Alex Trebek, the longtime host of the popular trivia show Jeopardy!, says he not only knows what his final words on the show will be, but that he’s even rehearsed them.
Trebek shocked the world last March when he publicly announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Despite the severity of the diagnosis, he pledged to continue hosting the game show which he has hosted since 1984.
Many fans were excited to see him return to the show after a brief hiatus, and even Trebek himself seemed cautiously optimistic following positive progress with doctors a few months ago.
Unfortunately, Trebek has more recently indicated that the progress has begun slowing down and he may have to step down sooner rather than later.
On Thursday night he and his wife sat down in an interview with ABC News where he said he’ll ask the director to allow him 30 seconds to address the audience at the end of his final taping.
“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,” he said. “And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”
Beyond that, he hasn’t revealed when his last appearance on the show might be. Each episode is filmed weeks in advance.
A special tournament hosted by Trebek and featuring three of the show’s most popular contestants (Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer), will begin airing on Tuesday.