HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings Didn’t Know Significance of First Day Back Hosting

‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings Didn’t Know Significance of First Day Back Hosting

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings returned to the hosting duties running the show on the longrunning answer-question game show Monday, November 8.

This date also marked a somber anniversary for the iconic game show, marking the one-year anniversary of the death of the former Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek.

However, this was a fact that Jeopardy! showrunners kept from the game-show champion as Jennings was recording his first episode in his current run as guest host on the iconic game show.

“Apparently, everyone was aware that we were going to air (my first episode) on the anniversary and nobody told me,” Ken Jennings says of his November 8 episode.

According to Jennings, the Jeopardy! crew and showrunners did know his first episode returning as host would air on the sorrowful anniversary. But, they kept the information to themselves to help the guest-host as he returned to the role.

“They didn’t want to put that in my head,” the Jeopardy! GOAT continues. “So I was not told until after that it was the Nov. 8 show.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Says Trebek Is A Hard Act To Follow

Jennings adds that this decision was probably a good one, as hosting the iconic gameshow can be daunting in any situation.

“I knew that it was going to be a very difficult task,” Jennings explains of guest-hosting the iconic game show. “Much less the idea that you’re trying to step into the shoes of Alex Trebek, which is impossible.”

The guest host also notes that the feelings don’t get any easier as time goes by.

“This time, we’re kind of a year removed or more from all that,” Jennings says of stepping in for Alex Trebek. “So I’ve had every possible emotion now related to Jeopardy!”

Ken Jennings earned a top-champion spot on the hit answer-question quiz show in 2004. The champion earned over $2.5 million in winnings during his unprecedented 74-episode run on the popular game show.

Ken Jennings originally stepped in as guest host on Jeopardy! for six weeks last fall after Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Jeopardy! showrunners then began a historic audition process of sorts, bringing in multiple guest hosts to complete the season. These hosts included a variety of famous faces such as Aaron Rodgers, LaVar Burton, Robin Roberts, and Katie Couric.

Eventually, the long-running quiz show named Jeopardy! executive producer to step in behind the iconic podium as Trebek’s full-time replacement.

However, this did not last long after offensive comments Richards made in a 2013 podcast surfaced resulting in his being removed from the hosting position.

After Jeopardy! let Richards go, the show called in one of the favorite guest-hosts, Mayim Bialik to step in as the gameshow’s daytime host.

Ken Jennings was also tapped to fill in some of the hosting duties, splitting the role with Bialik until another permanent replacement for Trebek is announced.