‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings Will Return to Host on Anniversary of Alex Trebek’s Passing

by Chris Haney

On Monday, Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings is taking over hosting duties of the popular game show on the one-year anniversary of legendary host Alex Trebek’ death.

Current host Mayim Bialik will take a step back as Jennings splits time at the podium beginning on Monday, Nov. 8. A few months ago, the show announced the pair would share the stage and host as their schedules allowed for the rest of the year. Past the last two months of the year, Jeopardy! hasn’t revealed their hosting schedule for the new year.

Starting on Monday, Jennings will be Jeopardy!‘s third host of Season 38. Mike Richards hosted the first week of the show before his unceremonious exit, and Bialik has been the sole host ever since. However, Jennings’ original hosting stint began earlier this year only two months after Trebek passed away in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer.

The Jeopardy! champion is well-known as the game show’s greatest player of all time. In 2004, he went on a 74-game win streak and still holds the record for most consecutive wins in the show’s history. He also won the the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time event in 2020, which solidified his status as the game show’s greatest player ever. Therefore Jennings was an obvious choice to fill in for Trebek after he passed.

Ken Jennings Debuts as Host of ‘Jeopardy!’ Following Trebek’s Death

In January, Ken Jennings took the stage for the first time, but not as a contestant. The game show hired him for behind-the-scenes work as a consultant to Jeopardy!. But this time, Jennings would step behind a different podium when he took over as the host of the show.

Over weeks of competing during his win streak, Jennings and longtime host Alex Trebek struck up a friendship after he appeared on the show so many times. Following the host’s passing, Trebek’s wife gave Jennings a touching gift previous to his first episode hosting the show. She gave him a pair of Trebek’s cuff links along with a handwritten note. As Jennings took the Jeopardy! stage as a host for the first time, he addressed the crowd and viewers at home while paying tribute to Trebek.

“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said, according to the Deseret News. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years. And it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace — really, there’s no other word for it.”

“Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex,” he continued. “Very much. And I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”