Ken Jennings hopes for ‘another chance’ to host ‘Jeopardy!’
‘I did feel like at the end, I was almost starting to get comfortable, I was starting to enjoy it a little bit,’ Ken Jennings said about hosting ‘Jeopardy!’
As a consulting producer for the quiz show, he helps out with special categories and takes part in the search for contestants. But for all of that involvement, Jennings recently said he hopes he gets “another chance” to host “Jeopardy!”
The “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” champion hosted the show for a six-week stint earlier this year — the first guest host following Alex Trebek’s death in November 2020. Since then, Katie Couric and Dr. Oz have had turns behind the lectern.
“I did feel like at the end, I was almost starting to get comfortable, I was starting to enjoy it a little bit,” Jennings recently said during a virtual fundraiser for the Edmonds Center for the Arts in Washington state. “I think with time I am starting to figure this out. So I do hope I get another chance.”
During the fundraising event, which took place on March 25, Jennings spoke about his upbringing, love of trivia and the “extremely hard job” of hosting Jeopardy!”
“You’re running the show in real time like a referee,” Jennings said, according to My Edmonds News. “You have to read a clue, you have to look up and see what they buzzed in, and as they are answering you have to adjudicate what they are saying and then move on appropriately. (Alex Trebek) did it with such grace, you didn’t really notice how hard it was. My heart goes out to anybody brave enough to try that job.”
After Dr. Oz, the next person to host “Jeopardy!” is NFL star Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback will host from April 5-16, followed by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper from April 19-30 and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker from May 3-14, according to the “Jeopardy!” website.
Jennings said there will be a permanent host next season, but that he doesn’t know who “Jeopardy!” will select.
“I’m not being coy,” he said, according to My Edmonds News. “I don’t know who that is. ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ are multimillion-dollar properties for Sony TV. Those things just print money, and they are going to take this decision very seriously.”
Ratings for “Jeopardy!” during Jennings’ stint as guest host were high — during his debut week, Jennings brought in an average of 10.3 million viewers, second this season only to Trebek’s final week as host, the Deseret News reported.
Earlier this month, a “Jeopardy!” fan reached out to Jennings on Twitter, asking if he would ever return to host the show.
Jennings’ response? “Anything’s possible. Write your congressperson.”