'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek takes leave of absence following surgery

PHOTO: Alex Trebek walks the red carpet at the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, NY on Feb.15, 2015.PlayMichael Loccisano/NBC/Getty Images
WATCH 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek takes leave of absence following surgery

Alex Trebek, who has hosted the popular game show "Jeopardy!" since 1984, recently underwent brain surgery, but expects to return to taping new episodes soon.

The venerable host and Canadian icon underwent brain surgery in December, but he posted a video message on Thursday saying he expects to return to taping "Jeopardy!" soon. Sony Pictures, which produces the show, said they will return to filming new tapings with Trebek in mid-January.

The show will continue airing new episodes, taped in advance, in the meantime. However, the annual college tournament will now be delayed until April, Sony Pictures said.

Dressed in a yellow sweater and blue "Jeopardy!" cap, the 77-year-old Trebek delivered the news of his surgery and recovery himself in a video posted to the show's Facebook page.

"Some of you may have heard by now that during the holiday break, I had a slight medical problem -- a subdural hematoma, blod clots on the brain, caused by a fall I endured about two months ago," Trebek said in the video. "Surgery was performed. After two days in the hospital, I came home to start recovery. Prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio and taping more 'Jeopardy!' programs very, very soon.

"And I want to thank all of you for your concern."

"Jeopardy!" enjoys cult-like popularity in the United States now in its 34th season, with over 7,000 episodes. It has drawn parodies from the likes of "Cheers" to "Family Guy," and "Saturday Night Live"'s infamous celebrity sketches featuring Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery.