‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host David Faber Says Friends Sent ‘Avalanche’ of Advice and Tips for Hosting

by Josh Lanier

CNBC anchor David Faber said his friends bombarded him with advice as soon as Jeopardy! producers announced he would be a guest host. That’s because his friends are mega-fans of the show, he said, so they had a lot of opinions and tips for him.

Faber will begin his weeklong stint as Jeopardy! host on Monday, Aug. 2. He’ll do so with the avalanche of information his friends passed on to him in the weeks leading up to the show’s taping, he told producers in his pre-show interview.

“A handful of friends who are enormous fans,” Faber said. “… And so when they heard the news, I got this avalanche, and in particular, a handful of people who just worshiped the show were all over me with advice, with asking everything, what do you know, are you thinking about…, have you done…? It was really funny.”

But they did help him prepare for the show, he said. They know what works on Jeopardy! and what doesn’t. So, they put him through his paces in a fake version of the game before he did the real thing.

“Well, you know, actually it was a group of my friends, some of whom I work with. And some are just close friends, but many from the TV business,” Faber said. “And they insisted that I practice. So we have a space right near my house that we used. And a bunch of my friends showed up to be contestants, to have me be there [as host], and then a few others just to listen and critique.”

While that was helpful, Faber said the best advice he got came from Jeopardy! staffers who told him to be himself and make sure to have a good time.

Faber Was Overwhelmed Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’

Like nearly every guest host before him, David Faber admitted that he was surprised by how hard hosting Jeopardy! actually is. Alex Trebek made it look so easy.

Despite being a television financial journalist for more than 30 years, the Squawk on the Street co-host said he was shocked at all that goes into making an episode of Jeopardy!.

“Well, it’s challenging. I didn’t realize quite how challenging. I watched an awful lot of Alex Trebek and I sort of started to understand it,” Faber said. “When you think about it as ‘Oh my God. I’m going to stand up there and do that?’ And then when you actually come and try, it’s not easy. But that’s fun, right? That’s part of life. If you get an opportunity like that, you gotta take it. And I was so happy to be given the chance,” he explained.

To give you a sense of just how hard guest hosting the show is, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta compared it to brain surgery in an op-ed.