‘Jeopardy!’: Anderson Cooper’s Guest Hosting Ends, How Did He Compare to Previous Hosts?

by Emily Morgan

After Anderson Cooper finished his guest-hosting stint on Friday, it’s only made things more complicated as “Jeopardy!” continues to look for Alex Trebek’s successor. The CNN anchor completed his two-week stint as guest host, and fans via social media have concluded that he would have made Trebek proud.

Many fans agreed that Cooper had just the right amount of humor and charisma for the popular quiz show during his run. Now, it appears the show has only made things much more problematic when it comes to choosing the permanent host.

“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” the show’s Executive Producer and former guest host Mike Richards stated.

“Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening. All of the guest hosts have brought individualism, energy and an authentic love of our show to each of their episodes.”

Following Cooper’s stint, many are pondering how he stacks up against the other guest hosts. In addition to Richards, Cooper followed “Jeopardy!” alum Ken Jennings, former “Today” co-host Katie Couric, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Next up, the remaining guest-host roster includes “60 Minutes'” Bill Whitaker, “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie, “Jeopardy!” veteran Buzzy Cohen, “Reading Rainbow’s” LeVar Burton, “Good Morning America’s” George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, NBC’s David Faber and sportscaster Joe Buck.

How Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Hosts Compare to One Another

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will fill Alex Trebek’s shoes. While some guest hosts have been able to use the skills from their other TV gigs, it doesn’t always transfer onto the “Jeopardy!” stage.

During his six-week run, Jennings had a certain smoothness about him. He seemed comfortable in the transition as well as the role. Jennings has also spent, by far, the most time on the “Jeopardy!” stage of any guest host, holding the record for the longest-running winning streak in the show’s history. He also returned numerous times for championships and special tournaments, ultimately taking a job as a consulting producer with the show.

However, Dr. Mehmet Oz. didn’t see the same success. Early on, he received heat from both former players and fans with calls via a petition to have the TV doctor removed. By the end of his stint, an overwhelming majority either despised him or found him ill-fitted for the gig.

Katie Couric also didn’t seem to be a fan favorite. Her life as a journalist and interviewer made fans think she would be ideal for the role, yet she left many feeling ambivalent. Moreso, she made it clear she had no desire to take over as a permanent host, which also left people feeling lukewarm.

On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers saw noteworthy success during his tenure. Although he didn’t come from a TV background, he knocked the hosting gig out of the park. His only ties to the game were his brief “Celebrity Jeopardy!” appearance in 2015 combined with considering himself a die-hard fan of the show.

Despite becoming a crowd favorite, he was markedly different from Trebek. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: his cool, calm demeanor combined with his charisma and charm quite possibly make him a front runner in the quest to becoming the full-time host.