Ailing Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek doesn’t know when he’ll step away from the game show or who will replace him, but he knows how he’ll sign off after 35 years, and he’ll need just 30 seconds to do it.
“I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already,” Trebek told Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan Thursday night on ABC’s primetime special What Is Jeopardy!? Alex Trebek and America’s Most Popular Quiz Show. “And 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.'”
Watch segments of the interview below.
Trebek, who has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy since being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March, doesn’t know when his inevitable final show will be but conceded that it will be “a significant moment” for him.
In the more immediate future, Trebek will host ABC’s primetime Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time, featuring champions Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. The three- to seven-night tournament begins Tuesday.
And no, he has no idea who will replace him. The host, who has received an immense outpouring of public affection and encouragement since his disclosure in March — including one heartfelt moment from a contestant — said his final Jeopardy! signoff would include the following prediction:
“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.”