In November 2020, America was devastated by the news that beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek had passed away following a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. For over 30 years and a record-breaking number of episodes, the cool, calm, and collected Trebek fearlessly captained the Jeopardy! ship, guiding viewers through every trivia question, daily double, and the occasional quirky guest (“nerd core hip-hop”). Who could possibly replace him? Well, Ken Jennings is the first one up, though the prospect certainly seems daunting, especially to him.
Whether you’re a Jeopardy! aficionado or not, Ken Jennings is a widely familiar name. The trivia wiz was launched into stardom in 2004 when he won 74 games and over $2 million on the show, a record-breaking streak. Though contestant James Holzhauer did beat that record, Jennings is still arguably the most famous Jeopardy! contestant ever, and he put another feather in his cap when he won the “Greatest of All Time” championship. Although less “great” was his recent string of offensive tweets, which definitely caused a stir with fans.
Regardless, on Jan. 8, 2021, Trebek will sign off in his final pre-taped episode, per People, and Ken Jennings will step in as its first interim guest host with no official replacement yet announced. Let’s be real: it’s likely Jennings will get the job. He was close with Trebek and is a celebrity himself. But how is he feeling about the prospect? Scroll down for what Ken Jennings recently said about replacing Alex Trebek.
Ken Jennings thinks Alex Trebek would give him a C+
So what is Ken Jennings saying about his upcoming guest hosting stint, and how does he think Alex Trebek would feel about him taking over? He’s staying humble. On guest hosting for the first time, Jennings told E! News, “I really just wanted to do the best I could so as not to let him down, you know, and Jeopardy! viewers down. So I felt a lot of pressure.” He added, “I actually talked to him [Alex Trebek] on the phone the same weekend he passed. We had talked about the possibility of me guest hosting for him at some point. And he was just so sweet. He was thanking me very genuinely for helping out. And I was like ‘Alex, you gave us 37 years, you know, we should be thanking you.’ It’s the least I could do.'” Aw!
Ken Jennings added he knows he’s no Trebek, saying, “I don’t believe he would be grading me on a curve. You know, I think he would have some serious words on stuff I needed to work on. Hopefully a C+.”
According to USA Today, Jennings is still downplaying rumors he could fully replace the late host. “I don’t want to have it because it means we don’t get Alex,” he told the outlet. “I wish it was Alex walking out at the top of the show.” Well, we doubt Ken Jennings would actually say no. Let’s just hope no more questionable tweets surface.
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