‘Jeopardy!’: Why Upcoming Guest Host Joe Buck Says He Was in ‘Awe’ of Alex Trebek’s Skill

by Jennifer Shea

When sportscaster Joe Buck agreed to guest-host “Jeopardy!,” he was already in awe of late, great host Alex Trebek. But Buck said he came to realize that Trebek, who passed away on Nov. 8, 2020 of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, was even more “awesome” than he had thought.

In a behind-the-scenes video released by “Jeopardy!,” Buck talked about his impression of Trebek and what he admired most about the “Jeopardy!” icon.

“I’ve been in television for almost 30 years,” Buck said. “And I always was in awe of the job that Alex did hosting this show. I think the ease with which he guided contestants through questions, the smile, the warmth, the intellect that came through – when somebody said, ‘Hey, would you want to fill in as a guest host?,’ Yes was my answer. And it was quick, because, you know, it’s something new for me, it’s a challenge.”

“And now that I’ve been inside the studio, I have an even greater appreciation for how meticulously awesome Alex Trebek was,” he added.

Watch Buck talk about his awe of Trebek here:

‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Recently Won Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for Broadcasting Excellence

While he was eager to host “Jeopardy!,” Buck is doing pretty well at his day job. He recently received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for broadcasting excellence in a ceremony at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

In his acceptance speech, Buck paid tribute to his hometown of St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. And Buck also honored his father Jack, a renowned broadcaster in his own right who won the Rozelle Award in 1996.

“My dad was my best friend and my mom taught me everything I know,” Buck said. “My dad’s career took off when I was little and I saw a man who loved to go to work. I saw what it meant to be a good broadcaster but more than that I saw what it meant to be a good man.”

Buck, who has broadcast on Fox for 27 years, got his big break in sportscasting in 1994, when Fox won the right to televise the NFC. While Fox hired some high-priced heavyweights to anchor its broadcasts, such as John Madden, it also “ran out of money,” Buck said, so it hired some scrappy young aspirants, including Buck himself, to round out its stable.

And now, nearly three decades later, Buck has come into his own as a sportscaster, so much so that he made it onto “Jeopardy!” broadcasts as a guest host. And while “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards is reportedly in line to take over for Trebek, Buck at least got a chance to test his own broadcasting skills for several weeks on the legendary game show.