From March 8 to March 19, Katie Couric is making history as the first female host of the long-running American institution ‘Jeopardy!’. Best known for her own hosting duties on ‘Today” and as a “60 Minutes” correspondent, Couric feels a thoughtful, intelligent fit for the game show.
Indeed, the long-respected journalist has proven this herself with each of her episodes so far. Tonight, ‘Jeopardy!’ puts the spotlight on this as Couric “takes a moment to reflect on Alex’s legacy.”
“Welcome to ‘Jeopardy!’. This has been an extraordinary experience for me,” Couric begins in the clip. “And on a personal note, it has made me respect Alex Trebek even more than I already did,” she says of the late host.
“Hosting this show is hard! And the fact that he did this while he was fighting pancreatic cancer, well, that was downright Herculean,” Couric continues in praise. “I am so proud to help carry on his legacy, and raise money for pancreatic cancer research.”
Introducing the night’s contestants, the guest host then lets each know that as they “win big, ‘Jeopardy!’ matches your winnings and gives it to pancreatic cancer research.” More on that below:
Katie Couric & ‘Jeopardy!’ Stand Up 2 Cancer
For Katie Couric, hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ ticked a dozen lifetime-dream boxes all at once. Most prominently, Couric says in our previous coverage that the show “holds a special place in her heart” right next to her late husband, Jay Monahan.
“I love watching the show, and used to watch it all the time with my late husband [Jay Monahan] who was really good at it,” says the show’s first-ever female host. “I watch it now with my current husband [John Molner], but I think it has a special place in my heart because Jay loved it so much. And I think he would’ve been a really good contestant.”
Couric lost Monahan tragically young. The lawyer and NBC News legal analyst died of colon cancer at just 42-years-old. Raising their two daughters – Elinor (born 1991) and Caroline (born 1996) – in his absence is a large part of what led her to co-found Stand Up 2 Cancer. Losing her sister Emily to pancreatic cancer in 2002 was also a driving force. This is the same cancer that would take late ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek’s life in 2020.
All of this led to Couric and the iconic gameshow teaming up to benefit cancer research through her organization, Stand Up 2 Cancer. So far, they’ve raised over $100,000.
“I’m really excited to announce that ‘Jeopardy!’ will be matching the winnings from each show I guest host and donating that amount to the Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team from Stand Up to Cancer,” Couric began in her first night of hosting. “So thank you, ‘Jeopardy!’”