The clue here is: It’s one of the hardest thing that may happen in this new decade. What is, “Saying goodbye to Alex Trebek?” The man with all the answers has been hosting Jeopardy! for 35 years, and in a Thursday night interview with ABC he discussed what it will be like to walk away from the show for the final time. “I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already,” he 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.”
Trebek, who is undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer, said that while he doesn’t know exactly when his final show will be, he plans to stay on as long as he is physically able. But the idea that an iconic show like Jeopardy! could exist without the warm voice and perfect diction of Trebek is unfathomable.
Since announcing his cancer diagnosis on-air, Trebek said that he has received an outpouring of love and encouragement from Jeopardy fans. One letter, in particular, came from a fan whose brother spoke to his doctor after listening to Trebek list out the early warning signs of pancreatic cancer. That man was diagnosed with stage one pancreatic cancer and, because of Trebek’s experience, is being treated and has a higher chance of surviving. “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,” said Trebek. “They have come out and they have told me, and my gosh, it makes me feel so good.”
Trebek continues to show a strong face for his viewers and will hopefully be at peak sassy Trebek levels next week when Jeopardy! airs its Greatest of All Time tournament. Behind the scenes, with his wife Jean and their two daughters, his fight continues. “I’m not scared to death,” Trebek told ABC, “so maybe I am courageous.”