Alex Trebek Completes Chemotherapy, Prepares for the Upcoming Season of ‘Jeopardy!’

August 29, 2019 Updated: September 3, 2019

Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has completed chemotherapy and is preparing for the 36th season of the popular program.

Trebek told KDVR that he’s excited.

“It’s another day at the office, and an exciting day because so many great things have been happening,” Trebek said.

“I’ve gone through a lot of chemotherapy. Thankfully, that is now over. I’m on the mend and that’s all I can hope for right now,” he said.

Trebek cracked a joke, saying he has to live for at least three more years because that’s how long his current contract runs for. He’s made the joke before.

Jeopardy! season 36 is slated to start on Sept. 9. It will end on July 25, 2020.

Trebek revealed in March that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“It’s in keeping with my long-time policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health,” he said at the time.

“So, therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information. Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” he continued.

He added later that he planned to beat the cancer.

“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m gonna fight this, and I’m gonna keep working,” he said at the time. “And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”

A month later, in a video posted by Jeopardy!, he told fans: “Despite what you may have heard, I’m feeling good. I’m continuing with my therapy.”

“I wanted once again to thank you for your continuing messages of encouragement and support, particularly the many cards I’ve received from young people. I’m touched beyond words,” he added. “I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff.”

He has since made appearances in public, including at the Daytime Emmy Awards in May and the 2019 NHL Awards in June.

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek presents the Hart Memorial Trophy during the 2019 NHL Awards at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 19, 2019. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

James Holzhauer, who went on a long winning streak in season 35, previously announced that he was donating some of his winnings in honor of Trebek to pancreatic cancer research.

Ann Zediker organized a walk in Naperville, Illinois to raise money for the research and solicited a donation from Holzhauer, who won a total of $2.4 million.

“There was an excitement, and I started following him on social media,” Zediker, whose father died from the cancer, told the Chicago Tribune.

“Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst cancers out there,” Zediker said. “Most people aren’t diagnosed until the latter stages.”

She later emailed Holzhauer to see if he would be interested in attending the walk.

“My gut told me it was the right thing to do,” she said. “It couldn’t hurt.”

Holzhauer replied, saying he couldn’t attend but could give a donation. He donated $1,109.14.

Ahead of the 36th season, Jeopardy! has been holding auditions.

Some 2,500 people made it through the online test and some of them were in Chicago earlier in August meeting with show producers.

Maggie Speak, one of the producers, told ABC 7 that Chicago “is the city of big shoulders and big brains, apparently.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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