Is Alex Trebek Leaving Jeopardy? Not Now.

Alex Trebek Jeopardy

Getty "What Is Jeopardy!? Alex Trebek and America's Most Popular Quiz Show" airs on ABC on January 2, featuring the show's beloved host.

ABC is airing a one-hour special on January 2 about Jeopardy and its beloved host ALex Trebek, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. In spite of Trebek’s ongoing cancer battle, he is not planning on leaving the quiz show until he has to.

In October 2019, after he announced that he had to restart chemotherapy for the stage 4 pancreatic cancer he was diagnosed with in March 2019, Alex talked with CTV about the impact his diagnosis would have on his job at Jeopardy, a role he’s held since 1984. He said that he would keep filming the show as its host “as long as [his] skills do not diminish.” At the same time, he acknowledged that one of the side effects of his chemo, painful mouth sores, was having a negative impact on his ability to annunciate clearly while doing his job. He added “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving. But there will come a point when they [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.'”

Although Alex Is Not Quitting ‘Jeopardy’ Yet, He Knows How He Wants to Say Goodbye

During an interview with ABC News ahead of the Jeopard special, Trebek revealed that he has thought about how he’d want to mark his exit from hosting Jeopardy. He said “It’ll be a significant moment for me. But I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, 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.’ And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘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.”

Stage 4 pancreatic cancer has only a 9% five-year survival rate, which Trebek acknowledged in the interview, saying “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… 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.”

Alex Somewhat Regrets Making His Cancer Battle Public

Alex has shown his appreciation for the outpouring of support from fans, and has spoken out about pancreatic cancer since his diagnosis. He was visibly moved when contestant Dhruv Gaur wrote “What Is We Love You Alex” as his answer during a Final Jeopardy episode, and released a public service announcement on World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

Nevertheless, the public figure admitted to CTV that speaking out about pancreatic cancer and his experience battling the illness came with its own challenges. He said “A lot of people are coming to me and looking for help, reassurance – and that’s tough,” adding that it’s difficult “trying to be as optimistic as you can when the other person feels none of that … they feel only despair. And I don’t know if I was strong enough or intelligent enough to help alleviate that despair.”

Tune in to What Is Jeopardy!? Alex Trebek and America’s Most Popular Quiz Show, Thursday, January 2 at 8/7c on ABC.

READ NEXT: WATCH: Alex Trebek Tears Up During Emotional Moment on Jeopardy

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments