“Jeopardy!” guest host George Stephanopoulos is a busy man. He didn’t have time to think much about “Jeopardy!” before he guest-hosted the show, but he said he soon realized how cool an opportunity it was.
So why did he want to guest host the show in the first place?
“Come on, it’s ‘Jeopardy!’,” Stephanopoulos said. “I hadn’t thought about it a lot before I did it. The minute I heard I was gonna do it, and started telling people, everybody lights up. I mean, you tell them you’re gonna be guest-hosting ‘Jeopardy!’, people you would never expect, they think it’s the coolest thing in the world. And after doing it for a week of shows, they’re right.”
Watch Stephanopoulos comment here:
Stephanopoulos Reportedly Wants to Host ‘Jeopardy!’
Stephanopoulos caused some raised eyebrows when it emerged that he’d started campaigning to replace Trebek as the latter was dying. According to a report in The Wrap, Stephanopoulos has been lobbying to replace Alex Trebek as permanent host of “Jeopardy!” since last November.
The legendary longtime host of “Jeopardy!” died on Nov. 8, 2020 of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. On Nov. 9, The Wrap reported that Stephanopoulos’s agent had been pushing hard at ABC, where Stephanopoulos is chief anchor and political correspondent, for Stephanopoulos to take over Trebek’s job.
In May of last year, Stephanopoulos reportedly told Howard Stern that he would be interested in Trebek’s role.
“I think it would be a lot of fun,” Stephanopoulos told Stern then. “But I like what I’m doing, too.”
Trebek Battled Cancer Valiantly
Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March of 2019, according to a timeline compiled by Fox News. He vowed to fight the disease and to beat the daunting statistics that suggested few survive long after receiving that diagnosis.
Moreover, Trebek was determined to keep working on “Jeopardy!” through his treatment. After a brief break to tend to his health, he was back at work by August of 2019 for Season 36 of “Jeopardy!”.
But by autumn of 2019, Trebek faced the prospect of more chemotherapy and the rise of side effects like sores in his mouth. He acknowledged that there might come a point when he was no longer able to host “Jeopardy!”.
By the one-year anniversary of his diagnosis in March 2020, Trebek was very happy to have joined the 18% of patients who survive that long. He acknowledged “massive attacks of great depression” over his condition but promised to keep fighting on.
Trebek made it to his 80th birthday in July. But by November, the “Jeopardy!” host was in bad shape. He passed away at home surrounded by family and friends.
Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and his children Nicky, Matthew and Emily.