Alex Trebek has no plans to stop hosting Jeopardy! anytime soon despite currently undergoing a second round of chemotherapy for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In an interview with CTV earlier this month, Trebek said that the treatment is causing painful mouth sores to develop, which makes it more difficult for him to speak. But sources tell TMZ that those sores aren’t prohibiting him from continuing to host the game show.
The sources said that episodes of the show are taped two and a half months in advance, so they have enough episodes to run nearly until the end of the year. Should Trebek need to miss a taping, they will still have enough recorded to continue airing shows.
So far, he has continued his regular schedule of recording twice a week and has kept his perfect 35-year record of never missing a taping intact. Trebek to CTV that he will keep doing the show “as long as my skills do not diminish.”
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said when talking about the sores causing issues enunciating words. “But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’”
Elsewhere in the CTV interview, Trebek, 79, said that he doesn’t fear death. “I’m not afraid of dying. I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid that?,” he said. “One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is ‘He was taken from us too soon.’”
Trebek was diagnosed with cancer in March. After undergoing a round of chemo, he revealed in May that the cancer was in remission. But a couple months later, the cancer came back even stronger than it was initially.
“Yup, (I) went all the way down to numbers that correspond with a normal human being without cancer,” he said. “Then all of a sudden, it blew up and went 50 percent higher than when it was first diagnosed. Go figure.”
“I'm hanging in,” he continued. “So we're back on the chemo and we'll see if the numbers go down. And if they do... they can't keep doing it forever, of course. “They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We'll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”