‘I’m feeling great’: Ahead of 80th birthday, Alex Trebek gives updates on health, new ‘Jeopardy!’ schedule
“For the first time ever, we are going to open the ‘Jeopardy!’ vaults and take another look at some of our favorite episodes, including the very first ‘Jeopardy!’ show I ever hosted — mustache at all,” Alex Trebek said.
In a video posted on the game show’s Facebook page Thursday morning, longtime host Alex Trebek said he hopes to return to the studio “very, very soon.”
In the meantime, the show’s going retro.
Showing off the facial hair he’s grown while production has been on hiatus, Trebek said he’s been recording introductions at home for “some very special ‘Jeopardy!’ episodes” that will air in July and August.
“For the first time ever, we are going to open the ‘Jeopardy!’ vaults and take another look at some of our favorite episodes, including the very first ‘Jeopardy!’ show I ever hosted — mustache at all,” Trebek said.
That first episode premiered Sept. 10, 1984. “Jeopardy!” producers have sifted through 8,000 episodes of the show’s 36-year history and selected 20 to air once again, according to the show’s website. Many of these episodes haven’t aired since their original broadcast.
Here’s a rundown of the upcoming “Jeopardy!” schedule.
July 20-24: Best of Jeopardy!’s First Decade
- July 20 — the first “Jeopardy!” episode
- July 21 — the first “Jeopardy!” “surprise ending”
- July 22 — the first “super champion,” Chuck Forrest (at this time in the show’s history, in 1985, there was a five-game limit on contestants’ winning streaks)
- July 23 — the first $100,000 champion, Frank Spangenberg (in 1990, Spangenberg broke Forrest’s record, but his winnings were so high that the rules at the time required him to give some of it to charity, according to the “Jeopardy!” website).
- July 24 — the final of the show’s 10th anniversary tournament
July 27-31: Best of ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’
There’s 115 episodes of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” Through these competitions, notable people from entertainment, sports and politics have given more than $9 million to charities, according to the “Jeopardy!” website. The first “Celebrity Jeopardy!” episode, which “Jeopardy!” will re-air on July 27, premiered in 1992.
- July 27 — Carol Burnett, Regis Philbin, Donna Mills
- July 28 – Jodie Foster, Nathan Lane, Harry Connick Jr.
- July 29 — Jeff Probst, Charles Barkley, Martha Stewart
- July 30 — Wayne Brady, Dana Delany, Eric Idle
- July 31 — Michael McKean, Cheech Marin, Jane Curtin
Aug.3-14: Million Dollar Masters competition
This two-week tournament filmed in 2002 featured 15 of the best contestants from the show’s first 18 seasons, according to the “Jeopardy!” website. The tournament features Brad Rutter, who 18 years later would compete against Ken Jennings in the “Greatest of All Time” tournament.
- Aug. 3-7 — Million Dollar Masters Quarterfinals
- Aug. 10-12 — Million Dollar Masters Semifinals
- Aug. 13-14 — Million Dollar Masters Finals
Trebek, who is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer, also gave fans an update on his health. The host turns 80 on July 22, and has a memoir hitting shelves on July 21.
“I’m doing well. I’ve been continuing my treatment and it is paying off though it does fatigue me a great deal,” he said in a video on Thursday. “My numbers are good, I’m feeling great.
“I can’t wait to return to the studio and start recording shows for the new season in September,” he continued. “Meanwhile, my wish for all of you: Stay safe.”