CNN’s Anderson Cooper will take over as guest host of Jeopardy! starting on Monday, but it won’t be his first time on the show. He appeared several times as a contestant on the celebrity edition of the show. And while Cooper portrays the erudite newsman, he said he was absolutely “crushed” by a famous stoner comic.
Cooper appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Friday to discuss his upcoming stint as Jeopardy! host, and his previous trips to the game show.
The journalist admits that he crammed the night before his first appearance on the show.
“The first time I crushed it,” he said of his four appearances on Celebrity Jeopardy!. “I got I panicked the night before because I sort of agreed to do it, and without really thinking about it. … So I tried to cram online. I read all these buzzer theories by former Jeopardy! champions and things about Alex Trebek’s voice and getting into the cadence of it and the zen rhythm of it.”
The win left him cocky for his second trip to Jeopardy! where he faced off against Cheech Marin of Cheech and Chong fame. The duo is famous for their dumb stoner routines.
“I was like ‘oh my god this is going to be a cakewalk,'” Cooper recalled. “I’ve seen Cheech and Chong movies, but it turns out he is the smartest guy. He destroyed me.”
Cooper said he was embarrassed to go to work afterward. He joked about the loss on his show the next night. You can watch that video here.
“Do you know what it’s like to walk into the CNN newsroom the day after Cheech Marin has destroyed you? Wolf Blitzer reading the paper like giving you side-eye as you walk by,” he told Kimmel.
Cooper Follows Aaron Rodgers as ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
Anderson Cooper will take the podium from Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quarterback, after his two weeks on the show. And Cooper will have a lot to live up to.
Rodgers is also a Celebrity Jeopardy! champion, but he’s also a Jeopardy! superfan. He admitted to watching old episodes and breaking them down like game film. He wanted to capture former host Alex Trebek’s mannerisms, pronunciation, and attitude. Trebek died in October from pancreatic cancer.
Rodgers admitted to Pat McAfee in a podcast how difficult it was at the start, but how quickly he fell into the role.
“You gotta remember it was two days of filming, just imagine with even more days how comfortable I would feel, he said. “As the games went on and the days we went on, and we broke for lunch, I felt way, way, way better.
He was also able to get on ‘Alex Time,’ meaning the show was able to keep its normal, fast production paste.
“We got on ‘Alex time,’ we were on schedule,” he said. “That was a cool challenge met and achieved. It’s so much fun. Fun to see it play out and to see the parts where they kind of cut it and make little pick-ups.”