Alex Trebek: It’s not up to me who hosts ‘Jeopardy!’ after I’m gone
Even Alex Trebek has no clue who his “Jeopardy!” successor will be.
The longtime host, who is battling pancreatic cancer, said he’s unsure who will be his replacement after he leaves the iconic game show he’s manned for over three decades — because he simply has no say in the matter.
The 79-year-old told TVLine during the Television Critics Association winter press tour that the show’s future is in the hands of producers, who will ultimately make the call.
“It’s not a decision that would be up to me, and I would not make myself available to presenting an opinion,” Trebek said. “I would leave it up to the people in charge.”
Trebek, who has been a fixture on the show since 1984, first announced he was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and was back to work five months later after finishing chemotherapy. In September, he revealed he was undergoing another round of chemo, but has continued his “Jeopardy!” hosting duties, including the “Greatest of All Time” competition that crowned Ken Jennings the winner on Jan. 14.
When he was first diagnosed, Trebek promised to continue his work as long as his skills don’t “diminish.” Despite some struggles during his treatment, he said he’s still fighting and is even looking forward to retiring. True to form, the game show pro even has his final sign-off ready for whenever that day comes — and he plans on spending just 30 seconds on his farewell.
While there’s no date set for Trebek’s last show or any future plans, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Harry Friedman confirmed to TVLine that Trebek won’t be helping choose a future host.
“[Alex] really has no interest in being involved in that process,” Friedman said. “We would welcome his opinion, obviously, but he feels like it’s really not up to him. And he has said that for a long time.”
But that didn’t stop Trebek from offering a “dream pick.”
“When people ask me who I’d like to see replace me, I say, ‘Well, it’s probably going to be a woman, and she’ll have to be bright, she’ll have to have a good sense of humor…’ Uhhhh, let’s see…. Betty White! Betty White is my choice,” he told TVLine.
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