Alex Trebek Opens up About Retiring From ‘Jeopardy!’: “I Have Wanted to Do Other Things” (EXCLUSIVE)
Is it almost the end of Alex Trebek‘s stint on Jeopardy!? He’s been hosting the popular game show since 1984, but in a recent interview with Fox’s OBJECTified, he hinted his time on the series may soon be coming to an end.
His contract is due to expire in two years, but he recently revealed there’s a “50/50 [chance] and a little less,” he’ll re-sign after it ends. To ruin your day a little more, when the 78-year-old was asked if he could picture his life without the show, he replied, “Sure.”
But in a new interview with Closer Weekly in the magazine’s newest issue, on newsstands now, Alex clarified his comments a little bit. “I’ve never gotten sick of the job,” he said before adding, “I have wanted to do other things.”
This isn’t the first time Alex has spoken out about retiring. In a previous exclusive interview with Closer Weekly in early 2016, the TV personality revealed that he had no plans of retiring from the hit game show at the time.
“I’ll keep hosting as long as my skills haven’t diminished and I still enjoy it,” he shared. “The thought of retiring occurs to me every so often, but so far I am still enjoying it.”
“I’d like to win one more Emmy,” Alex added (he hasn’t won Outstanding Game Show Host since 2008).
But when he does retire, he has some fun plans in mind: “growing turnips in the Central Coast area” of California. “I enjoy working around the house and fixing things,” he told Closer. “And I’m fairly involved in a number of charities”
And when he says his final goodbye one day, there’s no doubt in his mind that the show will keep going strong. “Jeopardy! will stay on the air long after I’m gone,” he said.
In fact, he already has some people in mind to take his place when he retires. “I mentioned to our producer not so long ago that the fellow that does play-by-play for the LA Kings — they should consider him,” Alex shared with OBJECTified of Alex Faust.
He added, “There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She’s African-American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time.”
Alex is a self-professed “ordinary guy” from Ontario, Canada, who once told Closer Weekly, “I’m not an egoist who wants to hog the spotlight.” Alex, who was hired for the show’s revival by Merv Griffin, adds, “I’m just there to help people win some money.”
“Over 50 years ago, I hosted a local quiz show in Toronto called Reach for the Top, and now I am hosting one of the biggest game shows in television history,” he said, marveling. “There isn’t anything out there that I would trade for this job.”
But even if he does retire (please don’t), Alex will never forget his time on the game show. “I get to spend a half-hour each day in the company of bright people — that’s enjoyable for me,” he said. “There’s a familiarity and warmth because I’m in people’s homes five nights a week. I’m one of the family.” We hope Alex means that and never leaves our TV screens!