Alex Trebek doesn’t know when he will retire from “Jeopardy!,” but he’s said previously that he plans to continue hosting the game show for as long as his health allows him to. The 79-year-old is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, so it’s inevitable that he will have to step away at some point. And he revealed at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday what his retirement plans are.
Trebek’s initial response when asked what he plans to do after the show, he jokingly said simply, “Drink.”
But he then went on to elaborate.
“When you’ve been hosting, there are some of you who have been doing your jobs for many years,” he continued. “Some of you two or three decades. When you’ve been in the same job for that long period of time, it moves you to think at some point about retiring. Thinking about retiring and retiring are two different things.
“As long as I feel my skills haven’t diminished too much and as long as I’m enjoying spending time with bright people and working with people like Harry [Friedman] and our creative writing team, then I’m going to do it,” he added.
He has previously said that whenever his last show does come, he wants to have just 30 seconds to say his goodbyes, which is the same amount of time contestants have to introduce themselves.
“Keep in mind I’m 79,” Trebek said. “I don’t foresee that 30-second moment coming up in the near future.”
In an interview with Michael Strahan on ABC News last week, Trebek opened up about saying goodbye.
“It’ll be a significant moment for me,” he said. “But I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and 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.’ And 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. 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.'”
Trebek also gave an update on his medical status during the press event.
“Some days are better than others,” he said. “They’ve got me off one of my chemo drugs, which was killing me. I’ll go for a checkup in a week to see where things stand.”