‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Beautifully Detailed How Show Gave Him Energy to ‘Suck it Up’ During Cancer Battle

by Keeli Parkey

While he was battling the cancer that eventually claimed his life, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek talked openly about his health issues on several occasions. One of those interviews was with CTV Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa Laflamme on W5.

During the interview, the editor wanted to know if going to work on the popular trivia show was difficult for Trebek after he was told that he had cancer.

“When you were told, the cancer’s back and you were just to start taping the new season (of ‘Jeopardy!’), how hard was it to be the happy host to go out in front of camera?” Laflamme asked Trebek.

In response, Trebek said going back to work was fairly easy at that time.

“No problem whatsoever because I didn’t feel any great pain,” Trebek also said. “I didn’t feel any change in my body, even though the numbers from the chemical tests came back saying we’ve had a reversal here. So, we better look at this again.”

However, the long-time “Jeopardy!” host did begin to feel pain. However, he did not let that keep him from going to work when the time came. In fact, the show energized him and got him going.

“There are weaknesses that I feel in my body, but I can always suck it up when it comes time to tape the show,” Trebek said during the interview. “I can be sitting in my dressing room and I get up and I’m not able to move. But, all of a sudden when Johnny says, ‘And now, here is the host of ‘Jeopardy!’ Alex Trebek,’ OK, let’s go.”

And, go he did, until his death in November 2020. Alex Trebek was 80 years old at the time of his death.

You can watch “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek talk about his battle with cancer below. His comments about working on the show helped him begin around the 6:50 mark of the video.

Alex Trebek Once Detailed How Fans of ‘Jeopardy!’ Would Approach Him to Say the Show Was Wrong About Something

During his many decades as the host of “Jeopardy!” Alex Trebek encountered his share of fans. And, some of them approached him just to point out errors they believed the show had made. As it turns out, the fans are the ones who were usually incorrect.

“Most of the time they were wrong,” Trebek once said. “And, when they tried to say that the show had made a mistake I said, ‘Well, wait a minute. What do you think we said on the clue?’ And, they would tell me.”

Trebek would then explain why the show was correct and the fan was incorrect.

“I said, ‘You missed an important word. You have to pay attention to all the words in the clue. Otherwise, it will allow two or three different responses. We nail it down pretty tight,'” he also said. “And they’d say, ‘Oh. OK.'”