Jeopardy! fans are hoping the final episode of Alex Trebek’s hosting tenure is a long way off. But with Trebek currently fighting pancreatic cancer and with a long career behind him, the Jeopardy! host says he already knows what his final episode looks like.
Trebek was interviewed by ABC News ahead of the Jeopardy! Greatest Of All Time tournament airing on the network in early January and revealed that his treatments are going well and he isn’t stepping away anytime soon, if he gets his way. But long before his Stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Trebek was contemplating his retirement. And he said that’s made it clear what he needs to do when he decides he’s done.
“It’ll be a significant moment for me,” he said. “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.”
Tributes have already appeared on the show in Trebek’s honor by way of contestants sending messages in Final Jeopardy answers, but Trebek officially signing off for the last time will be an emotional moment. Thankfully, Trebek says he’s feeling well on most days and his doctors may try additional treatments for his cancer, which earlier in the year, they believed could be going into remission.
“We may try a new protocol…a different chemo or something in the trial stage that is not chemotherapy,” Alex Trebek told ABC News for the “Jeopardy!” special. “I don’t mind experimenting. I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s go for it.”
What we do know is that Trebek was on stage for the GOAT tournament, which is all the talk of the Jeopardy! universe right now. It will certainly be good to have him at the controls for one of the most exciting events in the show’s history.