CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Former “Jeopardy!” contestants locally and across the nation are voicing their support for longtime host Alex Trebek.
The 78-year-old announced in a video Wednesday he’s been diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer, an aggressive form of cancer with a low survival rate.
“I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” the Jeopardy host of 35 years said in a video posted to Twitter.
If anyone can beat the grim odds, it’s Trebek, said Carrie Blazina. The Cambridge resident competed on an episode of Jeopardy that aired on December 20, 2018.
“I think Alex is an integral part of why people love Jeopardy,” Blazina said. “He’s funny, he’s really smart. He’s very eager to take you down a peg if he thinks you’re being too snarky or something.”
She said the Alex Trebek she met in person is the same man millions of Americans see on TV every single day.
She remembers a funny moment after her episode was finished filming. He looked at her and asked how old she was “in his classic Alex Trebek voice,” she said. “I told him [how old], and he said, ‘I have shoes older than you.'”
That spunk is why she says he’s maybe the most beloved TV host in modern television. “He’s really just a beloved part of the game,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine Jeopardy without him and I hope we won’t have to.”
Blazina isn’t the only former contestant wishing Trebek well. Ken Jennings posted on Twitter, comparing Trebek to the late Walter Cronkite. “I’ve said this before but Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual,” he wrote.