Since the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek last year, Jeopardy! is marching forward with the assistance of a few celebrities.
Trebek passed away last November at the age of 80, losing his hard-fought battle to pancreatic cancer. The superb game show host became a television icon for his 37 years of hosting the quiz show. Understanding it would be difficult to replace a legend, Jeopardy! officials sought out celebrities until a full-time host can be found.
Currently, the hosting duties are in the very capable hands of National Football League star Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback will wrap his two-week tenure as Jeopardy! guest host on Friday. Journalist Anderson Cooper waits in the wings to take on the role beginning on Monday.
Before the job fell to Rodgers, several other notable names filled the hosting shoes for Jeopardy!. Among those names is former contestant Ken Jennings, who was the first to fill in for the late Trebek. Jennings is the most successful game show contestant of all time.
In 2004, he went on an unprecedented 74-game winning streak, collecting more than $2.5 million in winnings over that span. He would go on to take the title of “Greatest Jeopardy! Champion of All Time” last year after winning the champion’s tournament.
Both Rodgers and Jennings have expressed an interest in taking on full-time hosting duties when Jeopardy! officials decide to go that route. Fans of the show are also taking a keen interest in Jeopardy!’s choice of host, with several supporting a variety of candidates. Known for his sharp wit and hilarious social media commentary, Jennings replies to a comment from a fan suggesting he should be the favorite to land the gig.
After the fan points out Rodgers has the edge in toughness due to his NFL career, Jennings gives a humorous reply.
“I gotta credit my o-line for that,” he says.
The current Jeopardy! host has been sacked 468 times during his 17 years in the league. Perhaps that’s why he may be considering a career change to the game show hosting world.
While Jennings has been sacked zero times, he does have competition experience with a wealth of game show appearances.