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Ken Jennings' nightly tribute to Alex Trebek has won over 'Jeopardy!' fans

A simple gesture has gone a long way with fans of the legendary game show.
/ Source: TODAY

Ken Jennings is making sure Alex Trebek remains a part of “Jeopardy!”

Jennings, who’s been serving as guest host of the popular game since Trebek’s death, signs off each episode with a simple acknowledgment of the longtime “Jeopardy!” host.

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After thanking viewers for watching, Jennings has been ending each show by saying, "Thank you, Alex."

Jennings, the legendary contestant who once won 74 consecutive games and was crowned the champion in the “Greatest of All Time” tournament last year, told a fan on Twitter Monday that the show’s executive producer came up with the idea.

“Every single time @KenJennings thanks Alex at the end of @Jeopardy, I get all choked up. I hope he never stops,” author Jessica Brody commented.

"’Thanks, Alex’" was suggested as a sign-off by executive producer Mike Richards, and I'm glad he did. There wouldn't be a show without Alex,” Jennings replied.

Jennings took over the reins from Trebek in January.

"Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years,” he said at the top of his first episode. “And it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace — really, there's no other word for it.

Ken Jennings and Alex Trebek on Jeopardy
Jennings is doing his part to keep Trebek's memory alive.Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images

“Like all 'Jeopardy!' fans, I miss Alex very much," he added, while getting choked up. "And I thank him for what 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 is the first of several people who've been tapped to act as guest host. Actor Mayim Bialik, journalist Katie Couric, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker will also step up to the lectern to fill in before a permanent host takes over.