On Sunday, Alex Trebek received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host of Jeopardy!
Trebek got a standing ovation as he accepted the award, and he used humor to allude to his cancer diagnosis. This marks his seventh Emmy, including a 2011 lifetime achievement award.
“Let me explain,” Trebek said. “‘You were worried about winning?!’ Yeah. I was concerned that sympathy might play a big role in the voting this year.”
Trebek revealed earlier this year that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He expressed that he was worried people only voted for him out of sympathy.
“I’m not a big fan of sympathy votes,” he continued. “I believe we should all be judged on the merits of our work. However, I started thinking back to last year.”
“Last year, I was nominated,” Trebek said. “I had just had major surgery to remove two life-threatening blood clots on my brain. You would think that would have elicited a certain amount of sympathy! But I didn’t win!”
“So maybe I’ve been worrying about the wrong thing,” Trebek concluded, “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. If that’s the case, I can live with that.”
— Daytime Emmy Awards (@DaytimeEmmys) May 6, 2019