Late Show host Stephen Colbert took a moment to address the news with a heartfelt anecdote about their history

By Aurelie Corinthios
March 07, 2019 08:58 AM
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Since Alex Trebek announced that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he’s received an outpouring of love and support from his fans, both viewers at home and fellow industry professionals.

On Wednesday night’s Late Show, host Stephen Colbert took a moment to address the news with a heartfelt anecdote about their history.

“There’s somebody else I just want to give a quick shout-out to here,” he began. “A friend of ours, a really wonderful man, Alex Trebek, has announced this afternoon that he has pancreatic cancer. He’s really a lovely guy.”

Jeopardy/Instagram; Getty

Colbert, 54, revealed that he got to spend some time with the longtime Jeopardy!host, 78, while shooting the final episode of his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, in 2014.

“On that old show, we knew that my character had to go someplace,” Colbert recalled. “I said, ‘Well, I think he’s going to fly away on Santa’s sleigh with maybe Santa and Abe Lincoln.’ And I was talking with Jon Stewart and I said, ‘I want a fourth person in there: me, Santa, Abe Lincoln, and who would that fourth person be to spend eternity with? Who ranks up there with Abe and Santa?’ And Jon Stewart goes, ‘What about Alex Trebek?’ ”

“I said, ‘That makes total sense to me,’ ” Colbert continued. “Everybody loves Alex Trebek. So I just want to say, from all of us here, the clue is: Stay strong, Alex. And the answer in the form of a question is: What does everyone watching want you to do? We love you, Alex.”

Trebek announced his diagnosis a video message on Wednesday, reminding the show’s fanbase that he has “a longtime policy of being open and transparent” and that he wanted to prevent fans from “reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health.”

Trebek, who has hosted Jeopardy! for 35 years, vowed to courageously “fight” the disease and also continue working on the game show, while asking his fans to lift up prayers on his behalf.