In response to the news of Alex Trebek's death, many of the contestants that he interacted with over the years have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late host. James Holzhauer, who competed alongside Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in the Greatest of All-Time event earlier this year, wrote on Twitter that it was a privilege to have been a part of the program while Trebek was at the helm. In a subsequent message, Holzhauer brought a dose of levity to this sad day by highlighting the time when Trebek displayed his rap skills while announcing the clues in a category entitled, "Let's Rap, Kids!"
Holzhauer wrote that it was one of the "great privileges" of his life to have been a part of the Jeopardy! family while Trebek was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He continued to write that the host will "never be replaced in our hearts." The Jeopardy! champ, who won 33 straight games from April to June of 2018, noted that Trebek was more than a host in another tweet. He wrote that Trebek was an "impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that." He also noted that viewers could always count on Trebek to entertain them, even during his health battle. As previously mentioned, Holzhauer's tweet also included a look at Trebek's "underrated" rapping skills as he recited lyrics from rappers such as Kanye West and Desiigner.
It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex. https://t.co/LLoUASRMa9— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) November 8, 2020
Alex was so much more than a host. He was an impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that. He was someone you could count on to entertain you every weekday, even when his health barely allowed it. And he was an underrated rapper: pic.twitter.com/ybvp7RlvjH— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) November 8, 2020
Following his time on the show, Holzhauer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he donated a big portion of his winnings to pancreatic cancer research in Trebek's honor. He told the publication, "I felt like I had to do something in Alex’s honor, and it was a great opportunity to show my hometown some love. I was definitely surprised when that donation went viral." The champion added, "Whatever happens from here, I’m glad I had the opportunity to be on the show with Alex. I can’t imagine Jeopardy! without him."
Mike Richards, the executive producer of Jeopardy! released a statement on Trebek's passing shortly after the news broke. "This is an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew and all of Alx's millions of fans," the statement began. "He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever." Jeopardy! will continue to feature new episodes hosted by Trebek through Dec. 25. He last filmed in the studio on Oct. 29.