Ailing Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn’t sure when he’ll step down from hosting the ABC game show, or who is going to be his replacement after 35 years, but he does know how he wants to sign off and he’ll need just 30 seconds to do it.
Trebek first announced his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis to the world last March via a YouTube video in which he vowed to “fight” the disease and “keep working.”
In an interview, Trebek said “I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die. Because of the cancer diagnosis, it’s no longer an open-ended life, it’s a closed-ended life because of the terrible…survival rates of pancreatic cancer. Because of that, and something else that is operating here, people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I’m alive, about the impact that I’ve been having on their existence.” Many fans, even contestants on the TV show, have given Trebek support and encouragement in the past year.
Trebek isn’t sure when he is going to end his run on Jeopardy, or who will replace him, but he has already rehearsed his closing lines. “I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already,” Trebek said. “And what I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want.’”
Alex Trebek said his final Jeopardy signoff will be “Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”
In the more immediate future, Trebek is hosting ABC’s Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time, featuring champions Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. The tournament begins Tuesday.