(CNN) — Ken Jennings debuted as guest host on “Jeopardy!” Monday, and opened the show with a tribute to the late Alex Trebek.
“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, charm and grace.”
He continued: “Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”
Jennings said that while recording the show he also kept a special token his pocket in a nod to Trebek.
He wrote on Twitter, “A friend gave me this piece of quiz show history: an audience ticket to Alex’s very first Jeopardy! pilot from 1983. (“ALEX TREBEK! DOOR PRIZES!”) I kept it in my pocket while guest-hosting Jeopardy! this week, as a good luck charm.”
Jennings holds the record for most wins in the show’s history and has appeared on it over 100 times.
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