Alex Trebek revealed he was in horrible pain from his treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer during Jeopardy! filming.
The host was determined to finish taping last season, although the pain was unbearable at times. “This got really bad. I was on the floor writhing in pain … It went from a 3 to an 11 [on the pain scale]. And I just couldn’t believe. I didn’t know what was happening,” Trebek said on CBS Sunday Morning, airing on May 12.
“And it happened three or four times a day while we were taping. So that was a little – little rough on me,” he continued.
One day stands out in particular. “I taped the show, and then I made it to the dressing room on one occasion, just barely, before I writhed in pain and cried in pain,” he said. “So — and I had 15 minutes before the next show. So I got myself together and spasms of that kind usually last about 10 to 15 minutes. So all right, here we go again. ‘Anybody got any pain pills?’ And I don’t like taking pain pills. But … I got through it,” Trebek said.
Trebek expressed that the producers were very kind and understanding of his situation. “The producers were very kind. They said, ‘Look, if you — If you don’t want to do the show — we’ll just cancel taping.’ I said, ‘No. We’re here. We’re doing the shows.’”
Trebek revealed that he wears a hairpiece during filming because he lost his hair due to chemotherapy. “On air I’m told that there were times when the hairpiece looked better than my real hair,” he said. “So we’ll see how people react to that.”
“We have the summer months off. So hopefully my own hair will grow back,” Trebek said. “Because I like my own hair.”