“Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek hasn't lost his sense of humor, even in the midst of battling pancreatic cancer.
In a new promo clip of his upcoming “CBS Sunday Morning" interview, Trebek revealed that his chemotherapy treatments have made him lose his hair. As a result, the 78-year-old has been wearing a hairpiece while shooting the famed show. He shared, “And so what the challenge for 'Jeopardy!' viewers is right now is to figure out, 'Is that Alex's real hair or is that a full hairpiece?' Because they all know that when you start chemo, you lose your hair. So, which is it?"
He revealed to Jane Pauley, “This is not the real me. But on air, I'm told that there were times when the hairpiece looked better than my real hair. So, we'll see how people react to that. We have the summer months off. So hopefully my own hair will grow back. 'Cause I like my own hair!"
Alex was suffering excruciatingly painful stomach cramps when he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. He said, “This got really bad. I was on the floor writhing in pain. It went from a three to an 11. And I just couldn't believe, I didn't know what was happening. And it happened three or four times a day while we were taping. So, that was a little rough on me."
When he went to see a doctor, a lump "the size of a small fist" was found inside of his abdomen.
Despite the pain and the diagnosis, Trebek still wanted to continue with the show. He commented, “I taped the show and then I made it to the dressing room on one occasion, just barely, before I writhed in pain and cried in pain. And I had 15 minutes before the next show. So, I got myself together and spasms of that kind usually last about 10 to 15 minutes. So, all right, here we go again: 'Anybody got any pain pills?' And I don't like taking pain pills. But I got through it. And the producers were very kind. They said, 'Look, if you don't wanna do the show, we'll just cancel taping.' I said, 'No. We're here. We're doing the shows.'"
Trebek is taking the summer off from hosting “Jeopardy” to get better. When “Extra” recently asked him if he was coming back strong in September, he said, “I hope so.”
Alex remained optimistic about his cancer treatments, saying, “We won’t have any substantial results for a couple weeks. I have one more chemo to do — let’s hope that it turns out well.”
Earlier this month, Alex sat down for his first live interview since his diagnosis. He revealed to “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts that he sometimes has “surges of deep, deep sadness” while undergoing chemotherapy, adding, “It brings tears to my eyes.”
While the chemotherapy makes him feel “so weak all the time,” he told Robin that America’s “good thoughts, their advice, their prayers” have “been making a difference.”
In March, Trebek revealed in a video that he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, pointing out that he was “going to fight this” and “beat the survival rate.”