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'Jeopardy' legend Ken Jennings honors host Alex Trebek in New York Times op-ed

Host Alex Trebek, left, with Team Ken, Monica Thieu, Ken Jennings and Matt Jackson, during the "Jeopardy! All-Star Games" finale.
A look at Team Ken (Ken Jennings, Matt Jackson and Monica Thieu) during the "Jeopardy! All-Star Games" finale.
Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY — Legendary “Jeopardy” contestant Ken Jennings wrote an ode to the show’s host, Alex Trebek, in an opinion piece for The New York Times last weekend.

  • Jennings, who holds the record for the longest winning streak in “Jeopardy” history, wrote that Trebek fascinates America more than other celebrities might since he’s not the focus of the game show.
  • “It’s all about the format, the players, the facts, the dissemination of answers and questions. It’s hard to imagine any modern TV personality deftly avoiding the spotlight like that,” he wrote.
  • Jennings wrote that Trebek is “looser, even goofy” off camera. He’ll talk with audience members during the show, and he’ll even maintain the dry sense of humor he holds.
  • Jennings wrote he can’t imagine anyone else in the role.
  • “I remember that sense of awe myself, when I watched Alex walk onstage at the top of my very first show,” he wrote. “After decades of loyal home viewing, it’s a little surreal to have the game suddenly come to life and surround you, like ‘Jumanji.’ But the funny part was how ordinary and comforting and right it felt to have Alex Trebek standing a few feet away, welcoming you to the stage. Who else could it be?”

Read more from Jennings at The New York Times.

Flashback: Jennings recently finished as runner-up in the “Jeopardy! All-Star Games” tournament, which I wrote about for the Deseret News. He placed second behind Team Brad, which was led by Brad Rutter. Jennings’ team still walked away with $300,000.