HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’: George Stephanopoulos Explained Why Hosting Is ‘A Lot Harder Than It Looks’

‘Jeopardy!’: George Stephanopoulos Explained Why Hosting Is ‘A Lot Harder Than It Looks’

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

George Stephanopoulos said he felt in over his head during his week guest-hosting Jeopardy! because Alex Trebek made hosting the show appear seamless. “It’s so much harder than it looks,” Stephanopoulos said.

Stephanopoulos’ week of hosting Jeopardy! starts today — Monday, July 12. And as a teaser, he showed some behind-the-scenes video on Good Morning America, his day job.

“This is a lot harder than it looks,” an exasperated Stephanopoulos says at the Jeopardy! host’s lectern. “I’m just telling you. God bless Alex Trebek and everybody who’s been a guest host.”

He went on to explain the job and all the moving pieces the host must stay on top of during the show.

“The job, don’t fumble when reading the clues,” he said. “Stay focused. Keep things moving. And remember what Alex always said ‘It’s about the game.'”

He joked with the contestants, telling them he was a lot more nervous than they were.

George Stephanopoulos will guest host Jeopardy! for one week. He’ll then hand the show over to his GMA co-host Robin Roberts.

So far, the guest hosts have each been given two weeks at the host’s podium. But Stephanopolous and the guest hosts that follow will only get one week. That’s likely because Sony executives want to see as many potential hosts as possible before making their final decision on Trebek’s permanent replacement.

Speaking of, the show has already finished filming for this season. The new season will begin filming next month, so we should find out who will win the complicated but-coveted job sometime in the near future.

‘GMA’ Co-Host Made Him Nervous To host ‘Jeopardy!’

George Stephanopoulos has worked in politics. He’s stared down a room full of very tough reporters as Bill Clinton’s press secretary. But he said one of the most nervous times of his life was hosting Jeopardy! And part of the reason why was his Good Morning America co-host.

Stephanopoulos said Robin Roberts scared him about hosting, when, at first, he told her he wasn’t nervous at all.

“You told me first that you were nervous when I wasn’t nervous – you were so right to be nervous,” Stephanopoulos told her. “You made me nervous when you said you were nervous. And you don’t know the half of it. It is a stressful job, but it’s also an incredible amount of fun. You’re going to have a great time.”

Once he made it to the show, he said the nerves were unbearable. And he explained it’s because Jeopardy! is a tight-rope walk for the host.

“You know, I was telling [executive producer Mike Richards], I do morning television – Good Morning America. I do This Week,” he said. “Those are slightly different shows from each other as well. But on Good Morning America, it’s two hours of live TV every day. You make mistakes. You’re gonna make mistakes. And part of the job is making that into an opportunity, recovering from it. Here on Jeopardy!, no margin of error. You have to be perfect. That’s what the viewers expect. That’s what they deserve.”