‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Anderson Cooper Compares Competing Versus Hosting in New Video

by Jon D. B.
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“I definitely found myself very focused.” Having competed on “Jeopardy!” four times, Anderson Cooper is no stranger to the set. Yet the current guest host says there’s a lot more that goes into hosting than people might think.

“How does hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ compare to being a contestant?” the game show asks Anderson Cooper in their latest exclusive interview. It’s a fair question, as relatively few have found themselves in this position. Fellow guest hosts Aaron Rodgers and “All-Time Jeopardy! Champion” Ken Jennings, of course, know the feeling. But how’s it panning out for the CNN journalist?

“To be a contestant… I was so freaked out when I did that, and I’ve done it four times,” Cooper begins on the question.

“I won twice, I lost really badly twice,” he smiles. “It’s definitely better to win. And I lost to Cheech Marin! And I gotta tell you, to walk into the newsroom the day after you’ve lost to Cheech Marin… It’s painful,” he adds, tongue-in-cheek. “But he is an excellent player! He’s so smart! He’s so quick on the buzzer.”

As it turns out, “Just to be in ‘Jeopardy!,’ whether you’re as a contestant, as a guest host, is just… Even in the audience, it’s just thrilling to watch!” Cooper lauds.

“And when you watch something your entire life, and you really enjoy it, and you really just feel a part of a larger kind of family and fan base… To suddenly be inside it is extraordinary. And I can’t believe I’m here,” Cooper smiles wide.

Lifelong ‘Jeopardy!’ Fan Anderson Cooper Talks Hosting ‘Nerves & Focus’

Indeed, Cooper is a self-professed “lifelong fan” of “Jeopardy!,” having grown up watching the game show with his entire family. This lifetime of excitement found its way into the journalist’s nerves, too. While any contestant is sure to get nervous over appearing on “Jeopardy!,” Cooper says there’s a different kind of “nervousness” and “focus” that comes with hosting.

“I definitely found myself very focused,” the guest host says. “When I watch the game at home, or when I played as a contestant – all you focus on is trying to get the right response.”

While behind the podium made famous by Alex Trebek, however, Cooper says “there’s a lot more that goes into it when you’re guest hosting!”

“There’s a lot of – sort of – mechanics of the show that you’re trying to keep in mind. And at the same time as interacting and making sure the game is running smoothly.”

We can only imagine. That’s a whole lot of wrangling for one person! Watch the full interview with Cooper below, and get ready for his guest hosting stint tomorrow, April 19, on “Jeopardy!”

Outsider.com