As one of the most recognizable and beloved game show hosts in the history of the format, Jeopardy!’s Alex Trebek has spent more than 30 years talking to American trivia nerds, thrilling them with his changes of facial hair, and occasionally rolling his eyes at the good-hearted geeks who make their ways through the show’s California studios. Today, though, he offered an altogether more somber message to the show’s legion of fans: The news that he’s been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.
Trebek made the announcement via Jeopardy!’s YouTube channel, stating that he didn’t want fans to have to hear about his health through some unreliable outside source. He also seemed in good spirits, despite the sobering statistics of this particular disease. (The American Cancer Society lists a 3 percent five-year survival rate for people with Trebek’s diagnosis.) Among other things, he pledged to continue hosting the show—joking that his contract requires him to stay at the podium until at least 2022—while also asking viewers to send him their good thoughts, energy, and prayers, preferably (we assume) in the form of a question, please.