‘Jeopardy!’: Guest Host Robin Roberts Thanks Alex Trebek for ‘Courage’ to ‘Venture Out of Comfort Zone’ in Heartwarming Photo

by Josh Lanier

Robin Roberts shared a special connection for late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. They both know what it is like to battle cancer while living a public life.

Roberts, who is guest hosting Jeopardy! this week, posted a photo of one of the last times she interviewed Trebek on Good Morning America. They discussed his cancer diagnosis and his efforts to fight the disease. Trebek died of pancreatic cancer late last year. Roberts had her own public battle with cancer. She beat breast cancer in 2007 after a hard-fought battle.

She said in an Instagram post that seeing Alex Trebek’s resilience in the face of his diagnosis is what gave her the initiative to take the guest hosting job. She’ll stand behind what was Trebek’s lectern for 37 years for the rest of the week.

“My friendship and enduring devotion to #alextrebek gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and accept the invitation to guest host @jeopardy this coming week. Also very grateful @bethematch will benefit,” she wrote. “In the words of “Pretty Woman”…in case I forget to tell you I had a great time.”

Roberts will benefit Be The Match, a stem cell and bone marrow registry that helps connect donors to needy patients. Roberts said a stem cell transplant saved her life. Jeopardy! will match the contestants’ winnings during her time on the show and will donate that amount to the group.

“A stem cell transplant saved my life in 2012,” Roberts said. “Grateful that my sister was the donor, [because] so many times that is not the case. People think a family member, it’s automatic — it doesn’t happen but 30% of the time. So 70% of the time, you need someone off of a registry like Be The Match.”

After Roberts, the remaining Jeopardy! guest hosts include LeVar Burton (July 26 to 30), David Faber (August 2 to 6) and sportscaster Joe Buck (August 9 to 13).

Roberts: Let’s Bring a ‘Little Trebek’ to Jeopardy!

Robin Roberts said that she can’t be Alex Trebek. No one can. But she wants to bring some of his style back to Jeopardy! during her week of shows. She told the show’s producers that she wants to “bring a little bit of Alex [Trebek], just a little bit” back to Jeopardy!.

“No one can be him, but I just want to bring a little of the spirit that he brought each and every time he was here in the studio,” she said.

“What really touched me is one of the last times that I spoke with him in the studio at Good Morning America,” she went on. “He came in and he was cutting jokes. He was making us all feel at ease, and I’ll never forget that because everybody was on pins and needles and it was Alex Trebek making us feel so at ease.”