The long-lasting impact 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek made during 2017 visit to ABC13

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Alex Trebek wasn't only beloved by viewers around the world, he had a lot of fans at ABC13.

In 2017, Trebek, who was on a publicity tour, spent a day at the TV station in Houston. Like the true game show host he was, he recalled something unique about Houston's development.

"You have no zoning laws," he told a gathered crowd in the newsroom at the time.

READ MORE: ABC13 staff shares stories of 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek
EMBED More News Videos

Shortly after the Houston Astros won the World Series, Trebek stopped by ABC13 to record promotional videos and visit with staff members. KTRK President & General Manager Wendy Granato takes a look back.



He also made a lasting impression on those who spent time with him, including our now General Manager Wendy Granato.

"The gentleman that you saw on 'Jeopardy!', kind and respectful and smart and funny, and quick witted," Granato said Sunday after learning of Trebek's death from pancreatic cancer. "He was that and more. I've never seen the newsroom so excited to meet someone before."

Relive the moment: Watch ABC13's 2017 interview with Alex Trebek
EMBED More News Videos

Did Alex Trebek have a favorite "Jeopardy!" contestant in 2017? Also, do you think he knows the answers to every question on the practice test? Hear the answer to those questions and more during Eyewitness News' interview with Trebek from December 2017.



Meanwhile, ABC13 anchor Melanie Lawson remembers his warmth and willingness to engage.



"My favorite part was when he walked into the newsroom and chaos ensued," Lawson said. "Everybody was up from their desks and sort of gathered around. He was so incredibly gracious. He talked to everybody. He answered all of the same questions I am sure he's heard a thousand times. He was also incredibly funny. He was very dry and he just had me cracking up the whole time."

There was, however, no bigger fan of Trebek and "Jeopardy!" than Dave Ward.

ABC13's Anchor Emeritus watched every day. He often answered the questions aloud at his desk. It was Trebek, he believes, who made the simple game show stand out.



"He was the consummate professional. He made it look easy and you and I both know anything in television is not easy," he said. "I am a game show junkie as you know, and of all the game shows, "Jeopardy!" has been my favorite all these years. Me and Melanie, we would watch that show every day just to see which one of us could come up with the most right answers."

Ward is a former Guinness Book world record holder for his longevity at ABC13. Trebek holds the Guinness Book world record for hosting close to 8,200 episodes of "Jeopardy!"

He left a lasting impression on audiences everywhere including those right here in our building in southwest Houston.

Follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.