Ken Jennings has won over many Jeopardy! viewers in the first few weeks of his guest host responsibilities. He had already built up quite the following from that same fanbase thanks in large part to his record-setting 74-game win streak and after taking home the top prize in the Greatest of All-Time Tournament. Yet, his brief time as a host following the passing of Alex Trebek has gained him even more respect from those same supporters, especially with his sign-off message after each episode, "Thank you, Alex."
Jennings revealed where the idea to pay respect to Trebek before each episode closes came from. "Thanks, Alex was suggested as a sign-off by executive producer Mike Richards, and I'm glad he did," Jennings wrote on Twitter. "There wouldn't be a show without Alex." The explanation comes after one user had tagged him a post admitting that she chokes up whenever she hears Jennings mentions Trebek when saying good-bye to the audience. This is just one of the many ways the show's all-time winningest contestant has paid tribute to Trebek since beginning his run as the first of a handful of guest hosts.
"Thanks, Alex" was suggested as a sign-off by executive producer Mike Richards, and I'm glad he did. There wouldn't be a show without Alex. https://t.co/dFIwemd8be— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) February 1, 2021
He shared an image on Twitter during his first week in which he kept the original ticket from Trebek's first ever Jeopardy! show in his coat pocket while filming the first batch of episodes as a way to have the late host beside him. He also delivered a few emotional opening statements that same week not only thanking Trebek for the legacy he left but for all of the memories he shared with all of the viewers at home. Fans of the show have been sending rave reviews on social media as many have called for Jennings to be named the full-time host once the string of guest hosts get their shot and the network is ready to make the official announcement.
After Jennings is done behind the lectern for his guest hosting duties, Richards will actually come in for two weeks of episodes. He will give some more time for the next batch of hosts to prepare. Katie Couric will then take over, making her the first female to ever run the Jeopardy! show. Others who will follow include Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker and Mayim Bialik.