HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’: Why George Stephanopoulos Jokingly Says He ‘Just Wanted to Get Through’ Guest Hosting

‘Jeopardy!’: Why George Stephanopoulos Jokingly Says He ‘Just Wanted to Get Through’ Guest Hosting

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for David Lynch Foundation)

This week’s latest “Jeopardy!” guest host George Stephanopoulos realized just how much work the late Alex Trebek put into hosting the game show for 37 years. According to an exclusive interview, Stephanopoulos has a new appreciation for the challenges that come with the job.

“Once I got here, I realized I just wanted to get through it. This is a lot more tough than it looks,” the “Good Morning America” co-anchor said with a laugh.

“Jeopardy!” producers asked him what he hoped to bring to the show as a guest host. “I guess I was just trying to bring myself, you know, as best I could,” Stephanopoulos said. “It’s a very tight format. And as Alex always reminded everyone, ‘It’s about the game.’ And I tried to keep that to heart as well.”

Adhering to that “tight format” made Stephanopulos plenty nervous about hosting the show, especially since it’s a “very different beast” than what he’s used to.

“On ‘Good Morning America,’ it’s two hours of live TV every day. You make mistakes. You’re gonna make mistakes. And part of the job is making that into an opportunity, recovering from it. Here on ‘Jeopardy!’, no margin of error. You have to be perfect. That’s what the viewers expect. That’s what they deserve,” the news anchor said.

Stephanopoulos begins his hosting stint on tonight’s July 12 show and will finish up this Friday, July 16. Next week, his “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts will take the reins, followed by LeVar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta just finished his two weeks of hosting, but the upcoming hosts will only have one week each at the podium.

Alex Trebek Put a Lot of Time Into His ‘Jeopardy!’ Prep

Trebek sat down with Insider back in 2017 to talk about what a day in his life looks like. Apparently, the host used to spend an hour and a half at the beginning of each day just reading through all five games and practicing the pronunciation of 350 different clues.

For contestants, the rhythm and cadence of the host are super important to their ability to buzz in at the right time. So, Trebek worked on perfecting his reading and not missing a beat when informing contestants if they got the right answer. He even made diacritical (pronunciation) marks on the game sheets.

“Diacritical, knowing where to stress, because of the layout of the screen that contains our clues, some words that should be together are separated, one on one line, the other on another line, and sometimes just naturally we tend to pause at the end of a line. So we don’t want to do that. I want to run them together if they belong together.”