‘Jeopardy’ Guest Host Dr. Sanjay Gupta Called Writer’s Meetings ‘So Studious and So Scholarly’

by Josh Lanier
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Jeopardy! guest host Sanjay Gupta is pulling back the curtain on some of the inner secrets of the show. Particularly how producers come up with the questions and what makes a good Jeopardy! question.

Gupta says the hosts’ days start with a production meeting. This is the first time he’ll see the questions for the games. He’ll go over pronunciations, and he can ask for clarification on ones he doesn’t understand.

“The Jeopardy! team of producers, writers, and Clue Crew is considered the very best in the business, and it was easy to see why. It is a finely tuned machine with professionals at the top of its game. Mike Richards, Lisa Broffman, Rocky Schmidt, and Billy Wisse led the daily meeting that took place in an actual library!,” Gupta wrote on a CNN blog.

“We sat around a table surrounded by voluminous sets of biographies and bibliographies. It even had that perfect library smell. If someone wasn’t sure about a clue, one of the genius writers would run off to a row of books, pull out the appropriate text and start flipping through pages. Sure, there was someone at a computer as well, but the whole feel of the meeting was so studious and so scholarly: very Jeopardy!

There is something so reassuring about Jeopardy! producers using encyclopedias and books to come up with the answers. They do use computers and smartphones as well to craft a question.

Gupta, a neurosurgeon, said there are skillsets overlaps between Jeopardy! host and surgeon.

“In many ways, I prepped for the guest-hosting role the way I prepare for an operation, diligently reviewing not only the diagnosis and anatomy of the patient but the space and environment where I would be performing the operation.”

Though, brain surgery is harder.

What Do ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Think of His Performance?

As the first week of Sanjay Gupta’s time as Jeopardy! guest host, fans have been weighing in all week on his performance. And seeing as Sony executives are using these guest-hosting stints as auditions, fan reactions are incredibly important. And so far, he’s scoring well if Twitter @s count for anything.

“So far my favorite guest hosts have been 1. Buzzy Cohen 2. Dr. Sanjay Gupta (a real surprise:) 3. Ken Jennings 4. Katie Couric,” one person wrote.

Another posted, “I have to say, having not watched Jeopardy since Alex Trebek’s passing, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is doing a good job guest-hosting. He couldn’t replace Alex, no one can, but I think he’s got that vibe, or something close to it.

“Strong first impression for Sanjay Gupta as guest host of Jeopardy, I liked him, he was relaxed and clear. Should be a good 2 weeks. Although he tended to leave out the “what is” when the players didn’t get the Q, a few other hosts have done the same and it feels weird,” someone else wrote.

Though, not all of the reviews have been positive or all that constructive.

“Dr. Sanjay Gupta would be by far the worst vibed Alex Trebek replacement Jeopardy host @CBS,” posted another.

Outsider.com