WATCH: Ken Jennings Opens ‘Jeopardy!’ with Patriotic Veterans Day Intro

by John Jamison

Ken Jennings is back and better than ever as the host of Jeopardy! And those tuning into the long-running game show tonight can expect a patriotic welcome from the winningest contestant to ever play the game. The official Jeopardy! Twitter account shared a clip of Ken Jennings honoring U.S. military veterans.

Seeing such iconic bastions of American entertainment honoring military service is fantastic, to say the least. We saw Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune recognize Veterans Day in his own way. Now, it’s Jeopardy!‘s turn.

“Now, before we get started, I want to take a moment, since it’s Veterans Day, to honor the service of all our U.S. military veterans,” said Jennings during the introduction to the upcoming installment of Jeopardy!

The game show, or its iconic host, at least, has a long and storied history of supporting Americans in uniform.

As most of you of Outsiders are likely aware, Jennings’ predecessor and longtime host of Jeopardy! Alex Trebek was born and raised Canadian before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in the late 1990s. What you may not know, however, is that Alex Trebek volunteered his time with the USO for more than 30 years.

According to the USO website, Trebek did his first tour in 1987 and 12 more in the years following. Trebek and the Jeopardy! crew traveled all over the world to visit U.S. service members and boost morale.

“I’ve had a great time every time I’ve been away with the USO. There’s nothing I can say that would really measure up to the gratitude I feel, and most of America feels, for our military men and women,” Trebek said at an event in 2016.

‘Jeopardy!’ Recently Had Cause to Honor Something Else Near and Dear to the Show’s Heart

Just three days ago, Jeopardy! honored the life and contributions of the legendary host, Alex Trebek, on the anniversary of his passing. As he did for Veterans Day, Ken Jennings offered a few touching words to recognize what Trebek meant to not only the show but for the audience as a whole.

Former Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer took to Twitter to share a throwback photo of the mustachioed menace.

But what was it about Alex Trebek that captured the hearts of an entire nation? He spoke on that during an interview with NPR in 2020.

“I seem to be, you know, your uncle, your friendly neighbor, and people react to that in a positive way. They feel comfortable with me. And so, when you combine all of those things, it makes for a pretty pleasant experience for the television viewer,” said Trebek.