The next Jeopardy! host will undoubtedly have big shoes to fill. But in the meantime, Ken Jennings seems to be faring well with a lot of viewers.
The former Jeopardy! champion has been serving as a guest host amid the search for Alex Trebek’s permanent replacement. While it’s been hard for some fans to adjust to the show without the longtime judge, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2020, Jennings has found ways to honor the late host, including in the way he signs off of the show.
Ken Jennings is temporarily hosting ‘Jeopardy!’
Jennings has become synonymous with the show after a record-setting run in 2004 when he won a whopping 74 games. So it only made sense to some viewers that he take over as host until a permanent successor is named.
When Trebek died in November 2020, Jeopardy! began running pre-taped programs featuring the late host before airing his final episode on Friday, Jan. 8. The next Monday, Jennings made his debut on the show as a guest host. According to the Jeopardy! website, he will host the first batch of episodes, then other familiar guests will have their turn at the lectern.
Ken Jennings has honored Alex Trebek on ‘Jeopardy!’
Jennings kicked off his first hosting with a special tribute to Trebek, calling the time he and Trebek spent together “one of the greatest honors” of his life.
“Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years,” he continued. “Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much. And I thank him for what he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear, no one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”
Ken Jennings also incorporated Alex Trebek in his closing tagline
Beyond that tribute, Jennings also closes the show will a special nod to the late host. As Jeopardy! fans will recall, Trebek often ended the show by saying “So long” or “We’ll see you next time.” But Jennings instead says, “Thank you, Alex.”
His farewell address has earned him plenty of praise and respect from some viewers. “I love how he says ‘Thank you, Alex,’” one person wrote underneath a YouTube video recapping a recent episode while another viewer said, “Oh my god, my heart. I’m liking Ken a lot more than I thought I would. Good stuff.”
“I cannot imagine a worse job to take on than ‘replacing one of the most loved people in TV history’. But Ken did very well, and the ‘Thank you, Alex’ line is beautiful,” another person added.
It certainly is, in our opinion. Now excuse us while we go and dry our eyes.
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