Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Reflect on Alex Trebek's Time on 'Jeopardy!' and His Influence (Exclusive)
By Jackie Willis
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Like a lot of TV personalities, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest are looking back on the life and legacy of Alex Trebek, who died on Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.
ET's Rachel Smith spoke with the Live With Kelly and Ryan co-hosts about what they'll remember most about the beloved Jeopardy! host as well as the impact he had on their lives.
"I played Jeopardy! with him every night, so for me I was just a fan," Ripa said of watching the game show. "...He has been on our show but I maintained my fan relationship with him and that's really how I knew him is that I played Jeopardy! with him every night."
She added, "I felt smarter because of it and some of my enduring facts lasted in my brain not because of any education I received in school but because what I learned on Jeopardy!."
Seacrest had a more personal connection to Trebek. "I remember for me, when I first moved to Los Angeles at 19 years old, Merv Griffin let me go watch him tape shows and watch him work," he recalled of visiting Jeopardy!. "I got to see, not only the scale we see on television, but how [Trebek] handled the whole show behind the scenes. [He was] just a remarkable legend that will never be forgotten."
On Instagram, Seacrest also paid tribute to the beloved game show host. "Alex Trebek was like a family member who I watched every night," he wrote. "I remember going to the set to watch him tape a show before I started my TV career. He was a big influence and one of a kind. Rest in peace, Alex."
In addition to Ripa and Seacrest, a slew of other TV stars have paid tribute and shared their memories of Trebek, including Wheel of Fortune hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Harvey, Ellen DeGeneres, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.
For more on the life and legacy of Trebek, watch the video below.