Almost three years after the longtime Jeopardy! host lost his 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer, his former supervising producer offered a troubling glimpse of what was actually going on behind the scenes amid his struggles.
Schmidt revealed on the most recent episode of the “This is Jeopardy!” podcast that he once found his former boss in his dressing room, “on the floor, crying in pain.
“When he was sick and taking medication… the pain the man had… you could watch him and it’s like ‘he’s not going to make it to the conference room table,’” Schmidt continued, referring to the pre-game show meetings.
Despite his battle, Trebek continued on with the show — a move that left Schmidt concerned.
“He would go get made up and ready for the show… everybody would look at each other and go, ‘I don’t know if we’re going to be taping today,'” remembered Schmidt. “Somehow he rallied.”
Supervising producer Lisa Broffman also chimed in to remember the moment Trebek announced he was suffering stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2019. “Alex, from the very beginning, said, ‘This is not going to affect anything,'” she emotionally shared, noting he remained in good spirits after his diagnosis.
“‘I plan on fighting this. Let’s get back to work,'” Broffman recalled of what Trebek would say before he lost his fight.
Trebek — who received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host eight times for his work — served as host of Jeopardy! for a total of 37 seasons, having started back in 1984.
Since Trebek’s tragic passing on November 8, 2020, a series of guests have filled in for his coveted role, with Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings now fighting for the sole permanent hosting position. Both Bialik and Jennings were announced as his co-successors and permanent hosts last July.
Fox News reported the podcast episode.