‘Jeopardy!’: Bill Whitaker Speaks Out About How He Prepared for Guest Hosting Gig

by John Jamison

Another day, another “Jeopardy!” guest host. This time, it’s Bill Whitaker’s turn to shine. The accomplished journalist takes over from Anderson Cooper through the first two weeks of May. And the “60 Minutes” correspondent is no stranger to the TV screen, but the veteran was still a little nervous about his stint on the long-running game show.

He has a career’s worth of experience in journalism, which he feels is a natural preparation for many of the job’s requirements. In his exclusive guest host interview with “Jeopardy!,” Whitaker talked about how he got ready for the role.

“Being a journalist does help you prepare. Especially when you’ve got these little interviews here with folks. That’s fun. And also, a lot of the topics you talk about are things that I have either seen or done or places I’ve been. So that part is wonderful. But it’s also enlightening,” Whitaker said.

The Best Piece of Advice Bill Whitaker Got During His ‘Jeopardy!’ Preparation

So he already had much of the skillset required of a host on “Jeopardy!” But Whitaker was given a few tips by colleagues.

“Well, I have a colleague who is also a colleague of yours here and he told me ‘just go have fun’ and I must admit, I didn’t get to that point until the end of my two weeks. But I finally did get to the point where I was having fun.”

It’s easy to forget the fun part. It sounds so straightforward, and even though hosting the show is a serious job, it’s also something Whitaker has been passionate about for a long time. Along with most of the other guest hosts, he has been a legitimate fan of “Jeopardy!” for a long time.

Guest Hosts on the Horizon

Is it just us or does time fly when guests host “Jeopardy!” It seems like just yesterday, game show legend Ken Jennings was at the podium.

To date, we’ve already been through Katie Couric, Dr. Oz, Aaron Rodgers, and Anderson Cooper. Now, Bill Whitaker joins his fellow journalists, and while there aren’t any more NFL players slated to host, there are definitely some big names.

Next up is Buzzy Cohen. The former contestant and “Jeopardy!” champion will take over for this season’s Tournament of Champions. When the normal episodes of the show resume, Mayim Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory” fame will be in charge. After her, anchor Savannah Guthrie. Then Dr. Sanjay Gupta, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and LeVar Burton.