Calling in to SiriusXM’s “Andy Cohen Live” on Monday, Nov. 9, Cooper, who appeared on “Jeopardy!” a total of four times, said “I love the game. I think it’s just a smart, interesting thing that I’ve learned stuff from.”
Praising Trebek for his “extraordinary” hosting skills, Cooper continued, “It’s very rare that you have someone in a job like that for so long and who is so consistent and such a sort of calming presence. I just think he was pitch perfect in what he did day-in and day-out on that show. He didn’t make it about him and yet he added to the humour and the drama and the interest of it all. Showing up and doing something at a high level for that many decades is really extraordinary.”
Recalling his own experiences of meeting Trebek, Cooper said, “It was so thrilling to actually meet him. You wanted him to like you. It was just incredibly thrilling, even when I got beat.”
The news anchor added, “As if he was not beloved enough, the way he handled his illness in the last chapter of his life was extraordinary. The strength of continuing to work and being a voice for people who are facing a terminal illness.”
“What he had was an incredibly tough form of cancer and he just had such strength to keep going to work. I think so many people feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he’s gone,’ and I think it’s just incredibly sad.”
Cooper previously shared a tribute to Trebek on Instagram.
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This is a sad day. #AlexTrebek brought decades of joy and knowledge into millions of people’s lives. He faced this last difficult chapter of his remarkable life with tremendous courage and grace, and he gave strength to so many people facing challenges of their own. I began watching @Jeopardy! in high school and getting to compete on the show several times, and meet Alex, was a dream come true, even when @cheechmarin crushed me. Thank you Alex for the decades of dedication, and i hope your family finds some comfort in knowing how deeply you were loved and admired by all of us.
“This is a sad day. #AlexTrebek brought decades of joy and knowledge into millions of people’s lives,” he wrote.
Canadian television icon Trebek passed away at age 80 on Sunday.
According to a tweet from the “Jeopardy!” account, the Sudbury, Ont. born star “passed away peacefully at home” where he was “surrounded by family and friends.”
Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean Currivan Trebek, and their two children, Matthew, 30, and Emily, 27.