‘Jeopardy!’: Here’s How Joe Buck Feels About His Chances to Replace Alex Trebek

by John Jamison

Like most of the guest hosts we’ve seen on “Jeopardy!” over the past season, Joe Buck has a full-on career beyond running game shows. The accomplished sportscaster has already left his mark on both the MLB and NFL and is still a relatively young man in the world of broadcasting. With year-round obligations, Buck recognized that the guest-hosting gig wasn’t a tryout for him as much as it was an opportunity he’d likely never get again.

The Fox Sports play-by-play announcer took a break from his baseball duties for two days back in May. After a day of preparation, Joe Buck taped all of this week’s episodes of “Jeopardy!” over the course of a few hours. And fans will have the opportunity to see the fruits of Buck’s labor starting this evening.

But even in May, Joe Buck had no illusions about his time on the show. Even before the iconic game show announced that it was narrowing on executive producer Mike Richards for the permanent hosting job, he knew his time on “Jeopardy!” would be short-lived.

In an interview with the St. Louis-Post Dispatch, Buck talked about how he viewed the opportunity in terms of the show’s permanent replacement search.

“I have no belief it will be anything other than crossing it off a fictitious bucket list,” Buck said.

And that doesn’t come as much of a surprise based on what he has accomplished in sportscasting. The “Jeopardy!” guest host has reached the top of his field and has stayed there—announcing an impressive six Super Bowls and 23 World Series. Flattered as he’d be if the game show had offered him the job, he likely wouldn’t accept for the sake of his sports career.

Joe Buck Saw ‘Jeopardy!’ Icon Alex Trebek In A Different Light After Hosting Gig

Joe Buck is a TV man, and so was the late Alex Trebek. And watching Trebek run “Jeopardy!” for all those years inspired Buck to take the gig in the first place. He saw it as a challenge, an opportunity to add more skills to his TV presenting toolkit.

What he didn’t realize was just how good Alex Trebek was at his job. Buck was always impressed by the “Jeopardy!” host’s ability, of course. But until he got onto the stage and did it himself, he didn’t quite have the full picture.

“I’ve been in television for almost 30 years,” Buck said. “And I always was in awe of the job that Alex did hosting this show. I think the ease with which he guided contestants through questions, the smile, the warmth, the intellect that came through… ” Buck said during his guest host interview. “And now that I’ve been inside the studio, I have an even greater appreciation for how meticulously awesome Alex Trebek was.”