With a statement that’s sure to make Jennings’ many fans happy, television icon Katie Couric is putting her name behind Ken’s own for ‘Jeopardy!’s permanent new host.
“Alex Trebek was honestly so admired and heralded for being at the helm of that show for more than three decades,” Couric begins to PEOPLE in her recent, revealing interview. “I think everyone was crushed when he passed away. But it’s a real honor to at least try to keep his spirit alive… And to be a part of what I think is not really a game show, but an American institution,” she lauds of the late host and ‘Jeopardy!’
Her own remarkable career in mind, you’d think Katie Couric would be the perfect ‘Jeopardy!’ host to follow in Trebek’s footsteps, right? While that may be, Couric herself doesn’t agree. She tells PEOPLE straight-up that it’s Ken Jennings who should take over as permanent host, no contest:
“I think Ken Jennings was awesome,” she gushes. “I think there’s something about Ken! He’s so steep in the ‘Jeopardy!’ culture and ethos. There’s something really nice about seeing such a champion then help other people become champions.“
As for whether or not Katie Couric learned anything about herself while filming her episodes, the journalism icon smiles that she’s “not one scintilla as intelligent as the typical ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant.”
Perhaps this is just as telling, as Couric and all ‘Jeopardy!’ viewers know first-hand how incredibly intelligent Jennings is.
Katie Couric Did “A Lot of Googling” for ‘Jeopardy!’ Hosting
Regardless, Couric shares that she did vigorous googling to do both Trebek and Jennings proud, and to ensure she pronounced every word correctly. “All the crazy pronunciations,” she laughs. “I’d do a lot of googling… How do you say this? How do you say that?”
Watch the interview below for more from the show’s current airing host:
In addition, Couric is putting her hosting tenure to phenomenal use.
“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,” she revealed with a huge smile for her inaugural episode. “So thank you, ‘Jeopardy!’”