Executive producer Mike Richards ended the episode with a dedication to Trebek.

By Nick Romano
February 23, 2021 at 09:32 AM EST

As another salute to the late Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, the show's executive producer, Mike Richards, stepped in as guest host this week and offered words, as well as a dedication, to the man that has come to define the long-running game show.

Jeopardy lined up a roster of celebrity guest hosts to fill the hosting spot while the producers worked to find a permanent replacement, but Richards explained, "It was very literally at the last minute the decision was made for me to step in and just keep the show going."

"Jeopardy is an incredibly important American institution," Richards told the viewers at home. "It's about making people that are smart the most important people in the room. I just think it's so important to keep that going and to continue Alex's legacy. His ability to straddle that line of being super cool with himself, super smart himself, and everything that he was is really a part of this entire place."

At the end of Monday's episode, Richards said, "I just want to say, as Alex said, we're trying to build a kinder and gentler society. And if we all pitch in just a little bit, we're going to get there. See you next time." The statement followed with a dedication to Trebek. "Forever in our Hearts, Always our Inspiration," it read.

Celebrity Jeopardy contestant Ken Jennings guest hosted the show in the weeks after Trebek died at the age of 80. The roster of guest hosts now also include Mayim Bialik, Katie Couric, 60 Minutes' Bill Whitaker, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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