‘Jeopardy!’: Katie Couric Opens Up About Why She Wanted to Guest Host the Show

by Madison Miller
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Since Alex Trebek passed away in November, “Jeopardy!” has been cycling through a list of guest hosts. The show first had popular champion Ken Jennings followed by the executive producer of the show, Mike Richards. Now, the show welcomed its third guest host, journalist Katie Couric. She is known for being on CBS and a former Today show anchor, as well as having her own show.

The different mix of guest hosts has kept the show fresh and exciting since longtime, beloved host Trebek’s death.

What made Katie Couric want to be the host of “Jeopardy!?”

Katie Couric on Decision to Guest Host ‘Jeopardy!’

Similar to countless viewers since its first version appeared on television in 1964, Couric is a big fan of the trivia show.

“Jeopardy!” has remained one of the most popular and beloved game shows ever. Since 1984, when the syndicated Sony version of the show started, Trebek has been a widely influential public figure. The show was a staple for many people who sat down to watch consistently.

“I loved the show. I loved Alex Trebek and I was so inspired by him, especially by his courage toward the end of his life. It’s just such an American institution and the opportunity to play a small part in the continuation of the show was something I just didn’t want to pass up,” Couric said in an exclusive interview with “Jeopardy!”

Couric said that many people told her the best advice was to come in and have a good time. On top of that, Couric is looking to honor the legacy of the show while also bringing her own distinct personality to the forefront.

Couric Making History

Katie Couric’s appearance on “Jeopardy!” is actually a massive milestone for the game show. She will be the first female host the show has ever had. She will be hosting until March 21 for 10 episodes. Her first time hosting was fittingly on International Women’s Day on March 8.

Soon Dr. Mehmet Oz, Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie, Mayim Bialik, Bill Whitaker, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will take on the same role as guest host.

As the first woman to host, Couric’s role as guest host is perhaps one of the most important so far.

“I’ve always believed it’s critically important to have representation in media. To have women, to have people of color, to have all kinds of people that make up this wonderful country we live in. I want people at home to see people like them in these important, powerful, authoritative roles,” Couric said.

Couric’s Reception so Far

The show has not decided on a full-time host yet and instead has 10, possibly more, guest hosts lined up. It’s possible one of the guest hosts could become the show’s host if they perform well. With many hosts on television being men, Couric or even a future female “Jeopardy!” host could be a really influential and important decision.

According to TV Insider, Couric will be donating her portion of earnings to Stand Up to Cancer, which she co-founded. All guest hosts get to donate the equivalent of the cumulative winnings from the contestants on the show. The money from the show will specifically go to pancreatic cancer research, which is what Trebek passed away from.

During her first episode, she said, “Hi, I’m Katie Couric, and someone, somewhere will be upset that I am hosting ten episodes of ‘Jeopardy!” This has been true for all the hosts so far that have been carefully analyzed by fans. However, she has had a lot of positive reinforcement after only one day.

Outsider.com