Coming off a two-week stint of guest-hosting Jeopardy! Journalist Katie Couric says the experience was a pleasant one.
Couric, now 64-years-old, did a stellar job of hosting the ever-popular game show during her 10 episodes. Since the passing of long-time host Alex Trebek last year, Jeopardy! executives have turned to celebrities to handle hosting duties. In addition to Couric, there are several other celebrities who have or will host the game show.
With Couric’s reign as Jeopardy! host now over, she is speaking out on her experience. She admits to being nervous each time she took to the host’s podium but says she is glad to have had the opportunity. She also thanks the Jeopardy! crew behind the scenes for making her look good. Her appearance on the show also took in more than $230,000 for cancer research.
“It was a lot of fun, but it was a very tough job,” she says in a recent interview with Poynter. “And I said to many of my friends who complimented me: ‘Thank God for post-production.'”
Couric, who is a New York Times best-selling author, says she has tremendous respect for Jeopardy! and calls it an “American Institution.” She notes that calling Jeopardy! a “game show” simply does not feel right. She also says she tried to make the hosting gig “her own” but would likely not want the full-time role.
“I tried to make it my own, as Paula Abdul would say, but also respect the institution because ‘Jeopardy!’ is not really a game show,” she says. “It doesn’t feel right to call it a game show. It is an American institution. I think it has become so a part of people’s lives that you don’t want to mess with a good thing. So I tried to strike that balance.”
Couric was the third celebrity guest host to take on Jeopardy! hosting responsibilities. Former contestants Ken Jennings and Mike Richards, the show’s executive producer, also took turns as hosts. Dr. Mehmet Oz, of “The Doctor Oz Show,” is currently serving as the show’s host. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, is on deck. Oz will host his final episode on Friday, April 2, and Rodgers will assume the role the following Monday, April 5.