There will be some fresh new faces at the Jeopardy! lectern later this season! Following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek in November after a battle with pancreatic cancer, the iconic game show announced a host of celebrity guest hosts as it works to find a permanent replacement for Trebek. Included in the first batch of A-Lister guest hosts are a legendary journalist, Super Bowl-winning quarterback and beloved sitcom actress, all of whom will lend their talents to the hosting gig at some point this season.
As part of each guest host's appearance, a donation will be made to a charity of their choice equal to the cumulative winnings of the contestants that compete during the weeks they are behind the lectern. Keep scrolling to read more about the first batch of celebrity hosts.
Iconic journalist Katie Couric will be the first celebrity guest host to step in for Trebek, making her the first-ever female host of Jeopardy!. The New York Times Best-Selling author is also the founder of Katie Couric Media after being inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2004. When Trebek passed away at the age of 80, Couric paid tribute to the beloved host on Instagram. "Alex was an incredibly kind man who helped make happy memories for so many families," she wrote. "My late husband Jay and I would always watch the show together and it still makes me smile and think of him. I am so sad to hear of his passing and I'm sending love to the Trebek family. He will always be an American (and Canadian! ) treasure."prevnext
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will also be returning to the Jeopardy! set after his 2015 Celebrity Jeopardy! win, this time as a guest host. The Super Bowl MVP and nine-time NFL Pro Bowl selection has proved himself on the field, but will be taking on a totally new role as he provides the answers instead of the questions during his second Jeopardy! appearance.prevnext
Bill Whitaker is another prominent journalist taking on a guest hosting role on Jeopardy!. Whitaker has been a longtime correspondent for 60 Minutes, covering stories for CBS News across the world for four decades. He will bring his worldly perspective to the lectern in the first round of celebrity guest hosts, having already taken home the RTDNA's highest honor, the Paul White Award for career achievement, in 2018.prevnext
Actress Mayim Bialik is adding Jeopardy! guest host to her list of achievements as the Big Bang Theory and Call Me Kat actress prepares for her role behind the lectern. The author and neuroscientist, who also hosts a podcast on mental health titled Mayim Bialik's Breakdown, called her hosting gig a "dream come true" on Instagram after the announcement. "From watching my whole life... to being an answer on the show... to guest hosting... this is literally a dream come true for me," she wrote. "I've been such a fan of [Jeopardy!] and Alex Trebek since I can remember. It will be an honor to guest host this iconic show and celebrate his great legacy."prevnext
The first guest host to take over for Trebek following the late host's final episode airing earlier this month is Greatest of All Time and consulting producer Ken Jennings, who won a record-breaking 74 consecutive Jeopardy! games in 2004. Following Jennings' run, Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards will also serve as a host for two weeks of shows in order to keep the show moving while the guest hosts prepare for their appearances.prevnext
Richards said in a statement on Jan. 13 that all of the guest hosts were first and foremost dedicated to honoring Trebek and everything he had done for Jeopardy! over the years. "Alex was a legend, revered by all of us," the executive producer said. "I want to thank our guest hosts, who will not only help all of us celebrate his great legacy, but also bring their own touch to the show." Additional guest hosts will be announced later in the season as the show works to bring on a full-time host.prevnext
When it comes to a permanent replacement for Trebek, guest hosts like Couric and Jennings have had their names thrown in the ring by fans alongside longtime hosts like Tom Bergeron and LeVar Burton. "Game show hosting is a skill," Adam Nedeff, a game show historian and author of the book Game Shows FAQ, told TODAY while pontificating about the next Trebek. "Alex was always introduced as the host of Jeopardy! not the star. Contestants are the star.
"So while there might be thinking that he was such a giant they'll need a 'name,' I don't think the show is suited to be a vehicle for someone," Nedeff continued. "It has to be somebody who's willing to let the game take center stage."prev