Alex Trebek’s passing causes ‘a fog’ over Jeopardy set; Johnny Gilbert says ‘Part of me left here with him’
Johnny Gilbert is looking back on his time with Alex Trebek. The 96-year-old announcer, who has been the “voice” of Jeopardy! since 1984, spoke to People magazine about his friendship with Alex, who passed away in early November. “Alex has always been the same person,” Johnny shared of the late host, as he recalled the memories he has of him. “He was very introspective, he read a tremendous amount and travelled a lot. He was always doing crossword puzzles to keep his mind active.” He added that Alex was “really very intelligent. He was always telling the youngsters in the audience, ‘You’ve got to read, you have to learn.
That’s the way you’re going to succeed.’” Johnny also recalled how Alex would answer all the questions the audience had in the past, following taping each day. “He would answer any question anyone wanted to ask,” he said. “He would get so involved that we would have to hold up coming back out of a commercial for him to finish with the audience, but he insisted.”
“Everybody’s walking around in a little bit of a fog, shaken from the whole thing. Part of me left here when Alex left, really,” Johnny notes of what the set now feels like following Alex’s passing. “Jeopardy! has always been my life. I got married [to wife Sharee] right after the show went on the air, so our life together and the show’s life are all bundled into one.” Alex‘s final Jeopardy! episodes were slated to start airing this week, however, the show moved them for a selection of his 10 best episodes until the start of 2021.