Jeopardy! is getting a new guest host this week, as TV doctor Mehmet Oz begins his stint behind the lecture on Monday. According to USA Today, Oz was a close friend of Alex Trebek and will serve as interim host of the iconic game show in honor of the late Jeopardy! host. "Dr. Oz is someone who was very close to Alex," Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards previously told USA Today. He also explained that the guest hosts the show lined up are "people just kind of in the orbit that I knew feel very strongly about stepping in, not to try out for the role but to honor Alex."
Oz's hosting run comes after hosting turns from Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, Williams, and renowned journalist Katie Couric. Following Oz, Green Bay Packers quarterback — and 2015 Celebrity Jeopardy! champion — Aaron Rodgers will host. Future guest hosts include CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Today host Savannah Guthrie, CNN medical adviser Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker and actress Mayim Bialik, who currently stars in the new Fox sitcom Call Me Kat.
Speaking about filling in as Jeopardy! host, Oz told CBS Boston, "Never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be able to come on this stage and host the show. It's just special. It's iconic in the psyche of America." He went on to say, "I was anxious about hosting Jeopardy! because I didn't actually understand all the parts and how they moved. But I also wanted to make sure that I showed up in the way that the show needed me to show up."
As far as his approach to hosting the show, Oz said, "My main goal on the show was to make sure people knew that knowledge was accessible. We all know something. You all have something that you could be the world expert at – go do that!
Notably, a donation will be made to a charity of each Jeopardy! guest host's choice. The donations are equal to the cumulative winnings of the contestants that compete during the host's respective turns hosting. The charity that Oz picked is HealthCorps, which promotes health and wellness among teenagers.