Last Thursday, Jeopardy! adversary Burt Thakur’s amusing media started alarming up afterwards an barter he had with Alex Trebek during a appearance taping went viral.
Thakur, a 37-year-old electrical architect from Palm Springs, had been the champ of that episode, which was taped in mid-August and aired aftermost week. Thakur anticipation the cameras had chock-full rolling aback he told Trebek how abundant the host meant to him and his Indian immigrant family.
“My grandfathering who aloft me … I’m gonna get tears appropriate now … I acclimated to sit on his lap and watch you every day,” Thakur told Trebek in a blow aggregate by the Jeopardy! Twitter account. “It’s a appealing appropriate moment for me. Acknowledge you actual much.”
On Sunday, while driving, Thakur got chat that 80-year-old Trebek had died of pancreatic cancer. Suddenly activity shaky, Thakur pulled to the ancillary of the road, and started to cry.
“I apperceive bodies get agitated aback celebrities die,” Thakur said, hours later. “To me, he wasn’t a celebrity. To me, Alex Trebek was aloof addition uncle.”
Tributes to Trebek abounding the internet Sunday, abounding from bodies like Thakur who grew up in immigrant families during the 80’s and 90’s and abstruse English from watching Trebek wittily badinage with contestants and bear questions in his precise, chatty manner.
Over his 36 years of hosting Jeopardy!, Trebek had remained a connected in their lives – alike afterwards they baffled English and the internet and adolescence blanket their attention.
Trebek’s afterlife reminded abounding of them of how he served as a abating attendance through the about-face of affective to a new country. For some kids in immigrant families, Jeopardy! was one of the few shows they were accustomed to watch.
For others, Jeopardy! was a time for ancestors bonding.
Stand-up banana Francisco Ramos emigrated with his ancestors from Venezuela to the U.S. aback he was 12. One of his aboriginal memories was landing in a Washington, D.C. airport auberge allowance and watching Jeopardy!, not compassionate a lick of what Trebek was saying. All he knew was Trebek looked “welcoming and honest.”
Jeopardy! would go on to become allotment of a approved TV addiction for Ramos. Trebek’s bright accentuation helped him butt the abounding idiosyncrasies of the English language.
“It was actual accessible to accept him, which fabricated it easier for me to apprentice how to accent words,” Ramos, 38, said.
Ramos, who lives in Studio City, said that as he got earlier and English came easily, he started to acknowledge Trebek’s absurd faculty of humor. Afterwards affective to L.A. in his 20’s to be a stand-up, Ramos would anticipate of Trebek as he did his army work, how the host would back-bite contestants by cat-and-mouse a exhausted to artlessly acknowledge to article they said.
More than anything, Ramos admired Trebek’s alertness to footfall aback and let the contestants shine.
“He was the show,” Ramos said, “but he never fabricated the appearance about himself.”
June Yoon of Long Beach additionally credits Jeopardy! with teaching him English and putting him on the aisle to the ball world.
Yoon emigrated from South Korea to Huntington Beach aback he was 14, and was brash to aces up English by watching cartoons and shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos. But it was Jeopardy! that appealed to him.
“I could accept to absorb time watching ball amusement of bodies falling, and fun animals,” Yoon said. “Or, I could absorb my time actuality entertained and celebratory this absurd guy with a mustache who was allurement these absolutely air-conditioned questions in this absolutely aberrant architecture of answering questions with a question.”
Yoon said Jeopardy! gave him an acknowledgment of the English language, and how accentuation and commitment can actualize impact. He’s now a articulation actor, in both English and Korean.
“That appearance best absolutely accelerated that process, in acumen that there’s added than one way to accurate a anticipation or an intent,” Yoon said.
When Burt Thakur emigrated to the U.S. from India at age eight, he batten Hindi and Urdu. He knew some English, but it was patchy. Aback he heard Americans speaking, it acquainted like a becloud of words.
But English started to complete accustomed the added nights he spent watching Jeopardy! with his grandfather, Jagdish Mishra, who aloft Thakur while his parents formed on their medical careers.
In India, his grandfathering had been the arch conservator of forests for the accompaniment of Bihar (“I saw him already beam bottomward a charging balderdash albatross in musk”). Mishra was efficient, punctual, not the blazon to ache fools.
“He never batten abominably about anyone, but he never gave anyone too abundant praise,” Thakur recalled. “But with Alex Trebek, he said, ‘That’s a acceptable man. One day, aback you’re on that show, acknowledge him for me.'”
Thakur, a Navy adept who readily quotes Voltaire and William Ernest Henley in conversation, said that he connected to watch Jeopardy! afterwards his grandfathering died aback Thakur was 11. The appearance able him for spelling bees, he said, and he already represented the accompaniment of New York, area his ancestors had settled.
Jeopardy! connected to be a accompaniment for Thakur through adulthood. On argosy deployments abroad, the quiz appearance was a aftertaste of home that fabricated the canicule go quicker.
When Thakur got the alarm to go on Jeopardy!, it acquainted life-changing. He isn’t starstruck by anyone, he said, but accepting to accommodated Trebek was “meeting an addendum of my grandfather.”
Thakur recalled that during the taping, Trebek smiled and joked and put the contestants at ease. There was a moment aback he seemed to be in pain, but Trebek pushed through, the able professional.
“He would blooper a tape. They would retape segments. He would change questions if they didn’t accomplish sense, accomplish abiding every chat was right,” Thakur said.
Thakur said it was adorning to see addition so ill assignment so adamantine because of his adulation and assignment to his fans.
“I ask that anybody ceremoniousness his activity and his anamnesis and my grandfather’s memory,” Thakur said, “by accepting affinity for your adolescent animal actuality today.”
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