Though he has already had a turn, Ken Jennings is hoping he gets another crack at hosting the popular game show Jeopardy!
Jennings was the first celebrity to take on the guest host role upon the passing of Jeopardy! legend Alex Trebek. The longtime host passed away in November of last year from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. Since his passing, Jeopardy! officials have been utilizing guest hosts to keep the show going. In addition to Jennings, others assuming the role were Mike Richards, Katie Couric, and Dr. Mehmet Oz. NFL superstar Aaron Rodgers is currently two episodes into his tenure as the quiz show’s host.
In a recent interview with an Edmond, Washington media outlet, Jennings says he was just finding his stride when his time was up. The game’s most successful contestant says he wants another opportunity to be the Jeopardy! host. Jennings also says he would like to be considered for the full-time role, which he expects will be coming soon.
“I did feel like at the end, I was almost starting to get comfortable, I was starting to enjoy it a little bit,” he says. “I think with time I am starting to figure this out. So I do hope I get another chance.”
Ken Jennings on ‘Jeopardy!’
Jennings is the most successful game show contestant of all time, winning 74 straight Jeopardy! matches in 2004. In all of his game show appearances, he’s earned north of $4.5 million. Last year, he won the title of “Greatest Jeopardy! Champion of All Time” in a tournament of past champions.
He compares the job of hosting to officiating a sporting event in the interview. He also says that Trebek made the incredibly difficult task look easy so watchers don’t know how hard the job actually is.
“It’s an extremely hard job,” he says. “You’re running the show in real-time like a referee. You have to read a clue, you have to look up and see what they buzzed in, and as they are answering you have to adjudicate what they are saying and then move on appropriately. Alex Trebek did it with such grace, you didn’t really notice how hard it was. My heart goes out to anybody brave enough to try that job.”
Rodgers will wrap his hosting stint next Friday and Anderson Cooper will take over. No one knows when Jeopardy! might decide on a permanent host but Jennings sure hopes he is in play.