Alex Trebek Gives a Health Status Update

As James Holzhauer evens score in Jeopardy! tournament
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 9, 2020 12:49 AM CST
Trebek Says Retirement Isn't Imminent, Despite Cancer
Alex Trebek attends a ceremony honoring Harry Friedman with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The brief farewell that Alex Trebek says will close his final Jeopardy! episode isn't on the horizon. "I don't foresee that 30-second moment coming up in the near future," Trebek said Wednesday, referring to his request for time to close out his decades-long run with the quiz show. While treatment for pancreatic cancer is taking a toll, Trebek said he's not ready to retire although he's mulled it in recent years. He spoke during a panel promoting Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time with top contestants Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer, which is airing this week on ABC, the AP reports. Jennings won the first match on Tuesday but Holzhauer evened the score with a win Wednesday. The first player to win three matches will be the tournament champion.

"As long as I feel my skills have not diminished too much, and as long as I'm enjoying spending time with bright people like these three (contestants) ... then I'll continue doing it," he said. Trebek, 79, was candid when asked about his health. He announced his cancer diagnosis last March, and said Wednesday he's between progress reports. "They've taken me off one of my chemo drugs, which was killing me," he said, adding that he's having tests done Thursday and "then maybe another week or so before I find out where things stand." Trebek was asked what he'll do when he does retire. "Drink," was his straight-faced reply. "No," he added. "I'll work around the house." Harry Friedman, the program's long-time executive producer, said no successor is lined up.

(Read more Jeopardy stories.)

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