Trebek announced his diagnosis on Wednesday in a YouTube video published by the show. The host was as calm and collected as ever, explaining that he got his diagnosis this week. He admitted that his chances were statistically bad, but he promised to fight as hard as he could.
Trebek began by explaining he was not revealing this news to cause alarm, but to prevent fans from "reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reporters regarding" his health. He also put his diagnosis in context, saying he was one of "50,000 other people in the United States each year" to get this diagnosis.
"Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working," he continued. "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."
Trebek even undercut the terrifying news with a joke, as well as a promise to stay on the air.
"Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!" he said. "So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you."
The video was reportedly filmed on Wednesday on the Jeopardy! set in Culver City, California, meaning that it revealed Trebek's current state. There were no other details on his health status or the future of the show as he undergoes treatment.
Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy! for 35 years, starting in 1984. He has hosted a number of other shows over the years, though Jeopardy! is his best-known work. The beloved trivia mediator has been honored with awards and recognition many times over for his contributions to pop culture.
Trebek has struggled with his health before. He suffered a minor heart attack in his home in 2007, and another in 2012. He also underwent surgery last year to get blood clots removed from his brain. In each of these cases, Trebek took very short breaks from work before returning to the air.0comments
Last year, Trebek did an extensive interview with TMZ's Harvey Levin, which aired on Fox News. At the time, he talked about the possibility of retiring, saying that there was a 50/50 chance he would leave Jeopardy! in 2020. However, shortly after that Trebek signed on until 2022.
Jeopardy! airs on week nights at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.