Fans remember Alex Trebek’s lasting impact on immigrant families

'What Alex Trebek meant to immigrant families seems to be a subgenre.'
Published November 9, 2020 5:33 p.m. EST
Last Updated November 9, 2020 5:35 p.m. EST
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Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away at the age of 80 on Nov. 8—the official Twitter account for Jeopardy! shared the news shortly thereafter that the Canadian-born host was surrounded by friends and family as it happened.In an episode that aired last Thursday, contestant Burt Thakur shared a sweet moment with the game show host and shared how much he means to him. Thakur was the winner of the episode, that taped in mid-August, and he shared how the host helped him learn English. “My grandfather who raised me… I’m gonna get tears right now… I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day,” an emotional Thakur said in a clip shared by the Jeopardy! Twitter account. “It’s a pretty special moment. Thank you very much.” Thakur reflected on his Jeopardy! experience after his episode aired. "To win something money can't buy was an indescribable experience," he wrote. "To be in such a diverse contest makes me proud to be an immigrant and an #American. If you watched me, will you take a bit of my smile and joy & share that with someone? We could all use a [smile emoji]."After news of his death broke, the clip of Thakur sparked a conversation among fans about what Trebek meant for them and their immigrant families.Twitter user Nora Ali said that it's "important to emphasize the impact that Alex Trebek had on immigrant families" and shared that the game show gave her and her grandparents "something to look forward to every day in an otherwise unfamiliar world." Love and Hip Hop: Miami star Jessie Woo said that Trebek is "a staple in West Indian immigrant households" because it's where many people's "grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins gained everyday knowledge." Another Twitter user named Jessy Han said that the game show helped many immigrants "on their journey to learn English," adding that Trebek can't be replaced. Selema Masekela admitted that their grandma "had a definite crush" on Trebek and she used "the show to sharpen her English." Twitter user Yang-Yang Zhou said the only TV show she was allowed to watch was Jeopardy! and "it was how I earned my allowance ($200 question = 20 cents)." [video_embed id='2073072']RELATED: Celebrities and fans pay tribute to Alex Trebek[/video_embed]Many others joined the conversation on Twitter and shared what Jeopardy! meant to their families. Trebek was born in 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario where his father immigrated from Ukraine and his mother was French Canadian. He later immigrated to the United States in 1973 and became a U.S. citizen years later.Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 36 years and touched the lives of many families around the globe. He holds the Guinness World Record for most episodes of a game show hosted as of June 2014 with 6,829 episodes.Trebek had been very open about his battle with pancreatic cancer and revealed the news of his diagnosis to his fans in March 2019. After undergoing months of treatment, Trebek shared that he had finished treatment in August of the same year but only one month later he said he was undergoing chemotherapy once again.New episodes hosted by Trebek will air until his final episode on Dec. 25. His last day filming in the studio was Oct. 29, 10 days before his death.

[video_embed id='2072936']BEFORE YOU GO: Mayor of Alex Trebek's home town remembers the late 'Jeopardy!' host[/video_embed]