‘Jeopardy!’ Legend Ken Jennings Explains How His Fame From Show Gives Him ‘Cred’ With His Kids

by Josh Lanier

Ken Jennings may be the Greatest of All Time Jeopardy! champion, but to his kids, he’s just dad. But, he admits, being a minor celebrity has helped give him some “cred” with his kids.

Jennings discussed his parenting style and why being a dad is like being a “cruise director” with Yahoo Life recently. The Jeopardy! legend has two children — 18 and 14 years old — with his wife. They live in Seattle.

“For me, being a dad is a lot like being a cruise director, being the smiling face of the family. Like, here are the activities, here’s the good attitude (despite everything) — a rah-rah Scoutmaster type,” he said. “That’s not who I am at my core, but as a dad, you kind of have to turn into that.”

But, he added, that being the most famous Jeopardy! champion of all time has helped him with his kids. Mostly, they’re more apt to listen to him now that he’s famous.

“I have a little more cred with them because they’re a generation who thinks they’re getting the truth from public figures and celebrities,” he said.

Aside from using his celebrity as currency with his kids, he’s also putting it to good use.

Ken Jennings recently started an online Varsity Tutors class for kids. It’s free to try Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. EST. Jennings teaches students how to improve their memory and some of the tricks he used to help him win 74-consecutive Jeopardy! shows.

“I had to think about how preparing for Jeopardy! was like preparing for other things in life, like a mid-term test or job interview. It’s a stressful scenario and some people freak out in that scenario; it’s an interesting test case for people who worry about grades and performance because game shows are fun.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Announces Picks Host, Adds Spin-off

As predicted, Jeopardy! chose executive producer Mike Richards as the game shows new host. However, Sony, in an unexpected move, also brought in another host to take over the show’s spinoff series, Deadline reported.

Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik will take over the primetime spinoff, including Jeopardy! National College Championship. That will air next year.

“IT’S TRUE!!! Been waiting a long time to tell you all. Really really honored and astounded and excited for this – it’s beyond anything I ever imagined could happen,” the former Big Bang Theory actress tweeted.

Ken Jennings, a fan favorite guest host, is staying on as consulting producer for Jeopardy!

Richards released a statement about excitement replacing Alex Trebek.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!,” said Richards. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love.”