Alex Trebek Offers Update on Cancer Treatment: ‘Some Days Are Better Than Others’

TCA 2020: Longtime “Jeopardy!” host has spoken openly about having pancreatic cancer

Last Updated: January 8, 2020 @ 3:14 PM

Alex Trebek gave an update on the condition of his health Wednesday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

“Some days are better than others,” Trebek told reporters at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena. “My resistance is lower than most of you, of course, because of the treatments. I’ve been having chemotherapy as you can tell. I have a cold that seems to be going around, but this is the second time I’ve had it in the past month and a half.”

The longtime “Jeopardy!” host of 36 years has spoken openly about undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“They’ve got me off one of my chemo drugs which was killing me, and I won’t know until tomorrow when I go in for some more tests where things stand,” he continued. “Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad.”

Trebek remarked that he had seen some recently edited “Jeopardy!” episodes, and that he noticed he “seemed a little slower in the ad-lib portions.” He also pointed out that he was wearing a hairpiece, having lost his hair due to the chemo treatments.

Trebek was joined on stage by executive producer Harry Friedman, along with three competitors on “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time”– Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter. The trio of former contestants wore purple ribbons pinned to their shirts in support of pancreatic cancer.

“They’re doing it because they’re here today, as a tribute to me. I was very touched by that,” Trebek said.

The champions also weighed in on whether Trebek’s treatment has affected them emotionally while filming “Greatest of All Time.”

“It’s very special for us because we know that Alex has been with the show for 36 years, not gonna get too many more chances to play with him there. Hard for us to even imagine — if anyone’s irreplaceable on TV, it’s this guy here,” Jennings said. “The fact that we got to play with him one more time was very special.”

“Even we don’t get to spend too much time with Alex, but one thing it highlighted to me was that I was taking it for granted before,” Rutter added. “He’s not gonna be hosting the show forever, so it’s made it that much more special to come and see him and watch him do his thing. He’s absolutely the best whose ever done it. He’s very modest, and he’ll tell you you don’t owe him anything, but we all know that there wouldn’t be any ‘Jeopardy!’ without Alex.”

The next episode of “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ABC.

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