‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host George Stephanopoulos Revealed the Hardest Part of Hosting

by John Jamison
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Each guest host on “Jeopardy!” comes into the show with their own particular skillset. Some are more performative than others. Some came from backgrounds that don’t necessarily lend themselves to TV presenting. But at the end of the day, the expectations on the show are the same for everyone. George Stephanopoulos is no exception.

He is set to make his debut on the big “Jeopardy!” stage tonight, and the accomplished journalist is undoubtedly a touch nervous. Not because he’s worried about performing. The rigors of taping the show are way behind him. But just because he’s already done the work doesn’t make the fault-finding “Jeopardy!” audience any more forgiving. And tonight, they will see him in the role for the first time.

It’s a demanding job, no doubt about that. And the standard set by late host Alex Trebek is virtually impossible to achieve. The reasons differ for each new host. But in George Stephanopoulos’ case, the hardest part was keeping up with the pace.

In an interview he did on his native “Good Morning America,” Stephanopoulos was asked about the hardest part of being the “Jeopardy!” host. His answer?

“Moving things along,” Stephanopoulos said. “They really just want everything to just keep going, going, going, going. And then if you stumble, now the dirty little secret is- you ever notice that the host isn’t on camera all that much? When you make a mistake you can redo the clue.”

The reason it’s so hard is that redoing the clue is not something the show wants to be doing all that often. It ruins the flow of the game itself. And it can give an undue advantage to one contestant over another.

The Challenges of Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ Are Different For Everyone

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have the same poise as a TV presenter as someone like Anderson Cooper. Yet the Green Bay Packers quarterback was a smash hit in his stint as the guest host on “Jeopardy!”

Anderson Cooper, himself a guest host back in April, was well-received too. And we’re fortunate enough to know exactly what he saw as the hardest part of the job. In his exclusive guest host interview, the CNN correspondent talked about what he saw as the most difficult part of the role.

“For me, the hardest part – and this is my advice to everyone else who is going to be guest hosting in the weeks ahead – was not to get so caught up in the mechanics of the game that you actually miss out on just enjoying it,” Cooper said.

Advice that George Stephanopoulos has surely benefitted from. You can catch the new guest host’s debut on tonight’s episode of “Jeopardy!”

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