Buzzy Cohen said that hosting Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions is his “field of dreams” moment.
The former Jeopardy! contestant will be forfeiting his rights to ever play in a game again to host the show. He has been campaigning to host the show since 2017.
“I had some pangs about not being able to hold the buzzer again,” he admitted. “I was joking with Ken [Jennings, another of this season’s guest hosts] right when I got the call. It’s my moment like Moonlight Graham in Field of Dreams, when he walks across the rocks and turns into the doctor. It’s like: It’s over.”
Buzzy Cohen told The Ringer that he previously appealed to executive producer Harry Friedman previously.
“I said, ‘Well, since we’re not going to win the tournament, it makes it that much easier for Harry to hire me as the next host,’” Cohen said to him. Friedman gave him a “a Cheshire cat smile.”
Cohen said that his dreams have all come true, the first of which was competing on the show.
“The first time I buzzed in and Alex said ‘Buzzy’ and I gave a correct answer—that was it. And everything after that has been gravy,” he said.
Buzzy Cohen as a Contestant
Buzzy Cohen first appeared on the trivia competition show in April and May 2016. Over the span of nine games he took home $164,603. In 2017, he returned to join the Tournament of Champions, a title he took home. Finally, he appeared on the 2019 Jeopardy! All-Star Games relay tournament.
Cohen earned positive and negative notoriety from fans for his comedic final answers involving Trebek. He told Vulture that he tried to show off his personality “in a way that wasn’t disruptive of the gameplay.” He added that there is no perfect contestant, though Ken Jennings comes close.
Buzzy Cohen said that his main intention for his original run was to enjoy himself.
“Obviously I wanted to play well, but it wasn’t about beating other people. It was me doing a good job for myself, as opposed to me defeating other people, which is a different mindset to have,” he explained.
Cohen added that there is a “community of former Jeopardy! contestants.” They have formed relationships and had comedic and sarcastic moments to break the ice in between filming.
“There was a lot of camaraderie. I don’t think anybody showed up and was looking to throw elbows or be super-mysterious or whatever. Those of us who do have a fun time with the show really pushed it,” he said.