The end of “Jeopardy!” got unexpectedly emotional on Monday night.
Host Alex Trebek, who recently revealed that he has resumed chemotherapy for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, turned to contestant Dhruv Gaur for the final “Jeopardy!” answer. The category was “Famous Phrases” and the clue was, “In the title of a groundbreaking 1890 exposé of poverty in New York City slums, these three words follow ‘How the.’ “
Gaur revealed his response, which included a drawing of a heart: “What is: we love you, Alex!”
That part wasn’t surprising: The much-loved Trebek is one of the most revered game show hosts of all time. But his reaction was, as the typically stoic host became emotional as he read the message.
“That’s very kind. Thank you,” Trebek said, and there was an audible reaction from the studio audience. Trebek became so choked up he struggled to get out his next words. “Cost you $1,995. You’re left with five.”
He composed himself and moved on to the other two contestants, Kyle Jones and Emma Boettcher, both of whom guessed the correct answer: “What is ‘other half lives.’ “ But the moment quickly started making the rounds on social media, as “We love you Alex” began trending on Twitter.
“Jeopardy!” fans have been rallying around Trebek, 79, since he disclosed his diagnosis in March. “I plan to beat the low survival-rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to. Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years,” said Trebek, who started hosting the show in 1984.
In August, Trebek announced that his treatments had ended and that he would return to host the 36th season, which started airing in September. But several weeks later, he updated viewers to say that after doctors found his “numbers went sky-high,” he was resuming chemotherapy treatment.
During an interview with CTV last month, Trebek assured fans that he would keep hosting “Jeopardy!” as long as possible, and also spoke candidly about his diagnosis.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” Trebek said. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life… . If it happens, why should I be afraid that?”
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.