"It'll be a significant moment for me," Trebek said during Thursday's ABC special, What Is Jeopardy!? Alex Trebek and America's Most Popular Quiz Show, as reported by Entertainment Tonight. "But I've kind of in my mind rehearsed it already. What I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end, that's all I want.' And 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. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'"
In March 2019, Trebek announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After revealing the disease had gone into remission later in the spring, Trebek shared that he was undergoing another round of chemotherapy in September. The longtime Jeopardy host, who has been with the show since 1984, opened up about his experience with the disease during the ABC special, where he was also joined by his wife Jean.
"I have learned something in the past year and it's this: We don't know when we're going to die," Trebek said in the ABC special. "Because of the cancer diagnosis, it's no longer an open-ended life, it's a closed-ended life because of the terrible ... survival rates of pancreatic cancer. Because of that, and something else that is operating here, people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I'm alive, about the impact that I've been having on their existence."
"Throughout my life, I've always wondered about how courageous a human being I was," Trebek shared. "I just look at it as it's a part of life. Does that mean I'm courageous because I'm dealing with it? No. I could be scared to death and I'd still have to deal with it. But I'm not scared to death. So, maybe I am courageous."
Beginning on Tuesday, Trebek will host a three-part primetime tournament Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Timefeaturing former champions Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer.
Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time begins Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 8/7c ET on ABC, with subsequent episodes airing Wednesday and Thursday.