“Even in his book, he described that he wanted his final day to be sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon and he got to do that,” Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said on Today.
He added that the game show host had always been particularly fond of the swing on his property and even fixed it himself earlier this year, noting that Trebek was very “handy.”
“He was coherent, he wasn’t in pain and the fact that he had a nice, final day makes all of us in the Jeopardy! family feel much better.”
In a separate clip, Today hosts played an old video where Trebek broke the tension on set, during an episode of Jeopardy! that featured record-winner Ken Jennings, by coming out not wearing any pants.
“He wanted the contestants to perform at their highest level and he reveled in a great Jeopardy! game when it was competitive. Those are some of our best contestants of all time there. There was an enormous amount of tension on the set. They all knew there was a lot on them to perform and that just goes to show that he had an incredible sense of humor,” Richards added.
“He’d get to the end of the show and say ‘boy, wasn’t that great?’ and he’d look right at the contestants and say ‘thank you.’ And that just sums him up.”
Richards concluded: “It was just so important for him to do this show and to support everything that it means to America.”
Trebek, 80, died Saturday, November 7, following a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The show announced the news on their official Twitter, saying: “Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
The former TV presenter first announced his battle with pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and immediately started chemotherapy. Despite his health battle, he continued to host Jeopardy! — a position he has held since 1984.