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He beat a Fox News host and an NBA legend on ‘Jeopardy!’ Now he’s filling in for Alex Trebek

‘Jeopardy!’ is down to its final 2 guest hosts before the 37th season concludes on Aug. 13

David Faber, a financial journalist for CNBC, will host “Jeopardy!” from Aug. 2 through Aug. 6.
David Faber, a financial journalist for CNBC, will host “Jeopardy!” from Aug. 2 through Aug. 6.
Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

And then there were two.

Jeopardy!” is down to its final two guest hosts before the 37th season concludes on Aug. 13. From there, the quiz show will announce the person officially taking over for the late, beloved host Alex Trebek, who helmed “Jeopardy!” for 36 seasons and died last year from pancreatic cancer.

On the heels of LeVar Burton — who garnered massive fan support during his stint as guest host last week — David Faber, a financial journalist for CNBC, will take over as “Jeopardy!” host from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6. Sportscaster Joe Buck will then host from Aug. 9 through Aug. 13, concluding a season that has been cycling through guest hosts since January.

“It’s challenging — I didn’t realize quite how challenging,” Faber said in an interview shared on the “Jeopardy!YouTube channel. “And then when you actually come and try, it’s not easy. But that’s fun, right? That’s part of life. If you get an opportunity like that, you got to take it, and I was so happy to be given the chance.”

To prepare for the daunting task of standing in Trebek’s place, albeit temporarily, Faber said he spent a significant amount of time studying the late host and the way he conducted the show. And although he met Trebek in 2012 while competing on “Celebrity Jeopardy!” — he beat out Fox NewsDana Perino and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the $50,000 prize — Faber said it was this preparation that made him really connect with Trebek.

“I feel actually closer to him from having done that and watched just what a master he was,” said Faber, who is co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “You can’t really fully appreciate it until you actually think about trying to do it and then try to actually do it. ... I don’t know how he did it.”

Faber said his friends also came to his aid as he prepared for his “Jeopardy!” host debut, pretending to be contestants and offering their critiques of his style and delivery.

“I don’t get nervous thankfully in front of a TV camera very often anymore — maybe for a sit-down with the president or something like that — but I definitely was feeling the nerves initially,” Faber said during the “Jeopardy!” interview. “I wanted to be really good — I mean, that was the main thing. I wanted to be good for the contestants.”

During Faber’s time as host, “Jeopardy!” is matching the winnings of the contestants and donating to Faber’s charity of choice, Robin Hood Foundation, which fights poverty in New York City, according to the organization’s website.

Faber’s first episode as host will feature contestant Matt Amodio, who is on an eight-game winning streak and has so far amassed a total of $291,200. Last week, Amodio, who is a graduate student from New Haven, Connecticut, took ninth place on the all-time “Jeopardy!” regular season winnings list, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.