Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings may be known as the highest-earning game show contestant of all time, but participating in game shows off stage isn’t exactly his thing apparently.
During a recent interview with TV Insider, Ken Jennings admits he doesn’t play along with the game show that made him famous. “Maybe everyone in the world plays along with Jeopardy!, except for me. I might be the only one. If you’re on that show 70 whatever times, I got to say, when you hear that music or you’re in a bar, and you hear Trebek’s voice on the TV, it’s not a relaxing feeling anymore. You kind of feel like, ‘Oh, shoot, I’m back at work.’”
Also speaking about Jeopardy!’s popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ken Jennings explains, “The show is very aware of how important it is as an institution and not just as a game show or an entertainment property anymore. They take that legacy very seriously. I was very touched a month ago when new episodes started airing again. They had to take a slightly longer than usual summer hiatus because the pandemic had shut down them being in L.A.”
Jennings adds, “So, for the show to be back with new episodes, you probably remember the collective sigh of relief from viewers and media. I would do all these interviews where people were just so absurdly grateful that Jeopardy! was going to be on. I totally get it. That was my childhood too. I am a longtime fan of the show.”
Ken Jennings Recently Guest Hosted Jeopardy!
Following the death of long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings took on the role as guest host for the show. Jennings spoke about taking on guest-hosting duties by stating, “I understand better than anybody that these are very big shoes to fill. I expect people to be a little discontented when they see me. I’m right there with them. The only thing I can do is to try doing the job the best I can.”
Ken Jennings continues, “It’s extremely nerve-wracking. I grew up watching Alex, and he did that job perfectly. But I also knew that it was a hard job from watching him — he just did it so effortlessly.”
Jeopardy! is currently seeking a full-time replacement host who can commit to the show long-term. Other guest hosts include Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, Bill Whittaker, Buzzy Cohen, Dr. Oz, and Mayim Bialik. Savannah Guthrie is currently guest hosting, with Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta set to begin his guest host stint next week.
Others lined up to guest host include Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos, and Robin Roberts as well as former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton