‘Jeopardy!’: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Emotionally Tributes Alex Trebek Ahead of Guest Hosting Debut

by Emily Morgan

As Dr. Sanjay Gupta steps into his new role as a guest host on “Jeopardy!,” the celebrity doctor can’t help but get emotional about the gig. Gupta is set to make his debut on the classic quiz show beginning on Monday, June 28, and will continue until July 9.

Ahead of his premiere, CNN’s chief medical correspondent took to Twitter to share his excitement and gratitude about his time taping the show.

“Guest hosting @Jeopardy! made me respect the amazing Alex Trebek even more. His brilliance was making it all look so effortless. The show has a stride and cadence unlike anything I have experienced before, and truth is: I loved it!”

Before Gupta, news anchor Savannah Guthrie had a two-week stint behind the podium. The show has been utilizing guest hosts as the show continues to look for a permanent replacement for the late Alex Trebek.

Gupta, a neurosurgeon and award-winning journalist has served as CNN’s chief medical correspondent for years. He also acts as the associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Mission While Guest Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’

In a recent piece for CNN, Gupta reminisced about his experience of taking on the “Jeopardy!” gig and how the moment goes back to his childhood.

As he writes, Gupta grew up watching the game show with his parents as a kid. “‘Jeopardy!’ was the great equalizer in our family. We all had our strengths and our weaknesses. Any of us could emerge a champion,” he wrote.

He adds: “Decades later, I can still recall the look of pride my dad had when he came up with the correct response. I later realized he was even more proud when his young son did the same.”

Although it was a dream come true for Gupta, he describes that honoring Trebek was his most important goal while on the show. In preparation, he spent hours studying clues, repeating and memorizing them. Once on set, he described as nothing less than a “sentimental experience,” in which he was thinking of his parents “while standing on the set I had spent so much time watching with them in my early years.”

Despite all the hours logged in preparation, the TV correspondent couldn’t help but have some nerves before taping began. However, after receiving some words of encouragement from the former guest host and executive producer, Mike Richards, his mind was put to ease. Richards told Gupta that this would be the biggest day of their lives for the contestants, and as a result, Gupta was ready to go.

“It made me realize that just because a show is full of facts and knowledge doesn’t mean it has been stripped of intensity and humanity. ‘Jeopardy!’ is all those things,” he wrote, calling the job “the honor of a lifetime.”