The host of the popular syndicated game show since 1984, Trebek announced last March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And though he has been fighting the good fight, he has already thought through what his final sign-off will look like.
“It’ll be a significant moment for me,” Trebek shared with GMA‘s Michael Strahan on ABC’s Thursday-night special, What Is Jeopardy!? Alex Trebek and America’s Most Popular Quiz Show. “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.
“I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me, because I have no say in that whatsoever,'” Trebek continued. “‘But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you’ve shown me for the past thirty-however-many years, then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you, and goodbye.'”
In addition to his regular duties, Trebek will lord over Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time, a primetime showdown between all-time champions Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer, that kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 7 on ABC and runs for three to seven nights.