‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Savannah Guthrie Describes How Hosting Show Required ‘New Set of Skills’ from Hosting ‘The Today Show’

by Amy Myers

Although Savannah Guthrie has ten years of anchoring experience under her belt, filling Alex Trebek’s shoes as the guest host of Jeopardy! proved to be a new kind of challenge. In an exclusive interview, The Today Show host explained that leading the show was fun but difficult, especially for someone not well-versed in trivia, herself.

Since 2011, Savannah Guthrie has been one of the friendly faces that greets viewers on NBC’s popular news program. From lighthearted stories to hard-breaking news, Guthrie has developed an acute set of skills that make her an asset to The Today Show. However, the NBC icon reveals in her recent Jeopardy! interview that these skills didn’t quite translate to her role as guest host.

“This is a different ballgame,” Guthrie admitted, “It’s so different from what we do on ‘The Today Show’ every morning. This was flexing a new set of skills and then being thrown right into the big leagues.”

Savannah Guthrie Is ‘The Swiss Army Knife of the Peacock’

Originally a White House journalist, Savannah Guthrie took her knack for the facts and paired it with the bright personality she shows on air today. She anchors beside Al Roker, Hota Kotb and Craig Melvin who recently expressed their admiration for their co-anchor. In celebration of Savannah’s ten-year anniversary-or as TODAY deemed, “Savannah-versary,” her colleagues shared some of their experiences with Guthrie.

“She’s like the Swiss Army knife of the peacock,” Melvin stated, “No one takes their work more seriously, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.”

“People gravitate to her,” Roker explained.

Savannah Guthrie’s compassion combined with her sincerity is no doubt what made her an optimal choice as a guest host of Jeopardy!

How ‘The Today Show’ Differs from ‘Jeopardy!’

Despite Savannah Guthrie’s wide range of anchoring skills, Jeopardy! required her to flex a different set of hosting muscles.

“‘The Today Show’ is a live news show,” Guthrie reflected in her interview. “We often don’t know what to expect, and when it’s done, it’s done. You kind of just have to roll with it. If you aren’t perfect, if you didn’t say it perfectly, there are no redos.” Although, in her ten years with TODAY, it seems to be rare when Guthrie makes a mistake.

In contrast, Savannah Guthrie continued, “‘Jeopardy! is extremely precise. A game is going on, and it has to be done with integrity. You can’t mess up, and so for me, that added an extra level of stress.” She also added that the novelty of her guest host position added to the anxiety.

Guthrie concluded that while there were some similarities in the skill sets of hosting Jeopardy! and The Today Show, “This was new and different—and challenging!”

Catch Savannah Guthrie as the guest host of Jeopardy! from June 14 to June 25.