The Real Reason Alex Trebek Has Never Retired
For 55 years, Jeopardy! has been a staple in North American households, with longtime host Alex Trebek becoming an honorary family member to many viewers. But there’s one Jeopardy! question even the most diehard fans would likely get wrong: when will Alex Trebek retire? The answer: not anytime soon, even after 35 years of hosting.
While many would start planning for retirement after more than three decades on a job, Trebek told People he’d be “lost” without Jeopardy! and he loves his role presenting trivia to eager contestants. In November 2018, he signed up for another three years on the show—a contract he intends to fulfill despite a recent cancer diagnosis. (Read up on how to spot the signs of pancreatic cancer here.)
“You get to a certain age, and if you’ve been doing the same show for 30 years, or the same job, whatever it is, for 30 years, wouldn’t you think about retirement?” Trebek told People. “What am I gonna do? I’m enjoying myself and I’m having a good time with what I’m doing now, but if I were to retire, what would I do? I’d be lost. My wife would say I’m getting on her nerves because I’m around all the time. I’m around most of the time anyway now except for two days.”
Trebek noted that people have wondered for years when he’ll retire, and while he’s committed to the show, that’s not to say he hasn’t thought about life beyond Jeopardy! Trebek expressed interest in staying in front of the camera as an actor. In 2018, during an interview with TMZ founder Harvey Levin, Trebek recommended that hockey announcer Alex Faust or CNN legal analyst Laura Coates could be his replacements—they’d both have to brush up on these Jeopardy! categories that stump everyone if either decided to consider the job down the road.
Trebek reminded loyal viewers of his dedication to the show in a video to fans where he gave an update on his health.
“I’m going to keep working and with the love and support with my family and with the help of your prayers also,” Trebek said. “I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years.”
During Trebek’s last health battle, the show and Trebek kept a united front. He took a brief medical leave in 2018 after a fall, but the show never resorted to a guest host—and here’s hoping they never have to. Now, check out these memory boosting tricks from a Jeopardy! whiz.