Alex Trebek may have talked about leaving Jeopardy! but there are apparently no real plans for that happening anytime soon. The longtime host of the game show is battling Stage IV pancreatic cancer, which he announced earlier in the year and has required two stretches of chemotherapy to fight in the subsequent months.
Earlier in October, there were concerns that Trebek may actually have to leave the show production after he made comments about his struggles with chemo, but apparently those were a bit premature. The initial concern stemmed from an interview Trebek gave to Canadian television earlier in the month where he admitted he’s struggled with the side effects of a second round of chemotherapy treatments that were necessary over the summer. Trebek cited sores in his mouth that he noticed made him pronounce words differently than normal. In the interview, he admitted that cancer may end his career on Jeopardy! earlier than he’d like, and he was frank about dealing with his own mortality.
But according to a TMZ report, the comments were more hypercritical than actually based in a reality where he’s seriously considering retirement. A source for the news outlet refuted the notion that Trebek was seriously considering retirement.
The source said Trebek is simply critical of his work, but that even the slight mistakes weren’t enough for him to seriously consider leaving Jeopardy!
As for his comments about the mouth sores making it difficult to speak, our production sources tell us Alex is hypercritical of his performance on the show, and little missteps that are common on other shows bother him. But, if he misspeaks or has trouble with a sentence, a simple re-shoot of the line is all that’s needed.
One important note is that the show is filmed well in advance, so even if Trebek were to take some time off, audiences at home wouldn’t see the results of that until late in 2019 at the earliest.
“Jeopardy!” production sources tell us the show is taped 2.5 months in advance, and as of now, they have shows well into December. So, if Alex is under the weather and misses a few tapings, it won’t send the show into freefall.
What that likely means is that Trebek’s reunion with foil James Holzhauer is already in the can, which is good news for everyone. Hopefully, Trebek’s health continues to improve and we won’t have to wonder about his status as host. Like Holzhauer said, it’s hard to imagine the show without him.