Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has announced in a YouTube video he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This week has brought about some truly awful news, and it just gets worse with this new revelation from Trebek. The popular TV personality was reportedly just informed of his cancer diagnosis, and is set to immediately begin chemo to help battle the disease. For his part, Trebek is remaining optimistic, and says he has every intention to fight this cancer and ultimately defeat it. Additionally, while he's planning to undergo medical treatment soon, Trebek says he also plans to finish out the current season of Jeopardy in his announcement video, joking that he's contractually obligated to do so.
"This week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging. But, I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working, and with the love and support of my family and friends - and with the help of your prayers, also - I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to, because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy for three more years! So, help me. Keep the faith, and we'll win. We'll get it done."
Alex Trebek has not been without his health scares in recent years. He suffered two mild heart attacks in 2007 and 2012, making speedy recoveries in both cases to continue hosting Jeopardy. In 2011, he had injured his Achilles tendon while chasing a burglar out of his home, which placed him in a cast for six weeks. He suffered from a fall in 2017 which required surgery on multiple occasions, with one operation removing blood clots from his brain. Still, the clearly-tough Trebek persevered through every one of these occasions, never stepping away from hosting Jeopardy for more than a short time. His new battle with cancer may end up forcing his hand, and Trebek's insistence on finishing the current season makes it evident how much he cares for the job and his fans.
Trebek's career as a television host first began in 1963 when he became the host of the Canadian music program Music Hop. After hosting various Canadian programs for the next ten years, Trebek moved to the United States and began hosting the game show The Wizard of Odds. Obviously a natural in this role, Trebek would then host many other popular TV programs, including The $128,000 Question, High Rollers, Battlestars, and Card Sharks. He finally found a permanent hosting gig in 1984 after being hired to host a revival of Jeopardy, and has served as the show's official host ever since.
Throughout the entire run of Trebek's Jeopardy revival, no other host has replaced him, even on a temporary basis. However, just last year, Trebek told Harvey Levin on Objectified he was starting to consider retiring in 2020. According to Trebek himself at the time, the odds of him staying on Jeopardy past 2020 were about 50/50. Still, later that year, Trebek ultimately wound up signing a contract extension to stay on the program until 2022.
While is is undoubtedly terrible news, one has to admire Trebek's bravery. As such a beloved television personality, the Jeopardy host is going to have millions of people in his corner offering support. We wish Trebek all the best in his battle against cancer, and we thank him for his part in entertaining people across the world for the past several decades. This information comes to us from TMZ, and you can watch Trebek's cancer reveal video in full below.