Anderson Cooper kicked off his stint as JEOPARDY!'s latest guest host on Monday. Naturally, during the course of the episode, Cooper paid tribute to the late Alex Trebek, who died in November following a battle with cancer. The CNN anchor is one of the many individuals who has been tapped to fill in for Trebek on the quiz show program, with others such as Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, and Ken Jennings also taking their turns behind the lectern.
Before they got into the questions, Cooper took some time at the top of the episode to reflect on Trebek's legacy. He also referenced how this wasn't his first time on the JEOPARDY! stage, as he previously took part in games such as the Celebrity Jeopardy Tournament. Cooper began by saying, "To be on this stage where Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy! with such grace and intelligence for so long is really amazing and is very humbling." He went on to say that he's been a fan of the show and Trebek since he was in high school. Cooper then shared that he has won the Celebrity Jeopardy Tournament twice and that he "lost very badly twice."
"But, getting to guest host these next two weeks, raise money for good causes and pay tribute to Alex, it's really an honor," he continued. "I miss him and I know that we all do." Like previous guest hosts, Cooper will be hosting the program for the next two weeks, with his stint wrapping up on April 30. Just as he mentioned, JEOPARDY! has been donating money to the host's respective causes with the amount that the players earn during the course of the guest host's stint being the total that the show will give to their charity. According to PEOPLE, Cooper is raising money for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, which is an organization that helps residents in the Artibonite Valley region in Haiti receive proper medical treatment.
Ahead of his time as the guest host, Cooper noted that one of the previous stand-ins, Jennings, offered him some advice for filling in for Trebek, per CNN. Jennings reportedly urged Cooper to take a page out of Trebek's book, explaining, "The great thing about 'Jeopardy' is the game kind of runs itself. If you watch Alex, he had this light touch where he would do, you know, sometimes the least possible. He would kind of take himself out of the spotlight and very generously put it on the players. And I found that the more you could do that, 'Jeopardy' kind of runs itself."