There are some things we just come to rely on. The sun will rise in the morning. Whiskey will be bracing and delicious. Alex Trebek will be on Jeopardy! Despite a dismaying diagnosis that sent fans reeling, the beloved game show host will be back for Season 36 this fall.
Trebek’s return was revealed in a charming promotional video, showing him back on set and ready to play.
This video made me tear up. I haven’t watched Jeopardy! regularly for decades, since back when I was a kid in my parents’ home. Yet whenever I did stumble upon it, there is an uncanny comfort in watching Trebek teasing contestants or bemusedly proclaiming, “That’s a Daily Double!”
That game show and its wryly smiling host have been a beloved part of television’s landscape for 35 seasons. So last spring, when Trebek took to the Jeopardy! stage to share he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, I was one of the countless fans who gasped in horror. Because of course, the generations of people who’ve come to rely on Jeopardy! for entertainment, a bit of education, and that comfort of Trebek charm don’t know the man. Not really. And yet, he is ours too.
So, here comes this video. Alex Trebek, through his chemotherapy treatments, warming up with some push-ups backstage, mixing it up with the audience before the show, presenting his quirky birthday cake that reads, “Who is 79?” By his own account, he’s “on the mend.” And he’s here for us. Ready to test our knowledge of obscure architects and pop-culture tidbits, make us chuckle, and provide a comfort as familiar and cozy as that battered old couch at your grandmother’s house.
Jeopardy! returns September 9.