If we told you Alex Trebek was talking about retirement, would it be any consolation that he wants TV icon Betty White to replace him as host? The beloved Jeopardy! star recently opened up about his forthcoming retirement from the hit ABC game show and jokingly said he wouldn’t mind if his longtime pal took over the reins.
“Are there many unemployed professional game show hosts out there right now?” the 79-year-old jokingly told Closer Weekly and other reporters at the 2020 ABC Winter Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on January 8. “When people ask me who I’d like to see replace me, I say, ‘Well, it’s probably going to be a woman and she’ll have to be bright. She’ll have to have a good sense of humor.'”
The TV personality’s confession might come as a surprise to fans considering he’s remained tight-lipped regarding his potential successor on Jeopardy! — which Alex has been hosting since 1984. “It’s not a decision that would be up to me and I would not make myself available to presenting an opinion,” he explained at the event. “I would leave it up to the people in charge.”
Earlier this month, the former To Tell the Truth host — who is the proud dad of son Matthew Trebek, 30, and daughter, Emily Trebek, 27, with wife Jean Currivan Trebek — opened up about his future plans on the game show. He even told Good Morning America he knows exactly what he’s going to say to fans during his final episode. “I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already,” he noted.
However, he’s not worried about the final day when he has to say goodbye to his incredible hosting career. “I’m not taking it day-by-day, I’m taking it month-by-month if you will,” he shared with reporters at the ABC event.
Ever since Alex opened up about his heartbreaking cancer diagnosis in March 2019, fans and fellow stars have flooded him with support. This past October, Dr. Oz opened up about his “golden-hearted” friend Alex, and gave an update on how he was doing.
“He’s struggling with the different forms of chemotherapy that are being offered to him but I told him, and I do believe this, he’s soulful man who’s always been optimistic about life — keep his confidence,” he exclusively told Closer. “The longer he stays alive, the better able we are to catch up to his pancreatic cancer.”