Alex Trebek has certainly won the respect of his peers.
The longtime “Jeopardy!” host, 78, who announced in March that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, won the Daytime Emmy for outstanding game show host Sunday night, earning a standing ovation from those at the ceremony.
After his name was announced, Trebek gave an acceptance speech that was both touching and humorous.
Trebek noted that he hoped he wouldn’t win because of a sympathy vote, saying, “I’m not a big fan of sympathy votes.”
He then recalled how he was nominated last year after he had a pair of blood clots removed from his brain.
“You would think that would’ve elicited a certain amount of sympathy,” he said as the crowd roared. “But I didn’t win!”
He then referenced Sally Field’s famous 1985 Oscars speech when she exclaimed, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me.”
“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 to cheers. “If that’s the case, I can live with that.”
Sympathy or not, there’s no denying that Trebek, who has hosted “Jeopardy!” since 1984, is a TV legend. He has now won seven Daytime Emmys, including one for lifetime achievement.
Last month, he updated fans when the show wrapped its 35th season, saying that he plans to return.
“I’ve always tried to be straight with you and I’m not going to stop now,” he said. “So despite what you may have heard, I’m feeling good, I’m continuing with my therapy and we — by we, the staff — is already working on our next season, the 36th year of ‘Jeopardy!’”