Anderson Cooper starts his stint as a celebrity guest host of Jeopardy! this week, and he admits that he's "actually kind of nervous" in his first promo. Cooper has a long history as a Jeopardy! fan and a contestant, but the hosting role is brand new to him. He takes over for previous guest host Aaron Rodgers starting on Monday.
Cooper is stepping away from the CNN news desk and up to the Jeopardy! podium this week. The show released its first promo with Cooper on Monday, where he said: "In high school, I became a Jeopardy! fan, I'm a two-time Celebrity Jeopardy! champ and this week, I'll be the newest Jeopardy! guest host." Cooper is one of several stars to stand in for long-time host Alex Trebek, who passed away last year after battling cancer. The show will not pick a permanent replacement for Trebek until the end of the season.
When they do, Cooper may well be in the running for the full-time job. As he said in the promo, Cooper has competed on Jeopardy! four times, all against other celebrities. He won the first appearance back in 2004, but he later told Ellen DeGeneres that he researched for that bout furiously.
"I panicked the night before because I realized I need to know all this stuff," Cooper recalled back in February. "And I read all these blogs from former Jeopardy! champions about buzzer theory, and some sort of game theory. I got so thrilled to win the first time, and it was all for charity. When I went on the second time, I was against Cheech Marin from Cheech & Chong. And I got really cocky because I was like, I mean, come on, Cheech Marin ... He's been smoking a lot. The synapses can't be really sharp."
That wasn't the case, as Cooper readily admitted. "He destroyed me," the anchor said bluntly. "He's so fast on the buzzer and he's so smart! He knows everything."
Cooper competed in 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2016. In that time, he also made several appearances as a "clue giver" for video clues and other brief appearances. Still, the hosting job will be different.
One thing that won't be different, however, is philanthropy. Once again, Cooper will be using the trivia show to raise money for a good cause. In this case, his hosting stint benefits Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti — an organization that helps provide medical care to Haiti's Artibonite Valley community. Cooper takes the Jeopardy! stage for two weeks starting on Monday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET.