Longtime “Jeopardy!” hostknows exactly what he will say to end his 35-year career with the show — and he’ll only need 30 seconds to say it.
“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,'” Trebek said in an interview with ABC’s Michael Strahan ahead of a highly anticipated tournament between winners James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Trebek said he may not be hosting the game show much longer, but didn’t reveal an exact end date or any possible replacements. He said his goodbye “will be a significant moment” for him.
“Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever,” he said, continuing with his rehearsed goodbye. “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,” he concluded.
Trebek’s battle with pancreatic cancer
The 79-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March of last year. He’s been public about his struggles throughout his treatment, receiving an outpouring of love and support from fans.
In November, one contestant showed his support when he was unable to answer a question, instead writing “What is…”We ❤️you, Alex!”
“They have come out and they have told me, and my gosh, it makes me feel so good,” Trebek told Strahan about the support from viewers.
After undergoing chemotherapy, Trebek returned to the show in September to kick off its 36th season. The following week, he revealed he was returning to chemotherapy treatment after his “numbers went sky high.”
Trebek has become somewhat of a spokesperson for the disease, releasing a PSA for World Pancreatic Cancer Day. He even inspired a teen “Jeopardy!” champion toof his winnings to pancreatic cancer research.
Trebek suggested in an October interview that his tenure as “Jeopardy!” host may be nearing its end, admitting that taping the show had become more difficult.
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” he told CTV.