Ken Jennings Dishes on Advice Alex Trebek Gave Him in Event He Hosted ‘Jeopardy!’

by Emily Morgan
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Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings has revealed the advice he received from Alex Trebek before his death. 

During an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday, Jennings spoke about serving as the show’s temporary host in upcoming episodes and explained how big of a moment it is for him. 

“You can’t fill shoes like Alex Trebek’s,” he said. “He was just a legend.”

Jennings recalled that he had the opportunity to have one final conversation with Trebek just before he passed. “I spoke to him on the phone, actually, the weekend he passed,” he disclosed. 

“He was frail, but he was still very much Alex. I remember him just being very confident in me to be a guest host if he ever needed that. We were hoping we’d have him with us for longer.”

Ken Jennings On Trebek: ‘He Always Made It About The Players’

During the interview, Jennings also shared the critical piece of advice he received from Trebek. 

“I was reminded of the thing he always emphasized about the show, which was: He’s not the star of the show. The host is not the star of Jeopardy!” Jennings added. 

“He always made it about the players, and about the competition. It’s just hard to imagine that in the TV landscape today, a star of his size saying, ‘Hey, the game’s not about you.’ That was great advice.”

Regarding his interim role as host, Jennings said that he would rather have Trebek back than see someone else hosting the iconic primetime show.

“I’m like everybody else, when I hear that music I don’t want to see an interim host,” he said. “In a perfect world, I want to see Alex Trebek. So it was a little bit nerve-wracking being asked to do that. It was an honor, but it’s a stressful one.”

Jeopardy! fans can catch Trebek’s final episodes as they air this week until Friday, Jan. 8.