Alex Trebek’s ‘spirit’ is ‘very present’ on ‘Jeopardy!’ says the show’s next host
‘Jeopardy!’ is down to its final four guest hosts before it names an official replacement for Alex Trebek
Robin Roberts, an anchor for “Good Morning America,” is the latest in a string of guest hosts helping to keep the beloved quiz show running following Trebek’s death. And as someone who got to know Trebek over the years, it’s a bit overwhelming for her to be standing in his place.
When a “Jeopardy!” staff member asked Roberts what she hopes to bring to the show during her guest hosting stint, Roberts was visibly emotional as she took a long pause.
“Just want to bring a little bit of Alex,” she said in an interview shared on the “Jeopardy!” YouTube channel. “Just a little bit. Can’t be him — no one can be him — but just want to bring a little of the spirit that he brought each and every time he was here in this studio. That’s all.”
Roberts then recalled one of her last interactions with Trebek. He had come into the “Good Morning America” studio, and to this day, she remembers how quick he was to crack jokes and make everyone feel at ease.
At the start of her debut as “Jeopardy!” host, Roberts shared that Trebek’s presence is still felt on the set.
“Of course I am honored to be here, guest hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ and paying tribute to the great Alex Trebek,” she said in a clip from Monday’s episode, which was shared on the “Jeopardy!” Twitter account. “And I have to say, his spirit is very much here, very present.”
During Roberts’ time as host, which runs through July 23, “Jeopardy!” is matching the winnings of the contestants and donating to Be a Match — an organization that offers support and funds for patients in need of blood stem cell or marrow transplants, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.
Roberts has been working with Be a Match since 2012, when a stem-cell transplant saved her own life.
Following Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck will each have a weeklong turn behind the hosting lectern, according to the “Jeopardy!” website. And then it’ll be time for the show to name Trebek’s successor.
For Roberts, having the opportunity to host “Jeopardy!” — even for just a week — “was a great honor.”
“My mother and father are cheering me on from their heavenly balcony!” she told “Jeopardy!” staff. “Who wouldn’t want to guest host ‘Jeopardy!’? It’s on the bucket list. ... Couldn’t say no — didn’t want to say no.
“Something I will not forget — ever.”