Game show whiz James Holzhauer remembers exactly where he was when he found out Alex Trebek was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was in the green room, waiting to go on and actually play Jeopardy. He was in the midst of a tremendous winning streak when a producer released the devastating statement about the longtime host’s health. It was a lot to take in, but Holzhauer eventually got himself together and watched as Trebek himself performed as perfectly as ever.
James Holzhauer hit up social media this past week and told the story, both because it was the two year anniversary of the announcement and because it was the perfect jumping off point to announce he’s raising money to help fight pancreatic cancer in honor of the dearly departed game show legend. You can check out his version of events below. It’s really obvious how much he cared for Alex Trebek…
Two years ago today, I was in Jeopardy’s green room getting ready for my 31st game when legendary producer Maggie Speak delivered a statement from Alex Trebek, announcing he was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. My first thought: “How the hell am I supposed to get excited to play Jeopardy after hearing that diagnosis?” My next thought, which should have been my first: “How the hell is Alex supposed to get excited to host Jeopardy after hearing that diagnosis?” I thankfully hadn’t had any personal experience with pancreatic cancer at the time, but the moment it came after my childhood idol, that disease became my archenemy. Alex’s performance hosting that game was flawless as always. In our postgame chat, I made him promise me he’d fight this thing every step of the way. He powered through 310 more episodes, more than making good on his vow.
The money is being raised through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and thankfully, Holzhauer has already reached his goal. He was hoping to raise $8,244, which is one dollar for every episode Alex Trebek hosted. He’s already blown past that and is now at over $10,000. As all of it is for a great cause, however, I’m sure he would certainly be grateful if he could raise more. You can donate here.
Jeopardy will never be the same without Alex Trebek, but much to the delight of fans and as per the wishes of the former host himself, the show will continue after his passing. We’re currently in the midst of a series of guest hosts. The plan is to eventually settle on someone to carry the mantle long-term. Right now, it looks like that final decision will be put off for a while though.
As a big Jeopardy fan, that’s honestly fine with me. I’m having fun watching different people try to fill Trebek’s shoes, and this gives fans some time to adjust to hearing different voices. It should also ease some of the pressure on whoever gets the gig long-term as they’ll already be familiar to audiences.