Jeopardy! fans loved the producers' decision to tap Ken Jennings as the first person to host an episode of Jeopardy! since Alex Trebek's death. Jennings, who holds several records on the show and won the first Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament. Jennings' first episode as host will air in January, days after the last episode Trebek filmed before his death.
Jennings still holds the record for most consecutive Jeopardy! games won with 74 and has the highest winnings in regular-season play, earning over $2.5 million. The Jeopardy! producers did not name Jennings the permanent replacement for Trebek, instead noting there will be a roster of guests filling in. Jennings will film his first episode on Nov. 30, and it will air during the week of Jan. 11, 2021. Trebek's final episodes will air during the week of Jan. 4, 2021, and Trebek's 10 best episodes will air on the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28.
“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” executive producer Mike Richards said. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”
When one of the contestants says a stupid boring story, just respond like Alex, “That’s interesting. Let’s get back to the game.”— Claude Jackson, Jr. (@claudeberg) November 23, 2020
After Jennings got the job, he assured fans he can never really replace Trebek. "There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January," he tweeted.prevnext
Honestly, you’re the only one for the job— Sean Webber (@Crab_Juicer) November 23, 2020
Trebek died on Nov. 8 at age 80, following a battle with prostate cancer. After his death, Jennings said Trebek was not "just the best ever at what he did," but also a "lovely and deeply decent man." Jennings was "grateful for every minute I got to spend with him," he wrote, adding, "Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family - which, in a way, including millions of us."prevnext
I made a note when my dad predicted this in 2016. You’ll be great. pic.twitter.com/OacutwhGcC— 👽 (@princess_zeldin) November 23, 2020
Before the 2019-2020 Jeopardy! season began, the show hired him as a consulting producer and asked him to introduce special video clues. This was thought to be a tryout for Jennings if Trebek retired. Richards insisted this was not the case and they were not trying to push Trebek towards retirement.prevnext
Love this ♥️— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) November 24, 2020
In an exclusive interview with PopCulture, Jennings said he was surprised the show wanted him to return after the Greatest of All Time tournament. "The day the last show aired on ABC, I got a call from the Jeopardy! producers and he said, ‘Ken, I never called a contestant in 20-odd years of producing this show because of all the legal regulations around the contestants. You gotta keep them separated. But we've been talking, and if you’re really retired, would you like to come aboard?'" Jennings explained. "It was the most flattering thing ever."prevnext
Only if Darrell Hammond/Sean Connery comes along with him— Will Shakespeare (@shakingaspeare) November 24, 2020
One person suggested Will Ferrell should step in as a guest host, in a not to the hilarious Saturday Night Live "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches. Another Twitter user said that should only happen if Darrell Hammond can make an appearance as Sean Connery.prevnext
The only way I’ll accept Ken Jennings as the next host of Jeopardy! is if it was Alex’s dying wish. Otherwise, there’s hundreds of better choices.😒— ✨𝙲𝚢𝚗𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚊 𝙼𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚍𝚎𝚜✨ (@Cyntmatic) November 23, 2020
I would love it if your show would occasionally have categories dedicated to Alex. I'll leave it to your fine "clues crew" to devise answers that work, but I have no doubt they can do it.
Or perhaps they can be clues in Pot Pourri.
Or better yet, Genres.— Stan (@StanFinger) November 23, 2020
Another Twitter user said they would only accept Jennings as host if it was Trebek's "dying wish" because there are other options out there. Thousands of fans had suggested Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton to host.prev