Veteran journalist and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker begins his guest-hosting stint on “Jeopardy!” for two weeks, beginning May 3rd until May 14th. During an exclusive interview before his “Jeopardy!” debut, Whitaker revealed the connection he and his wife share with the show.
“‘Jeopardy!’ is my wife’s and my favorite show,” he said about the classic quiz show. “Every night I’m home, we watch ‘Jeopardy!’ We try to answer the question, we have a little thing, we put it on pause, we talk it over, and we see if we’ve got the right answer, and we come back, and often we don’t, but we love it.”
He also admitted his wife was thrilled when he told her he was selected to be a guest host. “I hemmed and hawed for a second for a second. ‘Should I? Shouldn’t I? She said Of course you should. This will be terrific. You’ll have a great time. You’ll have fun, go do it.'”
Bill Whitaker Set to Make History on ‘Jeopardy!’
The long-time “60 Minutes” host will become the seventh guest host of the show. Additionally, Whitaker’s time on the show will also be historic. Whitaker will be the first black man to take his spot behind the lectern.
He will host ten episodes of the show from before Buzzy Cohen takes over to present the show’s upcoming Tournament of Champions. In January, the show announced that Whitaker had landed a spot on “Jeopardy!” alongside Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, and Mayim Bialik.
Before Whitaker, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper became the sixth guest host to fill in for the late Alex Trebek. Ken Jennings, Dr. Oz, Mike Richards, Couric, and Rodgers all tried their hand at guest hosting. Following Whitaker, LeVar Burton, Bialik, and George Stephanopoulos are still to come.
As with other guest hosts, Bill Whitaker will pick his charity of choice in which the show will match the contestants’ winnings. For Whitaker, during his time as host, donations will be made to Media Fellowship House, a charity co-founded by his mother that promotes social justice, diversity, and economic empowerment.
As for who will take on the full-time gig as Trebek’s permanent replacement, “Jeopardy!” Executive Producer, Mike Richards gave his insight.
“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,” he said. “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.”