Alex Trebek will live on in the hearts of pop culture consumers everywhere, for many reasons, but his friendliness will always remain a defining characteristic. While the beloved Jeopardy! host has had heartwarming moments with many participants over the years, a special exchange between Trebek and a recent Jeopardy! player is worth seeing for its tenderness.
Burt Thakur, a Marine veteran, was a contestant on Jeopardy! in Thursday’s episode, and his back and forth with Trebek after the game brought tears to his eyes. It would be advisable to bring some tissues as well, because there is a good chance you will become similarly emotional.
Jeopardy! Episode last week:
Alex Trebek: âDid you have family members at home cheering you on?â
Candidate Burt Thakur: âBecause of you I learned English. My grandfather who raised me…I sat on his lap and watched you every day.âpic.twitter.com/5kygDSi3fZ
– Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) November 8, 2020
In the video of Thakur’s exchange with Trebek, the host asks the participant if he has family members at home who might be watching. Thakur replies, saying he remembers watching Jeopardy! with his grandfather as a child, and credits Trebek for teaching him essentially how to speak English.
“I have grown up… I learned English because of you,” Thakur begins in the clip. “And so, my grandfather, who raised me – my tears are about to fall. I always sat on his lap and watched you every day.”
Clearly emotional, Thakur thanks Trebek and says: “So this is a very special moment for me.
Thakur posted another emotional message on Twitter on Sunday, one that honors Trebek’s memory. His tweet began with a poem called “Death” by Rainer Maria Rilke. “When we lift up the red wine of life with proud joy / Drinking deeply from the mystically shining chalice / And ecstasy leaps through our whole being – then death bows its head and cries.
Following the poem, Thakur wrote: “I am overwhelmed with feelings at the moment, and my heart is with the Trebek family.
When we lift up the red wine of life with proud joy
To drink deeply from the mystically shining goblet
And ecstasy through all our leaps of being ?
Death bows its head and weeps.
I am overwhelmed with feelings at the moment and my heart is with the Trebek family. #jeopardy #alextrebek @jeopardy pic.twitter.com/klFwYw9Cau
– Burt Thakur (@albertthakur) November 8, 2020
Trebek died on Sunday after a public battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, openly discussing the diagnosis and reflecting intensely on his life on Jeopardy! The last time Trebek filmed an episode of Jeopardy! was at the end of October, which means there are still some new episodes with the host. The last episode of the game show with Trebek is scheduled to air on December 25, Christmas Day.
There were many other emotional moments during Trebek’s tenure on Jeopardy!, but one recent moment stands out. During the “Tournament of Champions”, which was broadcast last November, the candidate Dhruv Gaur wrote a sweet message to Trebek as his last statement on the show. “What is… We [love]you Alex” was written on his screen, which moved Trebek to tears….