The audience at Sunday’s Daytime Emmy Awards stood and cheered for Alex Trebek ― and then had a laugh with him.
The 78-year-old “Jeopardy!” host, who’s undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer, humbly took in the warm greeting as he approached the stage to accept his Outstanding Game Show Host award.
In his speech (beginning at the 3:15 mark below) Trebek expressed concern about receiving votes out of sympathy. He said he wanted to win based on merit, then humorously changed course.
“However, I started thinking back to last year ... I had just had major surgery to remove two life-threatening blood clots on my brain,” he recalled. “You would think that would have elicited a certain amount of sympathy! But I didn’t win!”
The crowd broke out in laughter.
“So maybe I’ve been worrying about the wrong thing and I should just do what Sally Field did in a different venue many, many years ago and look at this as a sign that you guys like me and that you value my work,” he said.
“If that’s the case,” he added, “I can live with that.”
The Daytime Emmy was Trebek’s seventh, including a lifetime achievement award.