‘Jeopardy!’: Buzzy Cohen Gets Emotional Describing How Hosting Tournament of Champions Has Been a ‘Dream’

by Jennifer Shea

For “Jeopardy!” guest-host Buzzy Cohen, hosting the show was a longtime dream. And the “Jeopardy!” champion and upcoming guest-host shared how that came about in a recent promotional clip shared by the official “Jeopardy!” Twitter account.

Unlike many of the other guest-hosts, Cohen got to sound out late, great “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek on the possibility of him hosting the show while Trebek was still alive. The legendary “Jeopardy!” host died on Nov. 8, 2020 of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“I stood on this stage in my Tournament of Champions and I told Alex I wanted a shot to host,” Cohen recalled.

Trebek’s reaction? “Did you hear that…? He’s after my job!”

“I can’t believe I got that shot,” Cohen said. “I mean, how many people just say, ‘This is a dream,’ and that dream comes true? And especially for the Tournament of Champions, which means so much to me.”

“I loved every minute of hosting the show,” Cohen added. In fact, “I can’t put it into words. I was so honored to be asked and I’m really hoping that I can give these great champions the tournament that they deserve.”

Cohen Will Be Hosting the ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions

Cohen will return to “Jeopardy!” to guest-host the Tournament of Champions that airs from May 17 to May 28.

It will mark a turning point for the former “Jeopardy!” champion, as his guest-hosting stint will mean he is no longer eligible to compete on “Jeopardy!” as a contestant. Cohen first appeared on the show in 2016 and won $164,603 over nine games. He won the Tournament of Champions in 2017. Then, in 2019, he appeared on “Jeopardy!” again as a team captain for the All-Star Games.

During his earlier appearances, Cohen quickly became a fan favorite. And Trebek dubbed him “Mr. Personality” for his wacky reactions and asides throughout his time on the show.

Will Cohen’s vibrant personality be what network executives are looking for in a permanent replacement for Trebek? Only time will tell.

Cohen Is One in a Long Line of Guest-Hosts

After Trebek’s final episode aired, “Jeopardy!” producers needed a string of guest-hosts to tide them over until they found a permanent replacement for Trebek.

The first guest-host after Trebek was former “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings. “Jeopardy!” Executive Producer Mike Richards followed him. After Richards came former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric. Next was Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Doctor Oz Show.” Then it was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s turn. Following him was CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. Then it was “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker.

Cohen will take over for Whitaker on Monday. Following him is actress Mayim Bialik, who is also reportedly interested in the permanent hosting gig. Next is “Today” show co-host Savannah Guthrie. After her is CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Later in the summer, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck will also guest-host the show, “Jeopardy!” recently announced.

Looks like Cohen has plenty of competition to replace Trebek as the permanent host. But whatever happens, Cohen will already have lived out his dream of getting to host “Jeopardy!” after his episodes air this month.