We all know that cancer sucks. You can’t find a person in America, or for that matter, anywhere in the world that hasn’t been directly affected by cancer, whether it was through them directly or by association.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest of them too, having a really high percentage mortality rate. Once it’s there, it’s unfortunately hard to beat.
And one of television’s biggest stars just announced that he had it.
You might be surprised to learn that RCA introduced television to the American public at the 1939 World’s Fair.
Before the fair, they published a brochure for their dealers to explain television. The opening ceremony and events at the fair were televised, and NBC began regularly scheduled broadcasts. President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the fair, thereby becoming the first president to be televised.
The rest is history; quite literally.
With the creation of fictional shows, 24-hour news stations, cinema and pretty much anything else you can imagine, the television is the vehicle to deliver you entertainment or news and has been a staple in American homes since at least the 1950’s.
It used to be a privilege to have one and now it’s weird if you don’t.
And some shows last for multiple generations. Mostly, they are new but you have many fictional and non-fictional shows that have been around for decades like soap operas and animated comedies like The Simpsons and Days of Our Lives.
But don’t forget about game shows. Game shows have literally been around since the invention of the television medium and one of the longest running show hosts, Alex Trebek, of Jeopardy! announced he’s gravely ill with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
You know the song. That final Jeopardy! question song. It’s embedded in your head like its muscle memory.
The show wouldn’t be what it is without its amazing host, Alex Trebek.
What’s really magnanimous about the moment, although obviously unfortunate and horrendously tragic, was that Trebek wanted to tell everybody himself, through his own words, instead of having the media bloviate about his diagnosis.
He released a message – with a LIVE audience in the background saying, “I have some news to share with all of you, and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy fan base. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information. Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.”
If you don’t know, stage 4 cancer means that it has spread to other parts of the body and this particular type cannot be cured.
In fact, Mike Hopkins, chairman of Jeopardy producer Sony Pictures TV said, “If anyone can beat this, it’s Alex. He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on.”
Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy since its current iteration debuted in 1984, which is just short of 35 years straight – the previous versions of the game show aired on NBC and in syndication in the 1960s and ’70s.
He has won five Daytime Emmys for outstanding game show host and received a lifetime achievement award in 2011.
On a serious note, Trebek noted that he would fight the disease with every ounce of his being but then jokingly juxtaposed it that he still has “three years left in his contract,” so he can’t die right now.
Trebek is one of those television personalities that you may not pay attention to every single night, but is always there.