“Jeopardy!” guest-host Savannah Guthrie is sharing a bit about herself in the lead-up to the airing of her guest-hosting episodes. And the “Today” co-host says she studied up for the show, which was out of character for her.
“I was a terrible student until much later in life so there’s just so much I don’t know in general,” Guthrie told People this week. “But what I learned was how smart everyone at ‘Jeopardy!’ is – especially the contestants and the writers.”
The daytime talk show host said she’s glad she’s not taking over hosting duties full-time. And she expressed reverence for late host Alex Trebek’s legacy.
Guthrie Studied ‘Really Hard’ for ‘Jeopardy!’
Guthrie did some preparation before she appeared on the show. And she admitted to being really nervous about it.
“I studied really hard,” Guthrie said. “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.”
Whether or not the knowledge proves to be good cocktail party fodder, Guthrie gained the priceless experience of seeing the show from Trebek’s perspective.
“I really just wanted to show how much respect I have for ‘Jeopardy!’ and Alex, who is a legend and an icon for a reason,” Guthrie added. “He’s the maestro. And I know those ‘Jeopardy!’ fans are picky, but I have to say, I’m just the fill-in so don’t worry!”
She explained, “I’m doing a couple of weeks. I loved it. I had so much fun, but I have a day job.”
When Is Guthrie Up?
Guthrie’s “Jeopardy!” episodes will air from June 14 to June 25. She follows the current guest-host, actress Mayim Bialik.
Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020. Since then, “Jeopardy!” has welcomed a series of guest-hosts while Sony executives search for a permanent replacement. The first guest-host was former “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings. After him, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards was up. Then it was former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric’s turn. Following her were “Dr. Oz Show” host Dr. Mehmet Oz, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker and former “Jeopardy!” champion Buzzy Cohen.
After Guthrie, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will take over. And following him are George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck.
According to Richards, the decision is ultimately up to the executives. But he says they’ll base it on analytics and data, not their own subjective impressions. No doubt “Jeopardy!” fans will be waiting impatiently to find out who will take up Trebek’s mantle over the long term.