Power Players

What 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek plans to do when he eventually retires

Game show host Alex Trebek poses on the set of the 'Jeopardy!' Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show Taping on April 17, 2010 in Culver City, California.
Amanda Edwards | Getty Images

Alex Trebek has hosted ABC's "Jeopardy!" since the network premiered it in 1984, totaling almost 8,000 episodes, according to the show's website. But Trebek, 79, has no plans to retire "in the near future," he said in a panel for the Television Critics Association winter press tour Wednesday.

Still, when he does retire, what will he do?

"Drink," Trebek joked on Wednesday during the winter press tour.

"No, I'll work around the house," he said.

Growing up, Trebek learned about construction from his uncles who worked in the business, he said on an episode of the podcast "A Lot To Learn With Austin Rogers." Now, his hobby is taking on home improvement projects, and he recently remodeled his wife Jean's bathroom.

"If I can do it, I'll do it," he said about his handyman skills.

In March, Trebek announced he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of just 9%. He went through treatment including multiple rounds of chemotherapy.

But Trebek has said in the past that he wants to work until his hosting skills significantly diminish. He worries about his speech and ability to enunciate properly, he told CTV's "W5" in October 2019. "I notice those things. And I'm sure there are observant members of the television audience who notice also," he said.

"Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad, but it comes with the territory," Trebek said in January.

Trebek is scheduled to host the show until 2022, according to the New York Times.

As someone who's worked as a game show host for more than 50 years, naturally Trebek has thought about retirement.

Alex Trebek playing himself on a 1990 episode of sitcom "Cheers."
NBC

"When you've been in the same job for that long period of time, it moves you to think at some point about retiring," he said. "Thinking about retiring and retiring are two different things."

In the meantime, it's an exciting time for "Jeopardy." The "Jeopardy!" Greatest of All Time championship began on Jan. 7, featuring the biggest winners in the show's history, Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer.

Trebek has said that the best part of working on "Jeopardy!" is getting to interact with smart people like the champions.

"I tell audiences who come to our tapings that the thing I enjoy most about the show is the 30 minutes I spend on stage with the contestants, because I love spending time with bright people," he said Wednesday.

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