Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek has been at the forefront of the syndicated game show for 35 years, and many cannot imagine the show without him. However, Trebek revealed how his health was faring on, and even went further and announced how he was planning to leave the show.
He made the announcement during his appearance at the TCA winter press tour, where he was promoting ABC’s special Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time. Present on the tour were Jeopardy! winners Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter.
Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in March, and has since undergone several rounds of chemotherapy. He admitted, “some days are better than others.”
“My resistance is lower because of the treatments I’ve been having, and as you can tell I’ve got the cold that’s going around, but this is the second time I’ve had it in the last month and a half. They’ve got me off one of my chemo drugs, which was killing me, and I won’t know until tomorrow when I go in for some tests and then maybe a week or so when I know how things stand. I have good days and bad days,” he revealed.
Trebek revealed that he doesn’t see himself leaving Jeopardy! “in the near future.” However, he knew exactly how he would end his run on the show. He planned on asking the director to grant him 30 seconds at the end of the final episode. He wasn’t planning on reading anything scripted, but instead would go “on a whim.”
Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time proved true to its name on the first night of the show. The Tuesday ratings showed that it had a 2.4 rating in the 18-49 adult demographic, with 14.37 million viewers tuned in. The show took the spotlight, dominating a night when broadcast networks are resuming regular programming after the holidays. The special’s first show featured the best-of-three showdown where Rutter, Jennings, and Holzhauer went head to head for a $1 million prize.
According to Ken Jennings, “age matters.”