‘Jeopardy!’ Legend Ken Jennings Said Show’s Return Last Year Was a ‘Collective Sigh of Relief’

by Megan Molseed

Since the early 1980s, “Jeopardy!” has been a household name. From the regular and dedicated watchers of the show, or the “armchair” contestants, to the channel surfers who land on the popular game show to guess the question to the given answer, the show has been watched nearly nonstop since its premiere. 

With its immediately recognizable theme-music and its regularity as a late afternoon staple, “Jeopardy!” is often a comforting constant for many of the hit game show’s fans. 

However, in 2020, “Jeopardy!’s” comforting consistency came to a halt. Like many shows of its nature, the live-stage recordings were halted during the pandemic. 

“Jeopardy!” champion, producer, and guest host, Ken Jennings talked to “TV Insider” about this during a 2020 interview. 

“They had to take a slightly longer than usual summer hiatus because the pandemic had shut down them being in L.A,” the “Jeopardy!” GOAT explained. Jennings added that he was touched when he saw new “Jeopardy!” episodes were returning to daytime television. 

“So, for the show to be back with new episodes, you probably remember the collective sigh of relief from viewers and media,” Jenning’s joked. 

Ken Jennings Remembers the Impact ‘Jeopardy!’ Had When He Was Growing Up

Jennings went on to tell “TV Insider” that he was often told how grateful fans were to be seeing new episodes of the hit “answer/question” quiz show amid dring the uncertain times. 

“I would do all these interviews where people were just so absurdly grateful that “Jeopardy!” was going to be on,” Jennings explained. I totally get it. That was my childhood too. I am a longtime fan of the show.”

Earlier this year, Jennings took on the role of host as he filled in as guest host on “Jeopardy!” Ken Jennings was one of many guest-hosts scheduled to fill in Alex Trebek’s spot. A spot that was heartbreakingly left vacant after Trebek’s untimely passing in late 2020. 

While the “TV Insider” interview took place before Alex Trebek left the show, Jennings made a very timely observation. 

“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,” Jennings told the outlet. “They take that legacy very seriously.”

This may have been an observation he made during the pandemic, but its certainly fit’s even today.