The game show world and trivia nerds alike were shocked when longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced he had pancreatic cancer last week. Trebek, who said he was likely to vacate his hosting duties beside the big board in 2020, sparked an outpouring of support when he gave his health announcement to fans who have spent years watching him host Jeopardy!
The thought of losing Trebek was hard for everyone — the Canadian game show host is forever tied to the quiz show and has been a familiar face on your TV before (or after, depending on your syndication market) Wheel of Fortune for decades. Trebek’s health and future at the podium are uncertain right now, but it’s clear that he’s well-loved by fans. And he took some time to thank those fans a week after his health update was made public.
On Thursday, the official Jeopardy! account tweeted out a video of Trebek thanking fans for the “hundreds of thousands” of messages in various forms of media that Trebek has read over the last week.
“I’ve heard from former contestants — even Watson, the IBM computer, sent me a get well card,” Trebek said. “Now, obviously I won’t be able to respond to all of you individually, but I did want you to know that I do read everything I receive.”
It’s a nice gesture to thank fans, but the message also serves as news that he’s gotten so many messages in the first place. And it’s awesome to know that if you sent kind words his way, Trebek has read them. And despite his diagnosis, he called himself “lucky.”
“I am thankful for the kind words, the prayers and the advice you have offered and I’m extremely touched by the warmth you have expressed in your comments to me,” Trebek said. “I’m a lucky guy.”
It’s hard not to love Trebek for the way he does his job on TV, and we wish him nothing but the best in his fight. It’s hard to imagine him not on TV on weeknights after dinner, and it’s even harder to imagine him not here at all.