‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Savannah Guthrie Opens Up About Her Goals While Hosting

by Josh Lanier

TODAY show co-host Savannah Guthrie says her goal going into her time as Jeopardy! guest-host is to warrant being there. She said Alex Trebek and the staff set a level of excellence, and she doesn’t want to do anything to tarnish that.

Guthrie spoke with Jeopardy! producers ahead of her two-week stint as guest host. She’ll be behind the lectern on Monday, follow actress and academic Mayim Bialik.

“I love the show,” she said. “I admire Alex Trebek. And I see how excellent the staff is and what they bring to the show; how much heart, intelligence, precision, and care is brought to this show. And I just want to merit that. I wanted to belong here for my moment that I’m here. And let them know how much I respect them, and how much I respect this place. So that was my goal.”

Jeopardy! producers said Sony executives will pick a new host to replace Alex Trebek using these guest-hosting stints as auditions. But Guthrie said she isn’t interested in the full-time gig. Alex Trebek, who hosted Jeopardy! for 37 years, died late last from pancreatic cancer.

“I’m doing a couple of weeks. I loved it. I had so much fun, but I have a day job,” Guthrie told People’s TV Show.

Guthrie may not want the job, but others have lobbied hard for it. That includes George Stephanopoulos and LeVar Burton, who has a fan campaign behind him to make him host. Both will guest host this summer.

Guthrie’s stint as the guest host of Jeopardy! begins next week and lasts from June 14 to June 25. Guest hosts  Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Robin Roberts, and others will then take a crack at running the game show.  You can see the upcoming schedule of guest hosts here.

Guthrie Says She’s Nervous Ahead of Jeopardy! Stint

Savannah Guthrie admitted that she wasn’t a very good student until much later in life. She went to the University of Arizona and Georgetown Law. And she said she felt a little overwhelmed by the level of intelligence of the contestants, writers, and show staffers.

“I was a terrible student until much later in life so there’s just so much I don’t know in general,” the TODAY host said. “But, what I learned was how smart everyone at Jeopardy! is – especially the contestants and the writers. However, I studied really hard. I read everything ahead of time and I hope some of those facts stay in my head so I can impress people at cocktail parties.”

She said she’s also nervous because she reveres Alex Trebek, and doesn’t want to do anything that may harm the show’s reputation.

“I was so nervous because I really just wanted to show how much respect I have for Jeopardy! and Alex (Trebek) – who is a legend and an icon for a reason. He’s the maestro,” Guthrie told the publication. “And I know those Jeopardy! fans are picky, but I have to say, I’m just the fill-in so don’t worry!”