'Jeopardy!': Alex Trebek Reveals His Plan for the Last 30 Seconds of His Final Show
Alex Trebek just wants a chance to say goodbye.
After hosting Jeopardy! for more than36 years and 8,000 episodes, it would be tragic if the game show legend doesn’tget that much at least. An interview from 2018 took on new significance in theface of Trebek’s more recent cancer diagnosis, but even with that, the 7-timeEmmy winner is determined to keep hosting Jeopardy! until he nolonger can.
And when the time comes to exit the show, he’s going to addressthe audience one last time just like another famous host did long ago.
RELATED: A ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Awkwardly Broke 1 of Alex Trebek’s Unwritten Rules
Alex Trebek was diagnosed with cancer in 2019
Trebek began his career at the Canadian BroadcastingCorporation (CBC) but has been the sole host of the trivia game show Jeopardy!since 1984. After telling shocked fans that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreaticcancer in March 2019, the 79-year-old host began chemotherapy treatment and keptworking the entire time. He’s still fighting the cancer today.
“The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancerpatients is 18%,” he shared on social media in March 2020. “I’m veryhappy to report I have just reached that marker.”
He’s still hosting through cancer treatments
As it stands, Trebek’s contract is extended until 2022, and he’s promisedaudiences he will continue showing up to host the show if he’s physically andmentally able to.
“Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad, but it comes with theterritory,” he told CNBC.“When you’ve been in the same job for that long period of time, it moves you tothink at some point about retiring. Thinking about retiring and retiring aretwo different things.”
The ‘Jeopardy!’ host already planned his final episode
Trebek didn’t have plans to retire in 2018, either. But he didreveal during an interview with Vulturethat he has a specific mission for his last planned episode of Jeopardy!no matter when it happens.
“I will tell the director, ‘Time the show so that I have 30 seconds at the end,’’’ Trebek said.
“Because when Ken Jennings lost after 74 wins in a row, I had atear in my eye and no time for a good-bye. So all I want on my last show is 30seconds, and I’ll do what Johnny Carson did: ‘Hey, folks, thank you. Been agood run and all good things must come to an end.’ Then I’ll move on.”
Will Alex Trebek choose his successor?
For some reason, Jeopardy! fans are convinced that Trebekwill help choosehis replacement host. The trivia show legend said he doesn’t have aspecific person in mind but hinted that it should probably be a woman.
“All you need is a competent host to help keep things moving,” hetold Vulture. “But we’re in the #MeToo movement now, it’s the year of thewoman, so I suspect that the producers might give serious consideration tohaving a woman host. She’ll obviously be younger; she’ll have to be personable,bright, have a sense of humor. My recommendation is Betty White,” he joked.
Even though he’ll eventually retire, Jeopardy! fans knowthere’s no replacing Trebek.
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