Heavy is the head that wears the ‘Jeopardy!’ hosting crown. Ken Jennings discusses the expectations and pressure of hosting the game show.
Jennings believes it takes a certain amount of bravery to step into hosting duties on “Jeopardy!,” even for just a guest spot. After all, guest hosts are standing against the legacy of the late, great Alex Trebek. Trebek hosted the show for 37 years, making himself a cornerstone of the game show community.
There’s a certain amount of imposter syndrome each guest host including Jennings has faced and reckoned with. After all, as the saying goes, just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James. Each guest host has tried to live up to Trebek’s standard while also making the show their own in a short amount of time.
“It’s an extremely hard job,” Jennings told MyEdmondsNews. “You’re running the show in real-time like a referee. You have to read a clue, you have to look up and see what they buzzed in, and as they are answering you have to adjudicate what they are saying and then move on appropriately. Alex Trebek did it with such grace, you didn’t really notice how hard it was. My heart goes out to anybody brave enough to try that job.”
Ken Jennings on Becoming ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
At some point in the future, “Jeopardy!” will have to make the difficult decision of picking a permanent host to replace Trebek on the show. Right now, the game show is in a bit of a transition phase. “Jeopardy!” opted for a revolving door of guest hosts including Jennings, Mike Richards, Katie Couric, Dr. Oz, and now Aaron Rodgers.
Many fans believe Jennings is the rightful heir to the “Jeopardy!” throne. After all, the former contestant is considered the greatest to ever appear on the game show. Jennings won 74 consecutive matches on the show, securing a record that Trebek believed would never be broken. But Jennings doesn’t know who will ultimately become the host.
“I do know there will be a permanent host next year,” he told the outlet. “I’m not being coy. I don’t know who that is. ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ are multimillion-dollar properties for Sony TV. Those things just print money, and they are going to take this decision very seriously.”
Meanwhile, if current guest host Aaron Rodgers has his way, he would become the next permanent host. The Green Bay Packers quarterback is a huge fan and considers the gig to be his dream job.