While Alex Trebek had expressed previously an interest in continuing to host Jeopardy! while undergoing chemotherapy, the show’s longtime host is now admitting to having doubts.
In a new sit-down interview with CTV’s W5 newsmagazine, Trebek describes the situation that he is now in, including that he’s noticed issues while hosting the show as of late:
“I talk to the producers about this all the time now. I say, ‘Look, I’m slurring my words. My tongue doesn’t work as well as it used to.’ The chemo has caused sores inside my mouth. It makes it difficult for me to speak and enunciate properly … and they say, ‘Well, we don’t notice.’ I say, ‘I notice those things.’ And I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience who notice also. But they’re forgiving, and I’ll accept that.”
The truth here is that there are likely members of the television audience who may be aware on some level, but no one way want to consciously notice for a simple reason. We all love Alex, and we certainly don’t want to see him go anywhere. It’s easier on some level to just imagine him hosting the series forever, even if at some point, everything does come to an end.
While Trebek is not confirming his departure from the show yet, he did lay out a timeline for when it could be time to say goodbye:
“[The right time to leave will be] when I feel that my skills have diminished to the point that I notice and am bothered by it … I notice now, but I’m not as bothered by it because all of the people around me are saying, ‘No, it’s okay.’ But there will come a point where they will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’”
Jeopardy! is to a number of people out there more than a game show — it’s a tradition or a competitive sport. It’s something that is an enormous part of their lives. Longtime winners are viewed almost as celebrities. While we’re sure that Jeopardy! can continue without Alex on board as host, he is what makes Jeopardy! the show that it is. We’re not ready to acknowledge it moving forward without him.
We’re continuing to wish Alex Trebek the best as he fights through chemotherapy, and will have further updates on Jeopardy! and his future on the show as they start to come out. (Photo: Jeopardy!)