Alex Trebek is looking to another icon to take over for him when he eventually retires from Jeopardy!, but it isn't quite who fans would imagine. The game show's host of 36 years answered the question of his replacement during a Good Morning America interview ahead of the release of his memoir, The Answer is…: Reflections on My Life, with his signature good humor.
"I joke with the audience, I say Betty White," he quipped. "Because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier. Betty and I have been friends for a long, long time." That being said, Trebek isn't ready to give up his hosting role just yet. In fact, he's eager to get back in the Jeopardy! studio when it returns to production in a few weeks after a break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"We’ve redesigned our set to separate the contestants and myself a little bit more from them," he said of the updated filming guidelines. "So we are taking all kinds of precautions. Our testing procedure now is done online." Production will also be filming five shows a day for two days a week, which he acknowledges could be too much for him amid his treatment for pancreatic cancer. "We’ll do three and take a short break, and then do the last two. And we’ll see how that goes. And if it’s too much for me, we can always cut back a little bit, maybe do four a day," he said.
Trebek said he has no intention of stepping down from the show anytime soon. "It’s the best kind of reality television I feel. And people watch it, and if they come up with one or two correct responses in that half-hour, they feel pretty good about themselves," he said. "And that’s great."
In addition to his loved ones, Trebek said the fans have been keeping him going throughout his cancer journey. "They are the most important elements in my life outside of my family and friends," he said. "Because they have expressed their feelings about me in so many positive ways that I can't help but be touched by what they have to say and by what I mean to them. It's humbling. It's nice to be humbled."