As a four-time “Celebrity Jeopardy!” competitor, guest-host Anderson Cooper knows a thing or two about being a contestant on the show.
And now Cooper has offered his advice to contestants, which “Jeopardy!” has released in a video clip as Cooper’s guest-hosting episodes are about to air.
“You know, I wish I, when I was on as a contestant, that I had enjoyed the moment more,” Cooper said. “I was so focused on just answering the [question], getting the right response, and, you know, not making a fool of myself, and trying to win, that it all just went by so fast. And it wasn’t until kind of that night or days later that I would kind of relive what actually occurred, and really kind of enjoy the entire experience.”
“So, I would hope that the contestants who are playing now would enjoy the process, enjoy the game as much as possible, and just try to relax into it,” he added.
Watch Cooper’s remarks here:
Cooper Spoke to Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Before His Death
Cooper also revealed that he had spoken to late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek a month or two before the legendary host died. Trebek passed away from stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, 2020.
“I got a call from him probably about a month or two before he died,” Cooper recounted. “He was asking me about some other stuff, but I used it as an opportunity just to say to him how much I appreciated him, and what he had brought to my life and to the life of so many people. So I was really glad I got the chance to do that.”
Cooper has said that he began watching “Jeopardy!” as a child with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. He joked to Jimmy Kimmel that it was something the two of them could do together without having to talk to each other. And Cooper said he became a serious “Jeopardy!” fan during his high school years.
So Cooper perhaps knows firsthand how much Trebek meant to people, and how difficult it will be to find a permanent replacement for him.
“Whoever leads this show forward, there’s certainly big shoes to fill,” Cooper said.
Cooper Is Just the Latest Guest Host
After Trebek died, “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings became the first person to take on guest-hosting duties. After him, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards took over. Next was former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric, and then “Dr. Oz Show” host Dr. Mehmet Oz, who proved a bit controversial among former contestants.
More recently, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been hosting “Jeopardy!” He will be followed by Cooper, then “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker and then actress Mayim Bialik. “Today” show co-host Savannah Guthrie will follow her. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is after Guthrie, although his air dates have yet to be announced. Sports announcer Joe Buck will guest-host the show, as well.
Producers are reportedly searching for a permanent replacement for Trebek. Several of the guest hosts have indicated their interest in that position, but time will tell who gets it.