Alex Trebek has already planned and rehearsed his final goodbye for his last episode of “Jeopardy!” but is not revealing when exactly that will be.
In an interview with Michael Strahan for ABC News, 79-year-old host, who is battling pancreatic cancer, said his big farewell will only take up only the last 30 seconds of that final half-hour. Watch the video above.
“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,'” Trebek told Strahan.
“I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever,'” he continued, reciting his planned exit speech. “‘But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … 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 the past, Trebek has said that he would remain on as host of his beloved “Jeopardy!” as long as “my skills have not diminished,” but in Thursday’s interview, he told Strahan that the process had already begun — though he didn’t clarify exactly what that meant.
Trebek’s wife, Jean, says she knows how much the show means to him.
“I know it’s what feeds him. He loves doing “Jeopardy!” He has his own family over there. They’re such a close-knit, beautiful group of people. So I think that gives him a lot of support, a sense of purpose, that he’s just not in bed and can be production,” she said.
Trebek will next be seen hosting ABC’s multi-night event, “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” — in which all-time best players James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will compete — starting Jan. 7.