forget the flaws. BTW, don’t miss Dorothy’s anti-Trump quip. Enjoy!

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Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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From: Alex / To: Us All

Alex Trebek’s 36-year-long reign, as Jeopardy! host, came to an end, yesterday, when pancreatic cancer claimed his life. He was 80-years-young. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Even though his symptoms had tried to drag him down, he would not allow that. He managed to continue taping episodes up till the very end of October. Ergo, his LAST Jeopardy! is slated to air on December 25, 2020. And whether one is devout or agnostic, I know we’d readily agree that Alex could not have given us a more thoughtful, precious holiday present!

As for Alex’s FIRST Jeopardy!, that gets backdated to September 10, 1984. Seeing how I had been working lots of nights back then, I never got the chance to watch his debut; did not become a regular viewer for the first couple of seasons.

And that’s precisely what made YouTuber Allan Di Real McCoy’s upload of that very first program extra special. In a heartbeat, I knew I had to SHARE IT with you, too!

And I found myself really getting into the spirit of the moment, too; so much so I played along with contestants Frank Selevan, Lois Feinstein and Greg Hopkins; even opted to keep my score on a legal pad. Going into Final Jeopardy! I had amassed $8,300 and with some gutsy wagering and, of course, coming up with the correct answer (in the form of a question), I kinda / sorta wound up the first Jeopardy! champion.

Of course, the qualifying words, “kinda / sorta” must be in play, here. After all, the ONLY way I could’ve ever “won” my $16,300 virtual grand prize was if my reflexes had allowed me to always be the first contestant to buzz in.

Perhaps, you, too, would like to match wits with Jeopardy’s first trio of competitors? Even if you choose not to tally up the virtual bucks, you can still bank on affable Alex Trebek presiding over fun times for all.

We, the vast legions of his forever fans, shall always miss this great man and game show legend.

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Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Q: Who was Alex Trebek?

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A: This Jeopardy host, since 1984, lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Sunday, November 8, 2020 at the age of 80.

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Rest in peace Mr. Trebek. Jeopardy will never be the same without you behind the dais. We will always remember and miss your wit, wisdom and warmth; how you enriched our lives and made our troubled world a much better place to live in.

Heartfelt condolences to all, who now mourn the loss of this great man and game show legend; his family, friends and fans, alike.

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#WeLoveYouAlex / Get Well SOON! (Vid of the Day)

A: Since September 10, 1984, this beloved TV personality’s geniality, respectability and knowledgeability have all served to make Jeopardy! the all-time, classiest game show.

Q: Who is Alex Trebek

A: Since March 2019, this courageous man’s expressed determination to overcome pancreatic cancer’s low survival rate statistics, has been a source of inspiration for the vast legions of his adoring fans.

Q: Who is Alex Trebek

A: Since September 2019, his cancer necessitating another round of chemotherapy has got all of his well-wishers cheering him on, anew.

Q: Who is Alex Trebek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phrasing our responses in the form of questions…

 

ANSWER: The personification of dignity, integrity, impartiality and amicability, he has presided over intellectually stimulating, quality, televised programing since September 1984…

QUESTION: Who is Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek!

ANSWER: The human whose upbeat resolve will afford him the best chances for surviving Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer…

QUESTION: Who is Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek!

ANSWER: Jeopardy! fans and all other caring folks… globally… now wish this man a complete recovery and long life… both in TV land and in the real world…

QUESTION: Who is Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek!

 

 

Cindy Stowell’s Incredible Jeopardy Finale

 

The Cindy Stowell Story is heartwarming, inspiring and extraordinary. Despite the grim diagnosis of stage four cancer, she auditioned and proved herself fully qualified to appear on Jeopardy. Because she had advised the program’s accommodating staff of her medical condition, they had sped up their normal contestant selection process so she could compete sooner.

Only a few of the show’s producers and host Alex Trebek had known that the time she had left was limited.

Well… Stowell not only competed well but competed while ill.

During one taping, she had been nauseous, feverish and in need of painkillers… those meds slowing down her reaction time, which made signaling in to provide the questions to the answers an even greater challenge.

Even more miraculous, there had been a Jeopardy taping hiatus, which, purely by coincidence, had perfectly jibed with her need for hospitalization… allowing her sufficient time to regain her strength… to come back to compete again.

In the end, champion Stowell had won $103,803, which she pledged to donate to the Cancer Research Institute. As for her six game winning streak, only 38 contestants have equaled or exceeded that plateau since Jeopardy’s “five wins and out” rule ended in 2003.

Though she died on December 5th (a little more than a week before her episodes were to air on TV), thanks to the kind folks at Jeopardy, the DVD they had provided allowed her to see three of her appearances.

As for my own reactions…

If I hadn’t been aware of Stowell’s story prior to watching her compete, I’d have never guessed in a million years how seriously ill she was. As far as I’m concerned, she could’ve also won an Academy Award for acting so healthy.

Seeing her dream of appearing on Jeopardy come to fruition had to have been the thrill of her lifetime and, doubtlessly, in giving her something to live for, kept her going strong a bit longer than had she wallowed in sorrow in some hospice bed.

I only wish she could’ve gone into remission, lived a good long life and appeared on Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions.

When TV had gone digital back in 2009 I had ceased viewing all first run programming. I only reentered TV Land this past June after my sister had provided me a digital converter she no longer needed. Admittedly, I’d been feeling mostly underwhelmed about what TV had become during my seven year absence… well… at least until I had eye witnessed Stowell’s stunning display of courage… her looking at death squarely in the eye and telling it to go to hell.

Cindy Stowell had a fighting spirit… in the game of Jeopardy… in the game of life.

Her never say die determination has been an inspiration to millions… and I count myself among them. She will live on, forever, in the memories of all who witnessed her will to live.

I only wish I could’ve thanked Ms. Stowell in person.

My heartfelt condolences go out to her surviving family and friends.

99 Word Blog (#019) Let’s Play Final Jeopardy

Today’s category:

WTF Were They Describing?

Answer:

It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before!

 

Question:

What were the Trump Campaign, the Mars Mystery rock and HIV?

 

Show’s over… roll credits… fade to black…

 

Let’s now talk HIV/AIDS.

True, Ma Nature might’ve been counteracting overpopulation. But what if it’d been a recombinant DNA laboratory superbug, which had escaped?

Accidental? Maybe… but consider how…

1. Historically, genocidal hatemongers have exploited nationality, ethnicity, religiosity and sexuality…

2. The gay male demographic, wrongfully reviled by the nasty narrow-minded, were first to get infected…

Might HIV/AIDS have been a deliberate attack?

Show’s over… fade to black…