Even before Alex Trebek announced that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early last year, there was a lot of talk about who would eventually succeed him as the future host of TV’s best quiz show. His contract was extended through 2022 back in 2018, and Trebek has made an effort to downplay any public discussions about his eventual retirement—including saying earlier this month that when he does leave he’ll do it “on a whim” and just ask the producers for 30 seconds at the end of an episode “to say goodbye.”
Now, Trebek is going even further in that direction by saying that not only will he have no input in whoever his Jeopardy! successor will be, but he’ll refuse to offer any input if anyone asks. As reported by TVLine, Jeopardy! producer Harry Friedman recently explained that Trebek “really has no interest in being involved” in the process of naming a new host, despite the fact that Friedman says he’d “welcome [Trebek’s] opinion.” That being said, Trebek does say he’d like to see a woman replace him, preferably a “bright” woman with a “good sense of humor” like Betty White. (He might be joking a little, but Betty White would be a really fun choice.)
Of course, it’s not hard to see why Trebek might be reluctant to talk about this. After all, the depressing truth about Trebek’s health hangs over any discussions about his future on Jeopardy!, and even if you do put it out of your mind, it still must be sad for him to consider someone else doing the job he’s had for all these years. We still think you could do a lot worse than Ken Jennings, who was our suggestion back in 2018 (and that was before he officially became the GOAT), but let’s all do our best to follow Trebek’s lead and refuse to consider this any further.